Baja Bustin’ Bronco

CAR: 1969 Ford Bronco special
ENGINE: 351ci
SPEED: 140mph
WEIGHT: 2620lbs
RANGE: 500miles

Parnelli Jones was already legend in American track racing by 1969, when Bill Stroppe, who built many of Jones’ winning cars, challenged him to try off-road racing. After Jones’ flat-out style proved a Bronco buster in the 1969 Mexican 1000, Stroppe built the first “funny car” for off-road racing. Named for their beer sponsor, Big Oly used a chrome-moly space frame in place of a Ford chassis, extra-long suspension, with fiberglass and aluminum body panels in the shape of a Ford Bronco, and a wing roof. Big Oly weighed 1000lbs less than its competitors, and totally dominated the 1971 and ’72 Mexican 1000, and the Baja 500 and Mint 400 in 1973. Jones’ winning time from Tijuana to La Paz in 1971 was 14hours 59minutes.