Mecum Auctions will be auctioning off one of the coolest vintage race trucks of Baja fame this Friday in Santa Monica, CA. The truck is a 1969 Chevy C10 pickup that was built by Vic Hickey to compete in the 1968 Baja 1000. Cliff Coleman and Johnie Diaz drove the truck for Vic Hickey in its inaugural race at Baja 1000 and after a brutal 80 miles of rough race course; the engine began to fall apart and unfortunately lost six intake valves which forced Cliff and Johnie to devise a new plan. With only two working cylinders left, they limped the truck all the way to Ensenada and miraculously found a local Chevy dealer that had two new cylinder heads in stock. After performing an impromptu cylinder head swap, they got back on the race course and pushed on towards La Paz, finishing with a total time of just over 36 hours which is no small feat. Over its racing career, it was driven by racing legends Cliff Coleman, Bud Ekins, Johhny Dias, Mickey Thompson and Chuck Coye so there’s no question it’s got some racing history under its hood. McQueen never actually raced the truck but according to some it won the first off-road race at Riverside with Mickey Thompson at the wheel.
Vic Hickey sold the truck to Steve McQueen in 1970 along with both Baja Boots which he built as purpose race vehicles for Baja, which McQueen himself raced in the Baja 1000.
The Hickey built race truck was built using a 1-Ton cab on a half-ton frame for the sole purpose of using clearance lights on the roof of the cab which would make the truck more visible at night in the lonely desert of Baja. The Hickey C10 race truck is powered by a healthy fire breathing LT1 350 c.i. Chevy V8 with a Quadrajet carburetor mounted on a vintage high rise aluminum intake that puts the power to the ground via a tried and true heavy duty Turbo 400 automatic that’s beefed up to handle the stress of off-road driving. Both front and rear differentials still sport their original Vic Hickey differential covers and the roof mounted Lucas spotlight still shines up the night as it did during the truck’s glory days racing in Baja. The C10 still makes do with its original set of custom 16-inch steel wheels as well as Goodyear R3 All Terrain tires. Technology was relatively simple back it the late 60’s and when a problem arose, the solution was almost always a simple one. One example of that can still be seen on the C10 – a bungee cord is used as a safety system to keep the hood from flying up into the windshield while hitting a whooped out section of race course at high speed. The glove box sports a unique 1969 Mint 400 dash plaque commemorating its racing history. Of course, all the retro sponsor decals have been painstakingly reproduced to match the originals that have long since succumbed to desert pinstriping. Creature comforts inside the C10 are pretty nice for the era this truck was built in. A beautifully restored set of original 60’s Corvette bucket seats give a little more comfort than the factory bench seat would have allowed while a period correct Motorola CB radio ensures you can communicate with the outside world should you encounter any problem out in the desolate Baja desert. The original Vic Hickey roll cage might not pass tech inspection today for Class 8 racing but it sure as heck looks like it can take a beating and then some.
With just over 14,000 original miles, 1,000 of which are some of the most sought after in the world, this vintage race truck is a must buy item for any red blooded gearhead with a passion for going fast in the dust!
For more information on Steve Mcqueen's race truck auction, please visit: http://www.mecum.com/auctions/lot_detail.cfm?LOT_ID=LA0713-158205
UPDATE: We just recently learned that this awesome vintage race truck sold for a measly $60,000. With any luck we'll see this truck making some dust at the next NORRA 1000 race!