The little car sits among a veritable garden of massive, lifted four by four trucks. It is a funny sight at first and if we could turn real life into the movie “Cars” those big trucks would all be looking at the little VW bug with a nervous eye. Why would vehicles that could literally back over this little car have any sort of fear or respect towards it? Class 11, that’s why.
This little car competes in the most brutal form of long course off road racing known to man. The Class 11 category at Baja is limited to stock VW Bugs and when we say stock we mean it. The rule book is hilariously thin for these things. Stock brakes, stock 1600cc displacement, stock single or dual port heads, stock single or dual carbs, etc. The suspension is required to be largely stock with a couple of caveats. Torsion bars can be modified to give more ground clearance. Shocks can be moved within 2″ of factory location, no bypass shocks, etc. Body must be a stock Type 1 Bug. Stock Type 1 transmissions only with four forward gears, an open differentia(!), and a 4.12 ring and pinion. The things make like 70hp all in.
Read all that again and then decide if you’d want to strap into this car for a 1,000 mile trip down the Baja Peninsula. There’s a reason that the guys who race trophy trucks often tell people at the real hardcore racers at these events are the maniacs that compete in Class 11.
We’re guessing that this car is a fresh build because it is immaculate in every way. The paint sparkled in the daylight (it as dusk when we shot these photos), the wheels and tires are mint, the interior is spotless, and it shows none of the signs of being hammered to within an inch of its life through dirt, rocks, and booby traps set be locals. The goal is to travel the course under the 49 hour time limit that SCORE imposes for the race. Many teams try multiple times before completing the race or finally coming to their senses and giving up.
There are lots of amazing human feats performed while racing, but to gut out the Baja 1000 in a VW just like this one may top them all. Now are you understanding why all of the pretty show trucks understand that this scrappy little bastard would knock ’em senseless if they tried to give it attitude?