Back in March 2021, the legendary Ford Bronco off-road racer known as “Big Oly” hit the auction block at Mecum’s Indy sale, and ultimately raked in a record $1.87 million when the hammer fell. However, the new owner didn’t exactly choose to keep the famous Baja legend cooped up in storage, and instead took it out for some off-roading – when it unfortunately landed on its roof. For those of us that don’t quite have a couple of million to drop on something like the real thing but would be happy with the next best thing, this 1971 Ford Bronco Big Oly replica is now set to be auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson’s 2023 Las Vegas sale, joining some other special Blue Oval rides on that docket.
Though it’s a replica of a famous off-road racer, this 1971 Ford Bronco is a pretty special build in its own right, riding on a one-off TIG-welded chromoly tube frame chassis that’s been powder-coated. As one might imagine, the suspension has been heavily fortified with goodies including 24-karat gold-plated Sandco upper and lower A-arms, Bilstein Blackhawk shocks, Bilstein 2.5-inch coilovers and 2-inch bump stops, Hypercoil springs, and PRP Limit straps, giving it 24 inches of wheel travel up front. In the rear, 24-karat gold-plated four-link Dirt-Tech trailing arms, Bilstein Blackhawk shocks, Bilstein 2.5-inch coilovers and two-inch bump stops, Hypercoil springs, and PRP Limit straps add up to 31 inches of wheel travel.
Power for this Big Oly tribute Bronco comes from a Ford 351 Windsor V8 that’s been punched out to 438 cubic-inches with a Dart block, Ross ceramic-coated pistons, Ford Performance heads, a forged steel crank, H-beam rods, a Comp Cams solid roller camshaft, Fast EFI throttle body, and a Holley Terminator X EFI setup, which helps it produce a healthy 723 horsepower. That power flows to a set of one-off American Racing wheels and 39-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR tires via a Powerglide transmission and 5.14 gears.
This pristine, top-notch build has been a regular in magazines and shows since its completion years ago, making appearances at the San Diego Automotive Museum and Petersen Automotive Museum along the way. Now, it’s going up for grabs as perhaps the finest Big Oly tribute out there, which should make it a desirable entity when it crosses the auction block in a couple of weeks.