June 18, 2024


Built General Tough

An off-road vehicle for almost two million? (Oldtimer blog article from May 25th, 2021) | Double-declutching

Ford Bronco "Big Oly" (© Mecum)

That doesn’t happen every day. A Ford Bronco SUV sold for a whopping $ 1.87 million at the Mecum Sale in Indianapolis on May 21, 2021.

Now, of course, this wasn’t a normal Bronco, but the Baja 1000 winner from 1971 and 1972, driven by Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe. The car became known as the “Big Oly” because the sponsor was the Olympia Brewing Company.

The racing car had little to do with the base vehicle, because the mechanic Dick Russel relied on a tubular frame and a body made of plastic and aluminum. A Ford Windsor V8 was used as the engine. An enormous wing was enthroned on the roof. The all-wheel drive vehicle weighed less than 1.2 tons and all future Baja racing car designers had to orientate themselves on it.

Silhouette Ford Bronco "Big Oly" (© Mecum)

So you can understand that a restored Baja 1000 winner requires a surcharge compared to a normal SUV, but only the buyer can answer whether the almost USD 1.9 million is justified.

By the way, the most expensive car at Mecum’s Indianpolis auction was not the Ford Bronco, because a Duesenberg Model SJ as Rollston Convertible Victoria from 1930 even came to USD 2.97 million.

Results and insights into the Mecum auction can be found on theirs