FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2022
The Latest From NORRA
Meyers Manx Brings "Big Oly" to the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 Presented By Method Race Wheels!
AGUA DULCE, CALIF. Meyers Manx brings Big Oly, the world’s most famous Bronco, to the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000.
The Big Oly Bronco is one of the most iconic race vehicles ever built. Driven by the legendary racer Parnelli Jones, it brought attention to the burgeoning sport of off road racing. The sight of the golden Bronco flying across the desert left an indelible mark on the racing landscape in the 1970’s. Jones was a talented driver on pavement and dirt, which gave instant credibility to the new sport of off road racing. In 1964, Parnelli won eight races driving for Bill Stroppe to take the USAC Stock Car title. He also won back-to-back at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1963 and 1964. Stroppe wanted Parnelli to race one of his off road Broncos and taunted him into competing. Once Parnelli tried it, he was hooked on off road racing.
Many say that Big Oly was the first Trophy Truck; even though Trophy Trucks would not exist for decades. It has a tubular chassis built with TIG welded 4130 chromoly tubing and a custom fiberglass body in the shape of the Ford Bronco. Once Parnelli drove it, Bill Stroppe was challenged to make it strong enough to withstand the pace that Parnelli wanted to run. Big Oly became an icon, and many believe it to be the ultimate Ford Bronco.
At the NORRA Mexican 1000 in 1970, a broken rear axle sidelined Jones, but the following year they won the overall, shattering the record by over an hour. They won the Mexican 1000 again the following year in 1972, and the Baja 500, and Mint 400 in 1973.
Parnelli Jones raced everything from NASCAR to Trans Am and Pikes Peak in amazing machines, but Big Oly had such a place in his heart he kept the truck and left it in original condition for over 50 years. In 2021 custodianship of Big Oly passed to a new party, and Meyers Manx is assisting them in showcasing this iconic vehicle to a new generation of Baja racing fans.
In 2022, the back to back winner is coming home again to the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 presented by Method Race Wheels. In honor of its return, Big Oly will be the first ever Grand Car Marshal of the race. It will also participate in the Slow Baja Safari class. It’s quite an honor, and a privilege for the race fans and fellow competitors to witness Big Oly back in the dirt. Meyers Manx, a pioneer in Baja racing and creator of the original Manx buggy is facilitating Big Oly’s entry into the event. The company believes that the story of Baja racing deserves to be told on a global scale, and that the most effective way to do this is to bring back hero vehicles like Big Oly and the famous Manx buggies that raced in the 1960’s.
The best thing about the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 is the shared experiences, and friendships made along the way. The second best thing is all the cool vehicles that participate. Each has a story, even the brand new builds. Many are treasures that took a lot of work to discover, restore, and return to the dirt. Others were just dusted off, and pressed back into service. It’s amazing how many people remember a certain car or truck like Big Oly from when they were young. Sometimes it’s not the car, it’s the driver. Whether your entry into the race is a piece of history, or the result of father and son time, NORRA is home to everyone. Sign up today and join in on all the fun and adventure. Everything you need to know about the Mexican 1000 can be found at www.norra.com. Go to the site and discover for yourself why NORRA has exploded in popularity. You can experience the same wonder and sense of achievement those early thrill seekers sought in the 1960’s when you join NORRA in Baja. Don’t miss out on the fun.
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Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, five-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, as well as modern pre-runners, trucks, buggies, UTVs, bikes and desert Rally Raid cars.
Pearlman’s late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970's.
NORRA enjoys corporate partnerships with Yokohama Tire, Method Race Wheels, South Point Hotel & Casino, Bilstein Shock Absorbers, STEEL-IT, RIGID, Multitool USA, Satélite del Norte, Biltwell, Cervecería Transpeninsular, PCI Race Radios, The Fab School, Schampa, K&N, Baja Bush Pilots, Mag7 Pits, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF), B3KREATIV, and many more.