Gateway Bronco restores the glory years, sets new charity record

It’s not often that a childhood passion turns into a dream career. But for Seth Burgett, owner of Gateway Bronco—widely considered the gold standard in vintage Ford Bronco restoration—childhood is where his success story begins.


At the tender age of seven, Burgett started working on small engines. Three short years later, he had the skill set to install trailer brakes on his father’s Ford F-250 pickup—not bad for a fourth-grader.


Over the next 15 years, he earned enough money rebuilding cars to put himself through college and engineering school, which led to a career developing medical devices. But it was only a matter of time before he would return to his life’s true calling—restoring vintage Broncos.


In 2016, Burgett launched Gateway Bronco in Hamel, Illinois. Back then, very few people could understand a business model that would have customers pay an average of $250,000 for a restored Ford Bronco. Burgett, however, stayed the course.

Seth Burgett Gateway Bronco

Today, Gateway Bronco is firing on all cylinders with a constant stream of work. “Our customers understand that the classic Ford Bronco is a legend,” said Burgett. “My passion is to bring this legend back to life by restoring vintage Broncos—but with a twist of modern performance, luxury and craftsmanship.”


While each Bronco is customized to owner preferences, the typical build starts with a first-generation Bronco (manufactured between 1966 and 1977). In some cases, customers come to Gateway with a Bronco in need of restoration. More often, however, the donor Bronco is secured by the company’s team of “barn find” specialists.


The vintage Ford is then completely rebuilt using the original frame, with all-new hardware, glass, components and powertrain on a reengineered suspension. “It’s a brand-new truck, hand-built on an assembly line the way Henry Ford envisioned,” said Burgett. “We offer a few different models, each powered by a Ford Coyote 5.0-liter V-8, which is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.”


As one might imagine, the interior of the restored Bronco is equally impressive—with features that can include genuine Porsche leather, heated seats, lighted power steps, and all the amenities that you would expect in a premium, custom vehicle crafted by highly talented restoration professionals.


Of course, when it comes to paintwork, no detail is overlooked. For this reason, Gateway relies on the DELTRON® DBC paint system. “DBC gives us a high sheen without the need to cut and buff,” explained Burgett. “When a Bronco rolls out of our paint booth, that’s exactly the way we deliver it to the customer.”


Quality craftsmanship and eye-catching designs have generated immense interest in Gateway Broncos. The company gained a truckload of notoriety by setting a world record at the 49th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.


Teaming up with NASCAR® driver Ryan Blaney and the Ryan Blaney Family Foundation—which in turn helps support the Alzheimer’s Association—Gateway Bronco built a one-of-a-kind 1974 Ford Bronco, providing it as a charity auction item. As Blaney drove the Bronco onto the block, he explained how his grandfather has Alzheimer’s disease and how much the cause meant to him and his family. The story clearly inspired the bidders, resulting in a sale of $650,000—the highest-ever charity sale in the history of the prestigious automobile auction.


“It was an honor to be involved with the Ryan Blaney Family Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Burgett. “My family has been affected by Alzheimer’s as well, and I’m grateful for the support these ever-important organizations provide.”


Looking down the road, Seth Burgett and the Gateway Bronco crew have plenty of reason to be optimistic. The Ford Motor Company recently launched the sixth generation of the iconic Bronco nameplate, which will more than likely fuel even greater passion for the “original SUV.” For a guy who has been taking things apart and putting them back together since the age of seven, this comes as very good news.

← Back to What's New