Aside from safety equipment and lights, this Raptor is pretty much stock.
Jay Leno takes a step outside of his cavernous garage for this latest video for a jaunt into the desert to get a little dirty. He meets up with off-road racing legend Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart, who has multiple Baja 500 and 1000 wins in his motorsports career, to play with a Toyota Tundra in the sand.
Toyota marks the 35th anniversary of its Toyota Racing Development performance arm this year, and the division is celebrating at this year's SEMA Show with a quartet of tuned off-roaders based on on the 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra that look more than ready to go just about anywhere.
Baja 1000 racer Adrian Cenni put on a show at the pre-race "contingency" in Ensenada, Mexico, performing what is claimed to be the first 360-degree barrel roll in front of a live audience - he isn't called "The Wildman" for nothing. But the claim isn't true, as Rob Dyrdek did a barrel roll in a Chevrolet Sonic, and a few others have completed the difficult stunt over the years. Perhaps this is the first 360-degree barrel roll in a truck...
The year 1963 was a pretty good one for things on wheels – Lamborghini was born that year, as was the Porsche 911, and we'll give a shout out to the all-American Apollo GT even though it only lasted four years. This summer, Petersen Automotive Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Baja 500 and Baja 1,000 desert races with an exhibit called Braving Baja: 1,000 Miles to Glory.
We see tribute vehicles come and go. Most of the lot are slaves to every last detail of the original, offering little more than a few engine upgrades to the mix. Then there are beasts like the one above. Built as an homage to Parnelli Jones' 1971 "Big Oly" Ford Bronco Baja 1,000 bruiser, this machine uses a modern trophy truck chassis wrapped in larger-than life fiberglass first-generation Bronco body. With 723 horsepower on tap, the truck is fully capable of bashing the desert into submission.
Last time Roadkill took a trip it inolved a $1,500 budget, a 1972 Pontiac Catalina and a trip from El Paso to Los Angeles. This time their adventures point northward to Alaska, and their chariot will be a clone of the 1968 Ford Ranchero that Hot Rod used to take a class win in the first Baja 1000. It is, naturally, called "Viva Raunchero."
Racing is racing. Whether it's pounding the quarter mile into submission or kicking it sideways around a circle track, going fender to fender or against the clock is the same kind of rush no matter the flavor. As you well know, some of the biggest names in hot rodding tried their hand at what would eventually become the Baja 1000 in the '60s. Parnelli Jones, Don Prudhomme, Jim Garner and Steve McQueen all headed to the sands of Mexico to bash around in massive muscle cars between 1967 and 1972.
Jessi and Patrick spent the first part of this episode getting acclimated to Mexico while learning what was in store for them behind the wheel of a desert racer in the Baja 1000. In order to officially check this off The List, however, they had to actually race in this grueling and dangerous contest of endurance that shows no mercy for greenhorns.
Most auto enthusiasts have the urge to race in their hearts, but few of us ever actually get to compete in the world's toughest races. For this episode of The List, we're making sure that Jessi and Patrick check that one off early. Fulfilling one of Jessi's own childhood dreams, we've hooked up our hosts with Wide Open Excursions, a company that offers the unique opportunity of buying your own wheel time in one of the world's toughest endurance races: the Baja 1000.
Electric vehicles can work hard, as the 2012 Redstone-Sun Cup (not pictured) should prove when it roars off as part of next year's Baja 1000 in Mexico. The challenge is not just to race across rough desert terrain – without roads – for 1,000 miles, but to "spur the best and the brightest in the electric vehicle and solar technology fields to work with racing teams" in the development of an electric Baja race vehicle that will be charged up by solar power.
At nearly every motorsports event we attend, there are usually strict rules about where photographers can be located. Generally, those spots are taken from behind multiple layers of gravel traps, concrete walls and catch fences. That's not the case for the Baja 1000. Race fans and photographers are allowed to pretty much go wherever they want, even if that means putting themselves in a dangerous position.
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