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 sale to the public for the very first time this May. The famed 1969 Ford Bronco Baja 1000 Racer known as “Big Oly”—still owned by its even more famous pilot Parnelli Jones—is slated to cross the Mecum auction block at the company’s 34th annual Original Spring Classic auction May 14-22 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
Big Oly is best known for conquering the Baja 1000 course twice in back-to-back victories, and its offering at auction will be another historic moment for the winning Bronco as it crosses the block from Jones’ private collection, along with a handful of other impressive vehicles—including a Formula One Race Car—and a selection of cherished memorabilia items from Jones’ personal office. The entire Parnelli Jones Collection will join approximately 2,000 other vehicles and a large assemblage of Road Art offerings for the annual auction, which stands as Mecum’s flagship event and one of the auction house’s largest.
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 ‘72 wins in the world-famous Baja 1000 race held annually on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. The Baja 1000 is known to be one of the most prestigious, and most grueling, off-road races in the world, founded in 1967 and consistently attracting competitors and spectators from countries around the globe. 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.
Jones’ history as a professional race car driver and team owner is extensive; he’s best known for winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1963, and his other most notable career moments include being the first Indianapolis 500 driver to qualify at over 150 MPH in 1962 and winning the race as a team owner in 1970 and 1971 with driver Al Unser Sr. Jones’ race record extends far beyond the brickyard with a roster that also includes sports cars, sprint cars, midget cars, off-road vehicles and stock cars.
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.”
Dana Mecum’s 34th Original Spring Classic auction is open to buyers, sellers and spectators. Bidder registration is available online in advance and on-site for $200 and includes admission for two to each auction day. Those unable to attend and bid in-person are encouraged to register for telephone and internet bidding, which allow for convenient bidding from the comfort of home. Doors open each day at 8 a.m. with the vehicle auction beginning daily at 10 a.m. Portions of the auction will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.
Mecum’s website is updated daily with the latest consignments including detailed descriptions and photographs of the vehicles. To view the list, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder for this and all Mecum auctions, visit Mecum.com, or call (262) 275-5050 for more information.
Dana Mecum’s 34th Original Spring Classic
May 14-22, 2021
Indiana State Fairgrounds
1202 E 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205
Bidder Registration: $200 in advance online and at the door; includes admission for two to each auction day
Preview: Gates open daily at 8 a.m.
Auction: Vehicles begin at 10 a.m. daily
TV Schedule: to be announced
(All times Eastern)