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HomeEvents‘Big Oly’ returning to Baja

‘Big Oly’ returning to Baja

Historic racing vehicle will take part in the Slow Baja Safari in conjunction with the Mexican 1000 race

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The famed “Big Oly” Ford Bronco that Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe took to famous victories in off-road races on Baja California Peninsula is going back to Baja for the 2022 Mexican 1000. But rather than risk the historic vehicle that sold for $1.87 million a year ago at a Mecum Auction, it will participate in the Slow Baja Safari that coincides with the competitive event scheduled for April 29 to May 6.

The truck’s entry is being arranged in behalf of the vehicle’s owner by Meyers Manx LLC, which acquired the historic dune buggy producer from its founder, Bruce Meyers, in 2020.

“The Big Oly Bronco is one of the most iconic race vehicles ever built,” NORRA, the National OffRoad Racing Association said in announcing Big Oly’s participation. “Driven by the legendary racer Parnelli Jones, it brought attention to the burgeoning sport of off-road racing. The sight of the golden Bronco flying across the desert left an indelible mark on the racing landscape in the 1970s.”

Big Oly, ‘Big Oly’ returning to Baja, ClassicCars.com Journal
‘Big Oly’ and a dune-buggy tribute | Meyers Manx photo

 Jones drove Big Oly to victory in the Mexican 1000 n 1971 — taking an hour off the record finishing time — and won the event again in 1972. And then added Baja 500 and Mint 400 trophies in 1973.

“Parnelli Jones raced everything from NASCAR to Trans Am and Pikes Peak in amazing machines, but Big Oly had such a place in his heart he kept the truck and left it in original condition for over 50 years,” the news release noted. 

NORRA said Big Oly will be the first “Grand Car Marshal” of the Mexican 1000, calling it “a privilege for the race fans and fellow competitors to witness Big Oly back in the dirt.”

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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