Born in Quebec, Gilles Villeneuve was a Canadian Formula 1 driver that competed for Scuderia Ferrari from 1978 until his tragic death at the age of just 32 during qualifying at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. And while Villeneuve clearly possessed an obvious proclivity for closed-circuit road racing, he also had a lesser-known passion for off-roading — an interest that lead the F1 pilot to build out his own custom Ford Bronco off-roader. Now, 40 years after his death, Villeneuve’s go-anywhere Bronco is headed to auction.
Purchased new by Villeneuve and built out by the Scuderia Ferrari racer for off-roading, this 1976 Bronco features an upgraded, lifted suspension package, flared fenders at all four corners, and a period-correct WARN mechanical winch. The Bronco’s power comes from a specially-prepped 5.0-liter engine paired with a Drag Racing Doug Nash 5-speed gearbox.
The exterior of the vintage 4×4 wears a vintage orange livery with yellow accents and a white roof and uppers. The interior of the car has also been modified, and now sports RECARO bucket seats, a three-spoke GT steering wheel, and a Hurst Competition shifter. The outside of the car’s orange paint is also continued on the interior’s color-matched doors and trim. Still wearing Villeneuve’s original license plate, this Ford specimen hasn’t been touched or modified since the F1 driver’s untimely death.
Gilles Villeneuve’s 1976 Ford Bronco Off-Roader is currently being auctioned off through Aguttes where it’s expected to fetch between €80,000 (~ $84,150) and €120,000(~ $126,200). This ’76 Bronco specimen (Chassis No. U15GLB09627) is also sold with its original Canadian title in Gilles Villeneuve’s name.