The famed 1969 Ford Bronco lovingly known as ‘Big Oly’ sold for $1.87 million last weekend.
This Bronco is arguably the world’s most famous and was driven by Parnelli Jones to victory in two Baja 1000 races and victories at the Baja 500 and Mint 400. While the car was branded as a Bronco, it actually shared very little with the road-going Bronco of the day.
The off-road racer is based on a chrome-moly space frame and features a mixture of fiberglass and aluminum bodywork. It is powered by a Ford 351 Windsor V8 pumping out 390 hp that’s mated to a C6 B&M hydro transmission.
One particularly intriguing feature of ‘Big Oly’ is the roof. To compete in various off-road events, the Bronco needed a roof but rather than using a normal item, Jones pitched the idea of shaping the roof like a wing.
The car made its competitive debut at the Baja 1000 in 1970 and while it failed to finish due to a broken axle, it won the event the following two years. The 1971 victory at the Baja 1000 was particularly special as it was completed in 14 hours and 59 minutes, beating out the fastest motorcycles of the day.
Prior to its sale at a Mecum Auctions event, Jones had retained ownership of ‘Big Oly’. Since retiring from racing, it has been displayed in Ford’s hometown of Dearborn, Michigan, while also featuring at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.