For several months, we had been anticipating the sale of “Big Oly.” On May 22, the history-making vehicle made records once again, selling for $1.87 million, the most a truck has taken in. Also auctioned at the Mecum event were the race helmet and goggles worn by Parnelli Jones.
Since this was the first time the vehicle has left the hands of the famed racer, we asked trusted Bronco expert Todd Zuercher his thoughts and perspective on this major sale.
Bronco Nation (BN): Todd, you followed every minute of the auction. What did you think of the final price?
Todd Zuercher (TZ): It went for seven figures, as I think most everyone estimated, but it didn’t bring the money I thought it would. I thought it would go for over $2 million –– and maybe even $3 million.
BN: For those who couldn’t attend in person or watch the live stream, how were the energy levels for this famed SUV?
TZ: I was surprised that Mecum didn’t run Oly during “prime time” on Friday night – perhaps they don’t do that like some of the other large auctions do. There appeared to be two bidders that really wanted it –– one in-person and one bidding via phone through an onsite proxy who disappeared as soon as the bidding ended. Rumor is that a CA collector bought it, and it will reside not far from its longtime home in Torrance, CA.
BN: What else wowed the crowd?
TZ: The Parnelli Jones memorabilia went for unreal prices as well –– his Big Oly helmet went for over $25K. It was good to see Parnelli at the auction in person; I was glad to see him able to make the trip.
As a longtime Oly fan, I think I’m still in shock that it was sold but happy that it will stay in the U.S. and will probably be on display for others to see it.
The History Doesn’t Stop There
To hear more from Todd, join us at the Carlisle Ford Nationals, June 4-6 in Pennsylvania –– an event Big Oly showed up at in 2016. Todd will be hosting a walking tour of the Stroppe Reunion display, as well as doing signings for his book “Ford Bronco: A History of Ford’s Legendary 4×4.”
Upcoming Ford Bronco Auction Items
And for more opportunities to own unique and custom Broncos, including a special Bronco being auctioned for notable causes, meet up with Bronco Nation in Las Vegas for the Barrett-Jackson auction, June 17-19.
Broncos to be sold include:
• A restored and modified 1966
• A frame-off nut-and-bolt restored 1969
• An uncut 1972 with fully restored hard top
• A 2021 4-door Badlands Raiders edition: charity sale for the Raiders Foundation and Grant a Gift Autism Foundation
• Kevin Hart’s 1977 Bronco
• And others!