2020 Ford Bronco R will Race the 2019 BAJA 1000

SEMA week is getting off to an exciting start with the first major story being the reveal of the 2020 Ford Bronco R prototype. This is a purpose-built off road racer uses the 2020 Ford Bronco’s power train and suspension architecture. The Bronco R is scheduled to race the 2019 Baja 1000 starting on November 19th-24th. Ford’s caption is “to bring back a legend, you test it like a legend” and I’ll admit – that’s a damn good line.

It gets better when you find out the Bronco R’s livery is homage/inspired by Rod Hall and Larry Minor’s 1969 Ford Bronco. Built by Bill Stroppe, Rod Hall took the Bronco to an overall 4×4 win at the Baja 1000 in 1969 and Hall continued to race every year, winning before passing at the age of 81 earlier this year. Hall’s 1969 Baja 1000 win is said to be the only overall 4×4 win in a factory-chassis four wheel drive vehicle.

Rod Hall’s professional off road racing granddaughter Shelby Hall will be one of the drivers in the 2020 Ford Bronco R team at the Baja 1000 in honor of her grandfather on what is the 50th anniversary. Ford has said that the 2020 Ford Bronco R gives “hints” to what the production model Ford Bronco will look like when it is released in spring 2020.

Judging from the Bronco R prototype it certainly looks like Ford’s design team paid close attention to what we the people wanted the new gen Bronco to look like. We wanted a square roof line, tight boxy body with sharp angles and a chassis to fit 33 inch tires to stand tall over the now domesticated, sweater wearing, Chevrolet Blazer. The 2020 Ford Bronco R has the look, sound, and attention, now it just needs to blaze a trail over the 1,000 miles of Mexican desert. No pressure.

What really gets my blood pumping about this news is the delicious quality of this content. It has everything that makes marketers and PR people drool: Nostalgia, historic legacy, motorsport, family, action, anniversary, and anticipation through tantalization. A quick stroll through social media will see that everyone is writing about it (me not excluded). My cowboy hat is off to the group of people who came up with this idea and those who worked tirelessly to make sure all the variables synced to make this critical deadline. I look forward to seeing what kind of rooster tails the 2020 Ford Bronco R prototype will make at the SCORE Baja 1000 later this month.

Ford also released a short film that pays tribute to Rod Hall that I highly encourage you watch if you are not familiar with his truly epic career racing off road.