Further proof that motorsports can be dangerous.
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.
Toyota's Tacoma may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but it's received a mild refresh for 2012, and a new "limited edition" package courtesy of in-house tuning arm, Toyota Racing Development. Toyota showed a preproduction TRD T/X Baja at last fall's Texas State Fair and then again at SEMA, with the real deal now poised to go on sale in May.
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.
As a bone-stock machine, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is an impressive piece of engineering, but that doesn't mean that the platform can't be improved upon. The crew from Stewart's Race Works has turned its fabricating skills toward creating a luxury prerunner version of he go-anywhere pickup, and the result is nothing short of astounding. With a massive 90-inch track width and suitably epic amounts of wheel travel, this Raptor is filled with custom, one-off parts. The front suspension boasts 26-in
Lexus looks to be giving the Baja 1000 its due. The luxury automaker showed off an LX 570 built by JT Grey Racing to take to the desert sands. With dual King Racing shocks, large 37-inch BF Goodrich tires and a host of safety equipment, the high-riding SUV looks ready to do battle with the best of them. Inside, Sparco was kind enough to supply a set of racing seats as well as an EVO steering wheel. A Lowrance HD7 / LMF 400 navigation ensures that the driver knows where the course is headed, and
Toyota is headed to the Baja 1000 next year with a special Tacoma built specifically to take the worst that the Mexican desert can throw at it. The pickup has been specially-prepared by Long Beach Racers, a group of Toyota enthusiasts who have made a habit of building some of the toughest trucks to take to the off-road race. Created as a tribute to the production Tacoma TRD TX, the Long Beach Racers Tacoma boasts custom Bilstein 60mm racing shocks and 16-inch TRD wheels clad in 35-inch BF Goodri
There are 23 drivers on Team BFGoodrich, but only six of them will get to pilot the team buggy in the SCORE Baja 1000. Two of the six will be automatically entered after being crowned champions at the SCCA National Runoffs. The other four, well, they'll be relying on you: BFG is letting fans vote for drivers to fill the other seats.