It’s not uncommon for a nameplate to appear, either float above the waterline or promptly sink, and then disappear from the market the same way it arrived. Every major automaker has had a few such models. Those that were rightfully axed promptly after being introduced and those that never got going the way they were supposed to. This time we’ll focus on obscured and forgotten classic Ford models that disappeared from the scene before they managed to leave a lasting impression. Even though they deserved to. Some were maybe unremarkable, some ahead of their time, and some simply arrived at a wrong moment. Something like these forgotten Chrysler-Mopars.
Unlike Chrysler and accompanying badges, Blue Oval always had a major share in sales among the U.S. buyers. It’s the second largest American automaker and one of the largest carmakers in the world. With that kind of recognition, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Fords are everywhere. And that they always have been. But, unlike Mustangs, F-150’s and long-gone Escorts which were, and still are some of Blue Oval’s record-selling cars, we’ll try to remind you of less lucky Fords that probably deserved much better.
1993-1996 Centurion Classic
Behold the forgotten 4-door Bronco you never knew existed. You’re forgiven, though, since, technically, Centurion Classic was never actually a Ford. Although met with competition such as Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, Blue Oval never ventured beyond the proven two door Bronco styling. They never wanted their badge on a 4-door Bronco-based SUV. Reason was, Ford has already decided to introduce the Expedition by then. But they never said anything about aftermarket 4-door Broncos.
This is where Centurion Vehicles enter the fray. Third party Ford trucks converter out of White Pigeon, Michigan was contracted on Blue Oval’s behalf in order to fix the above mentioned problem. They answered the call with two custom-stretched models; Centurion C150 Classic and Centurion C350 Classic. Former was based on F-150 truck, while latter got its body from F-350 donor. Furthermore, four-wheel drive was standard with larger model and optional on smaller Centurions.
Engine lineup consisted of Ford trucks’ respective powertrains. C150 Centurion, thus sported either 5.0L or 5.8L V8 mills, while C350 Classic came with either 7.5L gasoline V8 or 7.3L Navistar International’s diesel V8. Centurion C350 Classic was the only Bronco sporting such large displacement and diesel engines. Sadly, most of them have rusted through by now. This makes them even more prized possessions, though, since already low number of Centurion won’t get multiplied in the coming years.