FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s only a few years in the making, but the Charles Schwab Challenge has built a fashionable tradition in giving a souped-up vehicle to the winner.
It started when Kevin Na won in 2019 and gave a glacier-blue 1973 Dodge Challenger to his caddie, and Jason Kokrak has then raved about driving his kids off to school in the renovated, light-blue 1946 Dodge Power Wagon he won in 2021.
After beating Scottie Scheffler in a playoff in 2022, Sam Burns rolled out of Colonial Country Club with a fully restored and modernized 1979 Firebird Trans Am inscribed with the word Schwab in multiple places.
This year, tournament organizers have a real treat for the winner — a fully restored and modernized 1973 Schwab Bronco. The outfit that handled the restoration is Classic Ford Broncos of Powell, Ohio, and the company’s director of sales and operations was on hand this week to show off the vehicle.
“We were approached by Schwab basically over a year ago. It’s a 1973 which they specifically picked that year because this is the 50th year for Schwab,” said Nate Guess. “We paired up, I did the design of it and they made the decision that they were going to move forward with doing the Bronco restoration. This is specifically what we do. We specialize in 1966 to 1977 Bronco restorations.
“So this particular Bronco is from 1973, with the original frame and original matching VIN to the vehicle. It’s got a Gen 3 Coyote motor, so 465 horsepower with an automatic 10-speed transmission. Every nut and bolt on this is completely redone — either brand new or replaced.”
While the engine has been completely overhauled, the interior was finished to match the jacket given to winners at the event.
“You’ll see that the Tartan plaid on the side of the bolsters of the seats,” Guess said. “It’s the exact same material that they make the jacket out of.”
Guess said the process takes about 14 weeks after the plans are finalized on the vehicles. The company does all the work in-house, taking the original Broncos and breaking them down to the frame and axles. He added that the company does around 100 of these projects per year from the facility, which is just outside of Columbus.
“Everything, from start to finish, is done under one roof,” he said.
The vehicle has become a point of pride for the tournament sponsor, which picked up the pieces of the event in 2019.
“The Challenger prize has now become a tradition in its own right. As we enter our fifth year as title sponsor, we wanted to recognize Schwab’s 50-year legacy of helping our clients get where they want to go, no matter what comes their way,” said Jonathan Craig, the managing director and head of investor services at Charles Schwab. “And there’s no better vehicle to embody that than a 1973 Schwab Bronco.”