Seth Burgett is the entrepreneurial mastermind behind Gateway Bronco, the unique Barn Find Specialists who restore vintage original paint Ford Broncos, and there is no one out there doing it quite like them. Taking a staple of American automotive history and combining 21st technology and advancements, Gateway Bronco is pathing a frontier for the unique niche within a booming market. With specific dedication to each Bronco they encounter, Gateway Bronco takes pride in their connection to each Bronco, it’s owner, and their story.
Jamie Agoglia: You’re Barn Find Specialists, what does it mean to the average person?
Seth Burgett: To the average person, being Barn Find Specialists means that we are uniquely able to find original paint barn found Broncos located throughout the United States, in rare and unusual places, and consistently in exceptional condition. One that we’ve got coming up in the next couple months is coming from an original owner who has a very rare color, not only is it rare but its original paint. He’s owned it since new with all the documentation, and he called me first. So we now have the ability to pick it up and hear the whole story. So that’s the kind of thing we're able to find pretty consistently. Truly exceptional condition, untouched, rust free vehicles that we can then begin a great, great restoration around.
How did find this unique treasure hunt?
I’ve been doing this since I was a young child. My grandfather lived in a 200 person town, he was a farmer, and right across the street in town there was the barn. At age 9 or 10, I was doing a little search of the barn and I actually found an old Hudson and an old Corvair. That was the start. For us, it’s exploring, it’s an adventure, it’s“I can’t wait to see what it’s like inside, see what in the glovebox.
How do you find Broncos that are consistently in such prime condition?
Part of that is our secret sauce, it’s part of our trade secret of how were able to do this so consistently. But in part now that we have a reputation for what we do, people are bringing their original paint Broncos to us. They give us a phone call or email and many time they’re coming to us because they know we pay market value for the vehicles and we treat people right when they bring us some that special to them.
What has been the ultimate Barn Find?
The ultimate barn find came to you from texas, and it is the first bronco. It’s a prototype Bronco that was the first Bronco built by Ford. It was owned by Carroll Shelby for 10 years, and it was in immaculate condition, just beautiful. It’s a true prototype which Ford produced all their original photographs and documentation for. We’re compiling the legacy of the First Bronco at www.FirstBronco.com.
Why are Broncos what you decided to go after?
Well, Broncos are a really unique vehicles. They’re iconic American vehicles that are unique to any other vehicle in the world because they went from 1966-1977 without being changed. There’s no other vehicle in the world that has gone so long without any changes. If you look at the Mustang, it was the same for 2 years then was heavily changed, Camero, the Corvett, pretty much every vehicle you can think of goes through a major overhaul every 2 years. For us, that is part of the uniqueness of the Bronco, and also its exceptional design which has resulted in a cult following. They’re just a great vehicle that perfect match our capabilities. Honestly, I was going to invest in60’s era Shelby’s, and this is by far a better investment.
Why is it a better investment that other models?
The growth in value of the 60’s era Shelby’s flatlined. The growth in value of the Bronco over the last 5 years has outperformed the DOW, NASDAQ, S&P, gold, and is performing exceptionally well outsizing any of these areas of investment. So that’s why after selling a company I decided to invest in Broncos. From here, I predict we have10 years of nonlinear growth ahead of us. I believe that the Broncos that people were selling just 5 years ago for $6,000 are going to be $100,000+ vehicles in the next 10 years. And we’re already seeing it. I invested in 15 all original paint Broncos in 2016 and all of those Broncos have by far more than doubled in value.
Tell me about the unique Gateway Bronco assembly line workshop where these beautiful creations are made.
We get to add quality controls to them that you really can’t provide in a traditional restoration shop. We consider our environment a modern manufacturing center. It is a factory, it’s a factory-like setting. We’re able to put the quality controls in place that then ensure our client that everything is impeccable. We’ve literally had people who’ve left for road trips the same day it arrives in their driveway. They are completely ready to go.
In your market space, do you see yourself as a direct competitor to those that are doing similar work, restoring other vehicle models? Or are you on your own island, so to speak?
There will always going to be competitors in a space like ours, but something that we’re doing that no one else that I know of does is uphold a 5 year warranty and I think that part of the uniqueness we have. If someone is looking for a Bronco, we are one of the top if not the top choice for Broncos consistently. Secondly, if someone is looking for a vintage SUV of any brand we tend to come right to the top because its vintage enhanced, modernized. We’ve got back up cameras, car play, power windows that look like vintage windows, were using genuine Porsche leather. There aren’t any others out there that are using genuine Porsche, Bentley, or Mercedes leather in their vehicles.