This year marks the 50th Baja 1000 race and will see off-road vehicles barreling over 1 825km of rough terrain from 14-18 November, starting in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico and ending in La Paz Baja California Sur.
Volkswagen has chosen to sponsor a ‘team of eager enthusiasts‘ from Denver, Colorado,
The Beetle carries a VW horizontally opposed 1.6-litre air-cooled engine, and a type 1 transaxle that has been modified slightly (within the bounds of the Class 11 competition rules) for driving in the desert.
The 165R-15 tyres have been swapped to more appropriate 235/75R-15s BFG All Terrains, the rear trailing arms have been reinforced, and a skid plate has been added for extra protection. Stiffer springs have been fitted and the dampers have been replaced with external reservoir Fox units. A heavy-duty torsion bar adjuster has been fitted at the back, and a safety cell and the Baja Bug gains a roll cage and auxiliary lighting.
All of the glass and upholstery has been stripped to keep the bug light and the seats have been replaced with racing bucket seats with full harnesses. Navigation and communication equipment has been added too.
“For decades, Volkswagen Beetle vehicles, Beetle-based racers and Dune Buggies have been competing in this epic event”” said Pietro Zollino, Chief Communications Officer at VW. “We felt it appropriate to sponsor this team of eager enthusiasts who are following in the wheeltracks of Volkswagen desert racers over the past 50 years. We’re looking forward to tracking progress over the course of the event and wish them luck!”
As that fast little Looney Toon’s Mexican mouse, Speedy Gonzales would say, “Andalay, Andalay, areeba!”