At long last, the story of the greatest TV pitchman ever to pitch on TV is being told. Of course, we’re talking about John Bronco, the legendary adventurer, Baja racer, and all-around man's man who absolutely nailed it in the 1960s with pretty much everything he did. What’s that? You never heard of this guy? You never heard of John freaking Bronco, the man so amazing that Ford named a car after him?
Yeah, that’s because he’s not real. Or is he?
The life of John Bronco – fictional or otherwise – is the subject of a new "documentary" that was just announced today. Called John Bronco, it chronicles his rise to fame as the pitchman for the original Ford Bronco, which started with his 1966 Baja 500 victory driving a prototype Ford SUV. The speech he gave at that victory celebration is said to have changed the world, and led Ford to call that SUV the Bronco. He was everywhere after that, but as with so many Hollywood stories, it all came to an end when he disappeared. Now, a single question remains. Where is John Bronco?
Well, we can tell you he was not at Baja in 1966. That’s because the Baja 500 didn’t start until 1969. His name also wasn’t used for the Bronco, because it debuted in 1965 – a year before this “prototype SUV” allegedly conquered the desert. As for the speeches, commercials, and so forth … you get the idea. It’s a mockumentary; a cleverly designed bit of marketing to drum up interest in the new 2021 Bronco. Because you know, Ford is really struggling with that right now.
In Ford’s defense, this idea appears to have blossomed long before the off-roader’s rebirth. There’s an official listing for it at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), which shows the film’s status as complete with an updated date of March 13. That’s near the original launch date for the Bronco, and long before the world would actually see it revealed. There’s some modest star power on the screen as well, with veteran TV actor and Tarantino regular Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained) starring as John Bronco. Dennis Quaid narrates the feature, which includes Bo Derek, Tim Meadows, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among others.
The teaser video at the top of this article spells out the basics, as does the official John Bronco website at the source link below. But when will the full feature be released? If it wasn’t for the IMDB listing – which pegs the film at 37 minutes – we’d be skeptical it even existed. But apparently it does, and until it drops, we’re left with a question that will almost certainly be teased again and again until the real-life SUV actually goes on sale. Where is John Bronco?