Earlier this month, Vaughn Gittin Jr. brought one of his finest creations to date to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas – the Ford Bronco Fun-Haver, or the “Baja Runner,” or “El Bandido,” as it’s otherwise known. This amazing machine is designed to represent his teammate and friend Lauren Healey’s love for the Baja 1000, who has secured two wins at the iconic off-road race to date. It actually started life as a regular old sixth-gen pre-production SUV, but rather than send it off to the scrap yard, Gittin Jr. decided to transform it into a high-speed off-roader complete with a supercharged 5.2L V8 Predator crate engine sporting a Whipple blower that helps it churn out a cool 1,000 horsepower. Recently, mega-popular YouTuber Cleetus McFarland got the chance to drive this wild machine, and he rather enjoyed it, as one might imagine.
As Gittin Jr. notes, the idea behind this wild Ford Bronco was to create a version of the SUV with zero rules in mind, which is precisely where it got its nickname from. Rather, he wanted to build a Bronco that’s equally fun on and off the pavement, and one that’s also capable of jumping high in the air and landing without suffering a single scratch – or breaking a sweat.
As such, this is seemingly a match made in heaven for McFarland, who has made a name for himself with his wild builds and equally crazy antics. As such, it doesn’t take long for him to hop behind the wheel and get a feel for this Ford Bronco on the track, which he says is like “a really nimble trophy truck.”
After putting on some safety gear, it’s time for McFarland to really explore the limits of El Bandito, and he does precisely that, burning up tires and sending clouds of smoke toward the sky as he slides around the track. It all looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but then again, anyone would have guessed as much given its four-digit output and race truck-like suspension.