$1.87 Million “Big Oly” Bronco Rolls, Keeps Racing Anyway

$1.87 Million “Big Oly” Bronco Rolls, Keeps Racing Anyway

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When Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe debuted the purpose-built Bronco racer dubbed “Big Oly” in the early Seventies, they began a revolution. The tube framed off-roader inspired a generation of other purpose-built Baja racers, making it impressively capable for its era. When you have a vintage racing car capable enough of taking on modern off-road events, you take it to modern off-road events. When you take your vintage racing car to modern off-road events, sometimes it rolls over.

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“Big Oly” was running in the NORRA Mexican 1000, a week-long event that started on Friday. A clip shared by desert racing video producer NTR Films shows the Bronco spinning out of control mid-corner. It then slides off the side of the road, tipping over before ultimately coming to a stop on its massive front wing.

big oly bronco rollover

Fishgistics / Facebook

Photos posted by desert racing community FishGistics after the rollover show surprisingly little cosmetic damage, even after the car was flipped back over. It apparently continued 0n after the rollover and is not yet listed as a retirement on the official NORRA website. That should mean “Big Oly” is still on pace to finish the rally as scheduled.

While it’s always upsetting to see such a culturally significant car crashed, historic racers are crashed and repaired surprisingly often. This is one of the most important desert racers ever, and, after years in Parnelli Jones’ personal collection, it’s good to see “Big Oly” back racing. Even on its roof.

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