Big Oly, the world’s most famous Ford Bronco, sells for $ 1.7 million
In March of this year, Mecum Auctions announced the 34th Original Spring Classic Indianapolis event from May 14-22, featuring vehicles from Parnelli Jones’ personal collection. Among them was Big Oly, the world’s most famous Ford Bronco and still a staple of off-road racing vehicles.
Big Oly was offered without a public estimate, because obviously being the world’s most famous meant he would only change hands for a lot of money. It turned out to be the case: Mecum reports that Big Oly sold for $ 1.7 million before auction fees, making it one of the most expensive Broncos in the world.
Big Oly was the result of a challenge, after Jones refused to run with Bill Stroppe at the Baja 1000. At the end of 1967, Stroppe made sure Jones would hear him tell his friends that “Jones was not man enough for off-road racing”, and it turned out to be a “Showing a red cape to a bull” kind of moment. Jones, an experienced and accomplished racing driver, had now set his sights on Baja.
The first attempt failed, so Jones had Big Oly built to his exact specifications. Named in honor of its sponsorship by Olympia Brewing Company, whose livery it still displays, it is based on a 1969 Bronco, but with modifications that would have changed forever. “The principles of design and construction for off-road racers.” Powered by a 351ci (5.7L) Ford Windsor V8 that develops 390 horsepower and is mated to a reworked Ford C6 B&M hydraulic drivetrain, it has a fiberglass and aluminum body, huge suspension travel and top massive wing.
Jones and Stroppe led Big Oly to victory at the Baja 1000 in 1971 and 1972, as well as the Baja 500 and Mint 400 of 1973. Since its heyday, it has been held in Jones’ personal collection, only released. for contests or other high-profile events.
BREAKING: Big Oly is selling for a hammer price of $ 1.7 million.
– Mecum auctions (@mecum) May 21, 2021