Famous Ford Bronco Big Oly Rolls into ‘Legends of Los Angeles’ Exhibit
Opening Nov. 10, Petersen Auto Museum’s salute to SoCal car culture & racing icon Parnelli Jones includes some standout Ford vehicles.
On November 10, Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum opens its newest exhibit, “Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders,” and from what we’ve seen so far, there are definitely some legendary vehicles in the mix, including a show-stealing 1970 Ford Bronco Big Oly. And that’s only one of the 12 custom rides and race cars that make up what looks to be another stellar automotive showcase by the Petersen, which is hosting the exhibit through December 1, 2019.
Big Oly is not just a pretty face either. This unstoppable Bronco is a racing legend. Designed by Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing, Big Oly was one of the first purpose-built off-road vehicles to compete at Baja. Built from scratch, it featured a chromoly tube-frame one-off chassis and Bronco-style fiberglass body. From 1970 to 1974, the team of Bill Stroppe and Parnelli Jones raced Big Oly to numerous wins, including at the Baja 1000 in 1971 and 1972.
In addition to Big Oly, there are a couple more mentionable standouts in the new exhibit, including a cool 1929 Ford Model A Roadster 22 Jr. and a sleek 1967 Long “Shelby Super Snake.” Equally fast and unique vehicles rounding out the collection include a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 FIA, 1924 Miller 122, 1963 Ol’Yaller Mark IX, 1966 AAR Eagle #31 ,and a 1975 Edmunds Tamale Wagon.
Featured alongside the stunning Bronco and awesome array of racers and two racing engines on display, the Petersen has amassed an eclectic collection of racing artifacts and produced a 180-degree panoramic video to provide an immersive way to experience a variety of the fastest and most famous cars built in and around Los Angeles.
Reflecting the diversity of the collection’s theme, the exhibit will present race cars by the region’s renowned designers and engineers, including Fred Offenhauser, Harry Miller, Frank Kurtis, and Max Balchowsky. In addition to two racing engines on display, key vehicles will include the 1924 Miller 122, the 1929 Ford 22 Jr. Model A Roadster, the 1963 Ol’Yaller Mark IX, the 1966 AAR Eagle #31 and the 1975 Edmunds Tamale Wagon.
The “Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders” exhibit, as well as the museum’s recent opening night reception on Nov. 8, pay homage to motorsports legend Parnelli Jones, who has won nearly every major auto racing event in America, including six Indy Car wins, four NASCAR wins, 25 sprint car wins, and 25 midget car wins.
“Although people tend to associate different cities with car racing, Los Angeles has played one of the most consequential roles in the sport,” said Executive Director Terry L. Karges. ͞”Our new exhibit pays tribute to this rich history and honors racing greats such as Parnelli Jones, who has been a hero to fans around the nation for decades… [and] one of the most successful racers to come out of Los Angeles with accomplishments in a wide range of motorsports.”
The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. For more details, click here.
You’ll have to excuse now. We have to get back to staring at that Bronco.
Photos: Petersen Automotive Museum/Kahn Media