On and off the trail with the Mixed Nuts four-wheelers

Recently we ran the story of Vern Pfannenstiel’s 1972 Ford Bronco factory-built with all sorts of 1973 Ford goodies. We also included a handful of his vintage off-road shots from Colorado and Utah, along with his memories of these four-decade-plus-past off-roading adventures. By popular demand—well, the Bronco piece was one of the most-read Hemmings online pieces that week, anyway—we asked Vern for some more shots, and to conjure up some memories of his time on the trails. Having seen the Bronco up close, it seems hard to believe that this is an original-paint truck, particularly after looking at Vern’s off-roading scrapbook. The Bronco is retired from off-road duties—it’s now a show pony in the greater Flagstaff, Arizona, area—but Vern was keen to relive the memories that helped make this Bronco his forever machine

“That’s Ed Keller’s Bronco; he’s the guy who knew about the ’72 Rangers, he’s the one who convinced me to get a Bronco, and he was the leader of the Mixed Nuts Four Wheelers crew in the ‘70s. It looks pink in this picture, but it’s really silver. He did the flares on my Bronco; he was an excellent mechanic, a great four-wheeler, and he helped me so much getting set up and teaching me how to be a good off-roader. You can see in this shot that the Bronco has a rollcage; it doesn’t anymore. I ddn’t want to use it but thought I’d better have it. Here it’s wearing 15×8 steelies and 31-10.50 tires. They looked good on there. Later I traded for 15×8 white-spoke wheels. The slot mags it wears now came along about five years ago.”

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