mexican 1000

Hey all you My Life at Speed-ers, I finally have a few new pics from Day 2.  I was behind the wheel and started the 2nd stage, and the 555 Bandito Brothers buggy was very quick and we made up quite a bit of time. This is a really fun car.

After our problems on Day 1, the guys worked until 4:30am back at the shop and then drove until 4pm to get to us. Long day for all of us.  You know you have great friends when they stop whatever they are doing, just to help out.  You know our buddy, Jet Boat Billy – well,  Jet Boat Billy got us a motor from his company, Picture Car Warehouse, and had his guys drive it to Mexico for us.  That is a good buddy for sure.

Resto Ford Raptor: A New Racer With 80’s Style - Masterpiece In Metal

Due to its appearance, you may think that this truck is destined for the NORRA Mexican 1000. You’d be wrong. Yes, it looks like the Ford race trucks from the early 80’s, but it’s all new underneath.

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First Baja 1000 – 27 Hours to La Paz

Baja 1000 is an off-road race that takes place on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula in November. The Baja 1000 is part of the SCORE Championship Desert Racing Series that include the Baja 500, San Felipe 250 and the new San Felipe Challenge of Champions in place of the Primm 300 which had been the only SCORE race in the United States. The Baja 1000 allows various types of vehicle classes to compete on the same course – from such small and large bore motorcycles, stock VW, production vehicles, buggies, Trucks, and custom fabricated race vehicles. The course has remained relatively the same over the years with the majority of events being either a point-to-point race from Ensenada to La Paz, or a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada.

The first official race started in Tijuana, Baja California, on October 31, 1967, and was named the NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally. The course length that year was 849 miles (1,366 km) and ended in La Paz, Baja California Sur, with the overall winning time of 27 hours 38 minutes (27:38) set by Vic Wilson and Ted Mangels while driving a Meyers Manx buggy.

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The Insane Baja Race You've Never Heard Of

The film Dust To Glory captures the fierce competition of the high-stakes Baja 1000 desert race. But there’s another amazing event that runs down the peninsula every year: the NORRA Mexican 1000. We tagged along to shoot this video and show you why it’s called “a high-horsepower conga line to the finish.”

The National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) was basically the first outfit to do big time racing in Baja back in the 1960s. After a long hiatus they’re at it again, with some of the wildest drivers and weirdest vehicles in competitive off-road racing.

Plenty of people race cars, trucks, and buggies in Baja but what makes the Mexican 1000 unique is the attitude. Every day’s a hard fought battle against the elements, but every night’s a party and everybody involved does everything they can to get each other to the finish line together.

It’s a kind of camaraderie you just don’t see at most other racing events, to say nothing of the batshit machines that line up at the start of stages every day.

This year Robby Gordon showed up in his scratch-built supercar designed for the Dakar, but the Mexican 1000 is mostly about old cars built by folks high on creativity and low on cash. Just watch the film and meet some of these maniacs.

Special thanks to everybody at NORRA who let us come join their party, especially Jenny Coleman for sneaking us across the border, Robby Gordon for the ride in his prerunner, and Terry Rahe for flying us up and down the peninsula in his Cessna Skylane.

Image via the author


Andrew P. Collins is Jalopnik’s off-road and adventure guy. Shoot him an email at andrew@jalopnik.com or hit him up on Twitter @andr3wcollins to talk trucks.