William "B.J." Boden
1984 Ford Bronco ll
La Salle, MI
When it comes to finding feature vehicles, we usually come across them while cruising shows or we'll catch wind of one that is about to come out of the shop.
This time, however, we found this beauty sitting in the hotel parking lot during the weekend of the Layd Out at the Park show. First glance and we knew this was something we had to get out to readers before anyone else, and we knew everyone else would love it just as much as we do!
Once at the shoot and talking with the owner, B.J. Boden from La Salle, Michigan, about his project, B.J. mentioned he had been into minitrucks since high school. Since the minitruck bug is one you seldom shake, he said it's kind of funny looking back because his first truck was rusted so bad that you could see through it. Now, he was getting shot for Mini Truckin' magazine. It just goes to show you never know where life will take you if you stick to your passion.
Starting with that high-school truck led to a couple more custom trucks, but after searching for an F-100 like he used to help his grandfather with, B.J. quickly realized that a truck like that was out of his price range. He had always loved the styling of the Bronco II and came across a good deal on one and decided to pick it up and try to bring some of the old Effie style to it to pay tribute to his grandpa.
Since the Bronco II started off as his daily driver, B.J. started the project by lowering it and shaving the handles and marker lights until he could save up enough dough to put it on the ground. B.J. ended up modifying the stock chassis twice since he wasn't happy with it the first time. This sufficed for a while, but the bug continued to grow and B.J. felt the need to go much further. So, the truck was completely torn apart and a full chassis was built, the bodywork was finished, and the motor was swapped to a flathead. Wait... what!? Yes, you heard right, this killer Bronco II features some bitchin Effie old-school tricks.
Unfortunately, this is about the time money got tight and B.J. had to let his project sit for a while so he could save up some more money to make his dream of being in Mini Truckin' a reality. They say good things come to those who wait, and this was no exception. Once things came back around, it was full force on the build. Building the custom interior, which includes a Galaxy dash and a bench seat, painting the motor and all of the suspension components, and wrapping up the bodywork one last time all brought the SUV that much closer to being done. After some measurements were made, a grille from a 1953 Ford F-100 was sectioned to fit the Bronco's front end. Since B.J. was going for the old-school Ford theme with this truck, he opted to keep the top half a flat black then do the bottom half a bright green so it wouldn't be your typical two-tone paintjob.
With the truck done and finally being shot for his 15 minutes of fame, we asked B.J. if there were any crazy things that happened during the build. After a couple laughs, he said, "Make sure to always tighten your fuel lines" because he forgot to tighten one and a small fire started when the truck backfired while testing the motor in the garage. He also mentioned to make sure to use good, solid drill bits. He had one shatter and it broke out both rear quarter windows at the same time. That's something you couldn't duplicate if you tried.
For more info on B.J.'s one-of-a-kind Bronco II, be sure to check out the Lowdown and look for it roaming around shows in the Northeast.