4LOW Offroad Magazine|February/March 2020
Held in the wilds of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula for the last half a century the Baja 1000 has always been one of the ultimate tests of engineering and driving skills. A literal graveyard of stock car parts, innovation in vehicle design had come to the fore even way back in the late ‘60s… as seen in the famous Boot. Built by Vic Hinkey, who would go on to design both the Lunar Rover and the Humvee, it was a space-framed 4x4 with a mid-mounted V8 and all-round fully independent suspension. Well ahead of its time, it is considered to be the grandfather of all today’s Trophy Trucks.
1969 BAJA 500 WINNER
Briefly owned and raced by Steve McQueen, it won the first running of the Baja 500 in 1969…. the same year that Rod Hall took victory in the longer Baja 1000 in a Ford Bronco. Long retired from active service it was bought a few years ago for the Glickenhaus collection, but although it hasn’t raced since the mid-’70s it has inspired one of the most intriguing Baja entries for many, many years.
The story of how the Glickenhaus Boot got to Ensenada began back in 2005 with a conversation between Andrea Pininfarina, of the famous design house, and James Glickenhaus, a well known collector of cars. He asked that if instead of simply collecting cars, what would he make? That question, coming from such a luminary of the automotive world, was the spark that brought the glorious Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus cars to life. The Boot is the latest in a prestigious line of these motoring masterpieces.
“For us Baja Boot is an incredible piece of history,” James’ son Jesse explains. “Of all the cars in our collection, it was always this one that elicited the biggest smiles, from little kids to people who are not typically excited about cars. At the same time, we saw many companies, especially luxury brands making so called ‘SUVs’ that are completely incapable in serious off-road conditions. For us, a real SUV is something you can drive to Ensenada, race in the Baja 1000, and then drive home.”
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