Vaughn Gittin Jr. is no stranger to The Blue Oval, having spent years competing in Formula Drift behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang and the Ultra4 Racing series in his 4400 Class Ford Bronco, not to mention the fact that he’s also the mastermind behind RTR Vehicles and the many modified FoMoCo-based rides it cranks out. Vaughn Gittin Jr. also owns his fair share of Ford vehicles – including a Ford Bronco Raptor – and he typically gets to drive new models such as the 2024 Ford Mustang before the general public – even teaching moms how to properly pilot the new pony car. However, one could argue that Gittin Jr.’s latest ride – this Mustang Shelby GT500-powered Ford Bronco – is his finest creation to date.
What might just be the baddest Ford Bronco on the planet is officially called the Bronco Baja Runner, which in this case is nicknamed “El Bandido” and 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. What’s particularly notable about this build, however, is that it actually started life as a regular old Bronco, one of the very first sixth-generation models built, in fact.
Rather than crush it, Ford gave Gittin Jr. the pre-production model to keep, and over the past three or so years, he keeps wheeling and modifying it. It’s latest iteration is obviously the wildest, as only the original cab remains on the outside – the rest has been replaced with custom panels designed to mimic the Ultra4 racer, but in this case, it’s designed to be more of al luxury pre-runner with gigantic 40-inch tires.
The big news, of course, is what lies under the hood – a supercharged 5.2L V8 Predator crate engine that now sports a Whipple blower that helps it pump out a cool 1,000 horsepower on pump gas. It’s a truly wicked machine, and one that’s sure to warm the hearts of V8 fans out there in the world – especially those that want such an engine installed in a production version of the Bronco.