This 1976 Ford Bronco was owned by Formula 1 racing legend Gilles Villeneuve, said to have been prepared by him for serious off-road racing, and has been in storage for decades – remaining untouched when he died in 1982.
Villeneuve was a remarkably talented racer and perhaps the only person to ever win a snowmobile world title and move up to F1, where he drove for both McLaren and Ferrari at the sport’s highest level.
Fast Facts – Gilles Villeneuve Ford Bronco
- Gilles Villeneuve remains one of the most beloved drivers to ever compete in Formula 1. His scrappy driving style and natural talent saw him move for McLaren and then Ferrari, with whom he won six races and nearly won the drivers’ championship in 1979.
- Villeneuve was born and raised in Quebec, Canada. He was fascinated by racing and vehicles from a very young age. He began his professional career in snowmobile racing before moving to single-seater racing and then Formula 1.
- A tragic accident at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix resulted in the death of Villeneuve aged just 32. As a result, he never won the Formula One World Championship, but 15 years later, in 1997, his son Jacques Villeneuve won the championship to widespread acclaim. .
- This 1976 Ford Bronco was bought new by Gilles Villeneuve and then finished to a high standard. It has been in storage since his death and is now being sold demanding restoration.
The great Gilles Villeneuve
Gilles Villeneuve was born on January 18, 1950 in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada to a piano tuner Sevilla and his wife Georgette Villeneuve. He was involved in motor vehicles from a young age, drag racing his modified 1967 Ford Mustang as a teenager before entering the world of Formula Ford racing and winning 7 of his first 10 races.
Video above: This is a film made by Ferrari in 2021 in memory of Gilles Villeneuve. It shows Ferrari team members from this era discussing Villeneuve and his legacy.
Villeneuve’s professional career was a whirlwind after that, after success in Formula Ford he moved up to compete in Formula Atlantic. He won his first Formula Atlantic race in 1975, then won all but one race in 1976 to win both the Canadian and American championships, before winning the Canadian championship again in 1977.
In the early to mid-1970s, Villeneuve made most of his money competing in snowmobile racing, a wildly popular sport in Canada. He won the prestigious Snowmobile Derby World Championship in 1974.
Villeneuve’s life changed forever in 1976 when he was invited to compete in the Formula Atlantic race against Formula 1 driver James Hunt and several other F1 wingmen. He shocked the field by winning them all, McLaren was so impressed that they hired him as their third driver for five races in the 1977 season.
He moved to Ferrari for the final two races of 1977, having been personally hired by Enzo Ferrari because he reminded him of pre-World War II racing legend Tazio Nuvolari.
Villeneuve said later “If someone told me you could have three wishes, the first would have been to go racing, the second to be in Formula 1, the third to drive a Ferrari.”
He remained with Ferrari for five years until his death at the 1982 Belgian GP. Today, he is remembered as one of the most talented and daring drivers of the era and remains a tifosi’s favourite.
Ex-Gilles Villeneuve Bronco shown here
This 1976 Ford Bronco was bought new by Gilles Villeneuve and he kept it for the rest of his life, covering his entire Formula 1 career. He is said to have driven the vehicle in Monaco and the Alps, and the listing says he built it – it has an elaborate list of modifications.
These upgrades include a wide body kit, dual fuel tanks, a modified 5.0L V8, a Doug Nash 4-speed transmission, a Hurst Competition transmission, Recaro buckets, white steel wheels, extra-wide Mickey Thomspon tires, a front-mounted winch, a rally-style steering wheel, and a steering column-mounted tachometer. .
Aguttes will start selling this unusual Bronco on December 14th with a price guide of €80,000-120,000, which is around $83,000-124,000 USD. If you want to read more about it or register to bid, you can visit the listing here.
The pictures are taken with the permission of Aguttes
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