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Vintage Baja 500 - Vintage Vault

Posted in Features on May 7, 2015
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Photographers: TEN Archives

As we sit here writing Vintage Vault toward the end of 2014, the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is under way in Baja, Mexico. While we wish we could be there, either as a racer, spectator, or as support crew, someone has to put the best magazine in the world together. Still, we can do a little bench racing and continue to show you images from The Enthusiast Network’s vast photo archives. So, to that end, how about a few more vintage images of Baja Jeeps to go with the theme?

Flattie Racer Uno
For some reason, we have an inordinate number of images from the 1974 Baja 500, and apparently several photographers were on hand for the race (Four Wheeler magazine had a vehicle in the race that won its class!). We came across several images of this interesting flatfender race vehicle and decided to share them. In this photo, taken by Jack Brady, we can see the Jeep sitting on the starting line. The flattie seems to have headers with four primary tubes indicating a V-8 power plant, and the front suspension uses multiple shocks and coil springs.

Flattie Racer Dos
Coil springs, visible here, combined with what sure look like radius arms (in the previous image) makes this Jeep very interesting. In fact, we wonder if the stretched Flattie body is sitting atop a modified early Bronco frame? We don’t know who the driver of 311 is, but the co-driver is clearly Jeff Book as visible on the side of the Jeep in this image by Bob D’Olivo for Petersen Publishing Company. Other modifications visible are a Saginaw power steering box, a few KC Daylighter auxiliary lights, Sand Blaster tires, a transmission cooler, and what sure looks like a Dana 44 front axle.

Race CJ-6
CJ-6s are just cool, and this sweet image of old number 110 by Jack Brady for Image International from the 1974 Baja 500. The Mefford CJ-6 looks to have long front fenders, so it’s a ’72 or newer and is piloted by Ray Russell. We spy some Warn locking hubs on the front Dana 30, and the Jeep also has a pretty clean shackle reversal to help smooth out the bumps. The front bumper has a nice brush guard, KC lights, and a train horn to alert slower cars of the Jeep’s presence. We are betting 110 was running an AMC V-8 (maybe a 401) and an auto tranny.

Splashing CJ-6
Old 110 hits a water crossing with speed. Well, we are betting a bit more than 5 mph anyways! This photo is by Eric Rickman, shot for Specialty Publications.

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