Illustration for article titled Ford Baja Truck Loses Autocross, Wins My Heart
Screenshot: importg37
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

This is Joe Bosman’s 1965 Ford F-100. This vehicle is built for the desert, with giant tires and long-travel suspension for taking big whoops at high speed. What it is not meant for is autocross.

And that is exactly why I love it.

Here is Bosman’s F-100 in action, in its element, out in the desert.

See the jumps?

See the high-speed running?

Starting in the mid-1960s, Ford pickups became particularly desirable for desert running, as they came stock with Twin I-Beam front suspensions. You can read a detailed look into how that all works here, when we talked about it in the old Ford Ranger, but the idea is basically that the lateral suspension arm for each wheel pivots about a mount on the opposite side of the vehicle. It’s a simple way to get independent front suspension, but the setup happens to allow for very long travel.


If you’re just driving around town, that’s not particularly important. If you’re bombing the desert and landing huge jumps, it is.

Where it is also not wildly critical is on a flat autocross track, where our driver quickly figures out that the relatively soft suspension dives under braking, puts big weight on the front, and wants to plough, push, understeer into corners. Nothing that some power oversteer can’t solve.

Bosman didn’t finish first in this competition. As far as I can tell by the results posted online, he appears to have finished last in his truck class. But I love it all the more for proving that you should autocross everything, and that the more “wrong” a vehicle is to drive, the more fun you’ll probably have wheeling it.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter