No small lot can contain BJ Baldwin’s need to drive the crap out of his 800-horsepower trophy truck. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who says he wears an exterior catheter to avoid stopping to pee during a race. He’s that committed to the art of the hoon.
Nope, it’s not a “Colorado-inspired” body kit wrapped around a space frame. Well, actually, it pretty much is at this point. But this seriously extreme off-road truck started life as a regular-ass crew cab Chevy Colorado.
Racing cars in Mexico is fun, it’s exciting, it’s hard work, and sometimes it burns so badly it’ll leave you sobbing in a bathroom begging for death. And I’m not talking about the Montezuma’s Revenge—or at least not just that.
“The BajaLite is a good entry-level race truck,” they said. “You’ll have fun,” they said. Then somebody went and signed us, the website you are currently reading, Jalopnik, into the 2017 Baja 500 in the same class as Honda and Toyota’s freaking factory teams. So, you know, hope they’re ready to be run down by a few…
Thousands of rich rednecks, uh, I mean, “off-road enthusiasts” are descending on Mexico’s Baja peninsula this week for the 49th annual Baja 1000– a race of epic proportions in a beautiful setting featuring readily available tacos. Here’s how to check it out, and who to pay attention to if you’re a new spectator.
Desert racing is insane: fact. Juggling the insanity of keeping your bucking bronco of a race truck moving forward while constantly having to wipe sand off your helmet takes it to another level.
Ever ever heard “when in doubt, throttle out?” Sure you have. Probably from a guy crushing a can of Bud Light on his forehead right before rolling his Jeep backwards down a hill. That said, there is truth to this ethos. As you’ll see here.
Desert silt is one of the toughest surfaces to race on. There’s no grip, and wheels just spin in the deep, fine sand. “It has the consistency of baby powder, but it’s feet deep,” explained desert racer and OppositeLock moderator Dusty Ventures. Sounds like a bad time!
You know that shocks are what control how your car rides, but what’s actually going on inside the tube of a high-performance off-road shock? I took some apart and put them back together (with some engineers who know what they’re doing) to find out.
The Herbst Truggy “Land Shark” AKA “El Tiburón” is reckoned one of the winningest, ugliest and least-killable cars in desert racing. That image may have been slightly tarnished when it turned into a Baja bonfire. But two months later, here it is looking badass all over again.
You would think a 10,000 horsepower funny car drag racer would be fast. But only when you put it up against an 850 horsepower trophy truck offroader do you realize how unearthly fast it actually is my god in heaven.
There are bad judgement calls, and then there’s hiding in a hole so a race car will drive over your head.
Contrary to what might sound logical, four-wheel drive is not ubiquitous in off-road racing. In fact most of the super hot race winners at an event like the Baja 1000 are rear-drive. But that might be starting to change, as builders are figuring out how to match 4WD systems with today’s epic long-travel suspension.
Some 30 years ago, this Nissan Frontier “Hardbody” was supposedly the first pickup truck built for off-road racing... with the engine behind the driver. Behold: the sort-of first “trophy truck”! Now it’s back in Baja, which you can watch live all week!
Americans Nicole Pitell-Vaughan and Chrissie Beavis finished second in the 2016 Rally Aicha des Gazelles; a 650 mile all-female off-road race in Morocco. The goal is simply “get to Point B,” which gets exciting when your only navigation tools are a compass and a paper map from the 1950's.
The 2016 Mint 400 off-road racing spectacle just wrapped up outside Las Vegas. We had a front-row seat in our $240,000 Mercedes-Benz 4x4, now you can too with these kickass action clips (and a few bonus photos!)
Professional ass-kicker and UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra may be able to beat the piss out of another human being, but when it comes to off-road driving it looks like he can’t keep his own fluids in his body.