The Insane Baja Race You've Never Heard Of

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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 or hit him up on Twitter @andr3wcollins to talk trucks.

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Andrew, another really cool off road race that does not get enough press is King of The Hammers. They run some crazy builds down there and the whole thing has an even more Mad Mad, zero fucks given kind of vibe.