Even with its historical ties to pop culture, Harrison made the right call here

By now, a lot of us probably know of Pawn Stars, the hit show from The History Channel that gives us a close look at the wheelings and dealings of Rick Harrison and his pawn shop-owning family. The show itself has given us plenty of unique items and moments over the years, but recently, a peculiar piece of Americana made an appearance on the show: O.J. Simpson’s 1993 Ford Bronco.

Yes, the same white Ford Bronco that Simpson was riding in during the infamous highway police chase in 1994 was being offered to Harrison by its owner, Mike Gilbert, O.J.’s former sports manager. Gilbert bought the car from O.J.’s former NFL teammate, Al (AC) Cowlings, the man behind the wheel during the police chase through Los Angeles. Not one to turn down arguably the most iconic Ford SUV of all time, Harrison welcomed Gilbert to his shop to talk about the SUV, even going so far as to take the SUV for a spin around the block. While Harrison did eventually admit that the Bronco was still in fantastic condition and could command millions in an auction, its provenance as having been involved in a double murder case, Simpson’s acquittal notwithstanding, made it very difficult for him to stomach purchasing it. He ultimately rejected Gibson’s offer of $1.3 million for the car, presumably saving himself the headache of having a car drenched in an infamous episode of American history in his inventory.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Would you have done it differently?

It’s hard being in Rick Harrison’s position when it comes to this particular item. On the one hand, this white Ford Bronco is steeped in American history, a rather ignominious part of American history, but Americana nonetheless. If you’re a fan of the show, Harrison often talks proudly of being interested in anything that involves American history so this Bronco, tainted as it is for its involvement in history, definitely qualifies.

His concerns about the car not selling as high as he’d like could end up not being true, either. This is, after all, the same Bronco O.J. and AC paraded across Los Angeles and in front of 95 million people watching on live TV. Collectors with money will pay top dollar to own it, not to mention the fact that it’s still in pristine condition. Don’t expect somebody to buy this and not put it on display.

"Pawn Stars" Steer Clear Of O.J. Simpson's White Ford Bronco
- image 726995
This is, after all, the same Bronco O.J. and AC paraded across Los Angeles and in front of 95 million people watching on live TV.

On the other hand, Harrison’s other concern about the bad juju he’ll get by buying this Bronco is just as legitimate, even if there really is no other Bronco quite like it. There’s just too much risk that Harrison would tie into this one item, not to mention Gilbert’s $1.3 million asking price.

In the end, I think Harrison made the right decision here. The risks of buying this Bronco at that price far outweighs the rewards he can get from scoring a premium at selling it himself. And he’s right when he said that there’s just something that’s inherently weird about owning the same white Ford Bronco that’s as tied to a double murder.

I wouldn’t have bought at that price either if it was Harrison. Good to know that even with his history of questionable purchases, he still had enough sense to say “no” to this one.


2020 Ford Bronco

2020 Ford Bronco Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 705394
2020 Ford Bronco

Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Bronco.

Source: USA Today

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: