1969 FORD BRONCO ‘BIG OLY’

Cars with character are something that we’re always on the hunt for here at The Coolector and, safe to say, we’ve not seen many with more than this awesome looking 1969 Ford Bronco ‘BIG OLY’ which was the Parnelli Jones’ Baja 1000 Rally Winner in 1971-72. Going under the hammer with Mecum Auctions, this impressive looking steed was driven by Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe to victory in the 1971 Baja 1000, 1972 Baja 1000, 1973 Baja 500 and 1973 Mint 40.

The 1969 Ford Bronco ‘BIG OLY from Mecum Auctions got its moniker from its sponsorship by Olympia Brewing Company and it truly is a special vehicle that forever changed the design principles and construction for off-road racers for the better. If you want to add a piece of automotive history to your classic car collection, this lot is definitely one for you.

Amazing Aesthetics

This spectacular looking machine was built to Parnelli Jones’ specifications of faster, stronger and lighter and this is how it garnered so much success in the rallying events that it entered. This glorious looking monster has rightfully earned the moniker of the world’s most famous Ford Bronco—and it’s now down to take pride of place on the Mecum auction block at Dana Mecum’s 34th Original Spring Classic this May 14-22 in Indianapolis.

The 1969 Ford Bronco ‘BIG OLY from Mecum Auctions is based on a 1969 Bronco and has sponsorship in place from Olympia Brewing Company. Big Oly is among the most memorable in the history of motorsports and it was driven by the iconic Parnelli Jones, a man who, without doubt, enjoyed pet names for his racing vehicles. Jones was made famous driving a car named “Ol’ Calhoun,” his faithful Watson-Offenhauser racer in which he broke the elusive 150 MPH barrier and won the Indianapolis 500.

Big Oly completely revolutionised the design and construction for off-road racers. It is powered by a 351/390 HP Ford Windsor V-8 engine mated to a modified Ford C6 B&M hydro transmission and sporting two 22-gallon fuel cells – which, for racers, meant it was the stuff of dreams. Featuring a chrome moly space frame, fibreglass and aluminium bodywork with extreme shock absorber and suspension travel, a big wing on top, a split windshield to reduce dust in the cockpit, and a spool rear end for better traction, Big Oly was a real head-turner right from the get-go.

Wonderful Rallying History

Unquestionably one of the best performing machines in the world of adventure rallying, the 1969 Ford Bronco ‘BIG OLY’ is an incredibly rare opportunity that one lucky classic car collector is going to snap up. It has been on display in Ford’s hometown of Dearborn, Michigan, at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and all over its home state of California.

The fact that it has been driven by one of the most iconic racers in the sport’s history, Parnelli Jones, who teamed with his long-time compatriot Bill Stroppe for all of its big successes, Big Oly stands alone as the world’s most recognisable Ford Bronco, and it’s now ready for the next chapter in its storied history as it heads for the Mecum auction block this May in Indianapolis.

Leo is the owner of The Coolector and writes about the stuff he loves. And some stuff that he merely likes.