Walworth, WI — The most recognizable Ford Bronco in the world and the first “super car” of off-road racing — piloted by one of the most diverse and successful drivers in motorsports history — will be offered for public sale for the very first time at Mecum’s May 14-22 Spring Classic auction in Indianapolis.
The famed 1969 Ford Bronco Baja 1000 Racer known as “Big Oly,” still owned by its driver Parnelli Jones, is best known for conquering the Baja 1000 course twice in back-to-back victories. The entire Parnelli Jones Collection — including a Formula One Race Car and a selection of memorabilia from Jones’ personal office — will join approximately 2,000 other vehicles and a large assemblage of Road Art offerings for the annual auction.
Recently honored by the American tuner company Saleen with a tribute version following Ford’s 2021 reintroduction of the Bronco model, Big Oly has a legacy unparalleled by any other off-road racer to come before or after its 1971 and 1972 wins in the world-famous Baja 1000 race held annually on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico.
Constructed by Dick Russell and piloted by renowned racers Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe in both of its Baja 1000 wins, Big Oly also went on to dominate the Baja 500 and the Mint 400 in 1973, cementing its legacy as the single most significant Bronco-inspired vehicle ever built and the one likely most responsible for the model line’s ultimate commercial sales success.
Among other offerings from Jones’ private collection slated to cross the Mecum auction block are two Saleen Mustangs — No. 001 and No. 003 of the Parnelli Jones’ 1970 SCCA Trans Am Championship tribute editions — as well as a 1994 Ford Mustang Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, the 1974 Parnelli VPJ-4 Chassis 4/002 Formula One car driven by Mario Andretti and an exacting replica of the 1963 Indianapolis 500-winning car known as “Ol’ Calhoun.”