I really appreciated Doug DeMuro‘s 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor video today. Not just because he did a great job finding interesting details on the truck, but because the locale looked cold enough to make bones brittle, and he still soldiered on for a 33-minute tour anyway. Most interestingly, DeMuro found some cute hidden design details (aka “Easter Eggs”) along the way. We’ll explain those a little more for you here.
The extremely basic context you need is that Ford is presenting the Bronco Raptor as a “desert-racing beast.” That means that, like the Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck, it’s optimized for speed over sand and rocks as opposed to tight forest trails. That makes sense from a practical perspective because most of where you can legally off-road in the United States is desert. Forested regions largely prohibit vehicles from leaving pavement (sorry Northeasterners, but it’s true).
With that established, I’ll screenshot three Easter Eggs that Doug found and elaborate on their significance.
Years on the Hood Louvers
If you look closely at the Bronco Raptor’s hood louvers, you’ll notice that there are years (1967, ’69, ’69, ’71, and ’72) imprinted on the plastic. Those are the years in which Ford Broncos (at least, racecar versions of them) claimed Baja 1000 class wins.
The late Rod Hall, one of the most legendary Baja drivers of all time, had a lot to do with Ford’s success with the Bronco south of the border. Here’s a quick primer on him if you’re not familiar:
Coordinates in the Pillar
DeMuro pointed out that the Bronco Raptor has coordinates (34.53621 N, 116.75685 W) stamped near the roof and says that’s the spot in Southern California where the Bronco was desert-tested. Specifically, you can follow those coordinates to Johnson Valley, where indeed many vehicles go through off-road shakedowns. One of the coolest off-road events of the year, the King Of The Hammers Ultra-4 race (a high-speed desert plus rock-crawling plus navigation challenge event) goes down there every February.
The first batch of Bronco promotional photos (you remember these, right?) were taken at Johnson Valley. And so too was this new clip:
Ford has also been known to test hardware in the Anza-Borrego Desert (A-B), which is somewhat nearby. While Johnson Valley has a lot of firm, rough, wide-open terrain, A-B has big fields of softer sand.
Race Trucks Under the Gas Cap
I didn’t even realize that the regular Bronco had little engravings (stampings?) of early Broncos under the gas cap. But it seems Ford leaned into the racing vibes on this detail, too, by switching the standard truck for what appears to be little illustrations of Rod Hall’s ’69 race Bronco and the Bronco R race rig from 2019.
Below you can see some images of both those vehicles together from when Ford did its promotional rounds with the Bronco R back in ’19.
Those three elements appear to be the main Bronco Raptor Easter Eggs, but if anybody can find more, I would love to hear about ’em. As cynical as I’m starting to feel in my mid-30s, I still enjoy finding pointless decorative details in cars, and I love that automakers are into them too.
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