Ford Motor Co. plans to reveal the all-new Ford Bronco on July 9, which falls on the birthday of Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson.
Simpson, a former football star, is known internationally for being in a white Ford Bronco that aired on live TV leading a massive police chase on June 17, 1994, after being charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
“I gotta believe this is a mistake. Didn’t anybody look at the calendar?” said John McElroy, veteran industry observer and Autoline.tv host. “Ford Motor Co. does not want to correlate the launch of such an iconic and important vehicle with a police chase with a notorious” person.
“Everybody in the world knew that O.J. was fleeing in a white Ford Bronco.”
The chase, a 60-mile slow-speed pursuit, was carried live on national TV. It was watched by 95 million people, according to KNSD-TV, the NBC affiliate in San Diego
Simpson was a passenger in the 1993 Bronco while his friend and former teammate Al Cowlings drove the I-405 in Southern California.
Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader, said, “I’m not quite sure what to say …”
Simpson, whose televised murder trial lasted 11 months and generated international attention before ending in acquittal, later lost a wrongful death lawsuit.
He turns 73 on July 9.
Back when the car chase happened, Ford wasn’t thrilled that so much was made of the fact Simpson fled in a Bronco and that the vehicle was so deeply entrenched in the story.