As the Whittaker Baja Team readies itself for the upcoming Mexican 1000, Bill Stroppe (left) and Parnelli Jones discuss strategy while poring over a detailed map of the race course. The now infamous “Big Oly” Ford Bronco would be entered as a two-wheel-drive entry in the 1971 race that covered 833 miles.
The team of Bill Stroppe and Parnelli Jones race their Bronco down the sandy peninsula during the 1970 Mexican 1000. With Stroppe as co-pilot and former Indy 500 winner Jones at the wheel, they would prove a formidable desert race duo competing in the modified class. During this time, Ford partnered with Stroppe and fielded a good number of race vehicles, including Pintos, Mustangs, F-100 pickups, and a 21-foot 4WD Condor motorhome equipped with refrigerator, toilet, beds, and shower.
We have to show you this clean, restored Bronco. This ’68 Ford started life as an engineering truck at Ford Motor Company. It was later turned over to the Stroppe crew, who modified and race prepped it for its debut in the 1969 Mexican 1000 race. Larry Minor and Rod Hall drove it to the overall win that year, making it the only 4WD vehicle to ever grab the title for fastest completion of the race. This one also completed the 2010 NORRA Mexican 1000 some 41 years after its debut race.
Jim Loomis and Bud Wright cross the sand in the 1971 Mexican 1000. Their four-wheel-drive Bronco competed in the stock class category. Carl Jackson and Jim Fricker also ran a Bronco in this class. Back in the day, the suspensions were a simple affair. Coil springs and leaf packs were common, and backed up with one or two hydraulic shocks per corner. Seats were much simpler, and the ride and performance was nothing compared to the long-travel suspensions of today.
Rob MacCachren was a Rough Rider in the 1990s. This shot was captured of him racing his #3
Dave Shoppe launches his General Tire sponsored Class 8 F-150 while pouring on the throttl
Robby Gordon has raced off-road for Ford as well. He has won seven SCORE class championshi