What's a Bronco worth?
Trying to determine the value of an early Bronco can be tricky. It's not like other classic cars. With an old Mustang or Corvette you can look up the estimated average value on any number of published Price Guides. You determine what condition the car fits into on the chart, then add or subtract a percentage for variables like engine size and options.
Unfortunately Broncos don't fit into this pricing model because most of the time their value is dependent on aftermarket upgrades and modifications. Certainly there are Broncos out there that are fully restored and their value comes from how close they are to original condition as they rolled off the assembly line. An uncut 1966 Roadster or Baja Stroppe would be two good examples of this. But more often then not the value of a Bronco lies in how well it's been built up for the trail or street. The Bronco is unique because unlike other collector cars, a highly modified Bronco will usually outsell it's factory original counterpart.
This of course makes it extremely hard to create a definitive pricing guide for early Broncos. They're worth whatever the value is that you place on the modifications that have been made to them. And simply because work has been done to a Bronco doesn't mean that work was done correctly or that the parts used were high quality.
So, where does that leave you when asking the question, "what's this Bronco worth?" Basically there are two methods you can use to get a ball park on value; comparison pricing or laundry list pricing.
Just like realtors do when setting the value of a house for sale, you can use comparable sales ("comps") to focus in on Bronco pricing trends. This involves browsing various sources (like this site) and compiling a list of comparable Broncos for sale. Of course the asking pricing isn't the selling price. So it helps to look at completed auctions rather than just current ones. Just because someone is asking $18,000 for their lifted Bronco doesn't mean they're going to sell it for that much.
First you need to determine what you want in a Bronco. This can be general in nature like "a good street vehicle ready for minor off roading" but it helps to be as specific as you can. If possible write down a list of the criteria you're looking for. Make a chart or spread sheet with the options/modifications you want listed down the left side. Then as you gather comparable Broncos from your sales research you can place check marks if that Bronco meets those criteria.
Say you're looking for a mildly lifted Bronco with power steering, power brakes, a V8 engine and a decent paint job. Find several Broncos for sale that meet those criteria and add them to your list. Some may have the options you want, but others won't. With the chart filled out you'll have a quick reference guide when you actually start looking at Broncos to buy. Compare their asking price to your chart and make adjustments as needed for options that don't fit your list. Which brings us to the second pricing method; Laundry List pricing
Laundry List Pricing
OK, so it's not a very official sounding title, but it's gets the point across. Basically you establish a baseline price and then use a list of options/modifications and their rough prices to reach an overall price.