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Hagerty Employee

Parnelli Jones's Big Oly Bronco sells for $1.87M-a record price for a truck | Hagerty Media

At Mecum Indy this week, we were just about positive we'd see a world-record truck price. The only thing we weren't sure of was exactly how high the bids would go. Well, the hammer has fallen and Parnelli Jones's legendary Baja-winning "Big Oly" Bronco sold for $1.87M, including commission.

   I'm not only a Parnelli fan, but an Oly fan as well.  okay, I'm only an Oly fan because that's the beer my father drank when I was a kid.  My dad was a paraplegic - due to an accident a month before I was born - and one of my "son duties" was to fetch him a cold brew from time-to-time.  At some point, he would leave a little in the bottom of a bottle (the famous Oly 'Stubbies') and that was my reward.  So well before Parnelli drove this truck, It's The Water was already one of my mottos!

   Then as I grew into a teen and Jones became one of the most prolific all-around racers of the day, I remember being thrilled that he and Oly finally came together.  Baja was the most grueling and punishing race in the Western Hemisphere and guys like Parnelli and Bill Strope took it head-on.  Watching those races on Wide World of Sports was a "must-see-TV" event to both race and off-road fans like me.  This Bronco is a very cool truck and the new owner has a piece of off-road history that I'm happy to see has been preserved.


Cannot imagine dancing with this short-wheelbase wonder at 100+ mph across the Mexican Desert....truly a "when men were men" kinda feat. Also, how the hell did they get away with that oil cooler mounted behind the driver's head?

That's great, but what happened to the 200 MPH Daytona? Horribly missed the pre-auction estimates.
Intermediate Driver

I thought this truck was still at the Peterson Museum.

I watched the auction and I felt Mecum had to manufacture a lot of the excitement in the room. A lot of the audience weren't really as excited as I thought they should be. But the auctioneer did his usual yelling and screaming yet the crowd reaction was far from what I think they hoped it would be.

I owned a '71 Sport for 16 years, put a Mustang Mach 1 351W(built of course)in it. I always dreamed of it being the Big Oly Bronco.

I'm still trying to figure out what all the buzz was with this thing. I guess dooscoop32 hit the nail on the head mentioning that the auctioneer had to "manufacture the excitement in the room". Apparently, a lot of folks in that room were in my situation. I've been into muscle cars and all the cool vehicles for many years. Never heard once of this rig. I want to enjoy it. But can't, knowing it's "not much Bronco underneath a fiberglass exterior". I hope the new owner isn't feeling the same way after dropping $1.87 MILLION...with an M!!!

It is very Phantastic But it is not a Bronco I drove one for many years it came witha !70 CID engine and was one wonderful vehicle
Pit Crew

Dear Car Folks: From the posted comments, I’m guessing that most of you are too young to have listened to AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Roger Ward, Loyd Ruby, and Al Unser Sr., among others, battle it out at Indy on a Montgomery Ward’s transistor radio. Parnelli was a force to be reckoned with any time he was in a race car. Like Foyt and many others, they survived racing when it was WAY more dangerous than today. The Baja 1000 was one of those races, and Big Oly was the icon of Parnelli’s thirst to win, fabrication skill, and desire to humble the best in the off-road business. So, you really have to have grown up listening to Parnelli do battle on Memorial Day, and read about his accomplishments in Road and Track and Autoweek to truly appreciate what Big Oly meant to his fans and more importantly, what it meant to the man himself. Like us, he stood next to or sat in that car many times reliving some of the greatest experiences of his life. I hope you agree that those moments are truly priceless! I hope the new owner of Big Oly can preserve the race car and share the great memories of the racer! Parnelli was fearless!

@Pistachiobob, you've nailed it - it's true that many of the younger set just don't have the experience to "get" what Parnelli's generation gave to motorsports.  It's not their fault.  But the "famous" racers of today just can't give them the examples that the guys you mentioned (among others, like Jim Hall, Carroll Shelby, Rick Mears, the Unsers, Mikey Thompson, the Pettys, Cale Yarborough, and well, the list goes on) gave us.  The vehicles they drove - within the context of racing history - are as important as Mantle's bat, Patton's tanks, Glenn's Mercury capsule, Paul Bunyon's axe!

Pit Crew

I am with Pistachiobob and DUB6
on this. Big Oly is sacred and vehicles like it, seems like not much is to the younger gen. But what would you expect otherwise if you never had to bleed, sweat and toil like we did in the day and still do.
Even better to me its represents the blue oval.

nota truck, a jeep. Highly modified eh? Super provenance no? Hope it went to someone w/a unmodified one. This one? donate toa museum & geta big tax write off, do a public service!
8^ 0
- -Chad