‘Big Oly’ Bronco Baja 1000 Racer

Nov 19, 2018

Category: Rides

There are a number of ways a particular vehicle can get famous, from appearing on TV or in a movie to having been designed by a noteworthy automotive expert. But one of the most prestigious, at least for the grittier side of car fanaticism, is by having a legendary racing pedigree. And, when it comes to the Baja 1000 (formerly the Mexican 1000), probably no vehicle is quite as noteworthy as the ‘Big Oly’ Bronco.

Interestingly enough, this specially-built off-road beast isn’t actually a Ford Bronco at all — it was just made to look like one. Rather, it’s a custom job made with a tubular steel frame, a lightweight fiberglass body, and a very powerful 351 Windsor V8 engine. Perhaps the most impressive part of its unique construction, however, is its iconic wing. Mounted to the roll cage, this riveted aluminum topper was actually designed using the same principles as the wings of airplanes, only in reverse — helping to apply significant and necessary downforce while racing.

Of course, this ride would be nothing without a story. And, boy, has it got one. ‘Big Oly’ was actually originally called the ‘Crazy Colt’ before Olympia beer came on as a sponsor. But what happened prior to that is even more interesting. You see, this Bronco was famously driven by Parnelli Jones, a prolific IndyCar racer. So the story goes, Jones initially had no interest in racing off-road — that is, until Bill Stroppe (his future boss and a storied racer in his own right) goaded him into it, claiming Jones’ constitution couldn’t handle off-roading. Following that interaction, they went on (along with ‘Big Oly’) to win race after race, and even effectively changed the way Baja 1000 racers were constructed and driven. Now, this custom Bronco can be seen at the Petersen Automotive Museum in all its unique glory. But it will only be on display through November of next year, so you’d better act quickly.

Learn More: Here

HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

More From Rides

Proof Reinvents Modern Cargo Shorts With Welt-Pocketed DWR-Coated Poly Pair

A decidedly streamlined, lightweight, and thoroughly rugged pair of outdoor shorts.

Posted By Tim Huber

Partner
Featured Image

Genesis Enters The EV Market With An Electrified Version Of Its G80 Luxury Sedan

With an eco-friendly interior making use of natural materials and recycled PET.

Posted By

Apr 19, 2021

Featured Image

Coolnvintage Will Build The Bespoke Land Rover Defender Of Your Dreams

Elite built-to-order Defenders, each born out of over 1,000 hours of labor.

Posted By

Apr 19, 2021

Featured Image

This Harley-Davidson Scrambler Is A Performance Bike Dressed To The Nines

A leather-clad custom XR1200 street scrambler built by Dalstra Motoren.

Posted By

Apr 19, 2021

Featured Image

Geely Debuts Its Ultra-Luxe Zeekr Brand With The 001 Shooting Brake EV

As well as a plan to build some 2,200 fast-charging stations across mainland China.

Posted By

Apr 19, 2021

Featured Image

Yasid Design Turned A Volkswagen Beetle Into An Aerodynamic Le Mans-Ready Racer

A typical off-the-wall automotive concept from the daring London-based designer.

Posted By

Apr 19, 2021