Steve McQueen's Baja Boot

I was invited out to Thermal Club to see James Glickenhaus' new SCG 003 supercar, upon arriving the SCG was being serviced after a morning of testing, while the SCG 003 is an amazing car, it couldn't hold my attention once I noticed Steve McQueen's Baja Boot parked in the next space over. 

SCG 003
Glickenhaus has owned the Baja Boot since 2010 when he bought it during Monterey Car Week's Pebble Beach Auction. I was especially excited because the following day I would be driving down to Baja, California myself to take part in a four day Baja Racing adventure myself, and just by a stroke of luck, I was standing in front of one of the most iconic Baja race cars 60's and 70's.

Chad McQueen happened to be at the event and as we talked about the car and the history he would point to little details of the suspension that were changed as the car was improved over the years or some minor changes to the dash. He shared how Vic Hickey, a General Motors engineer, built the Baja Boot in 26 days at the Hurst facility in Michigan. General Motors had a "no racing" policy in place, but Hickey was able to find some parts and build an innovative inverse drive assembly that made for a compact four-wheel drive race buggy that could do 100 mph in the sand.

McQueen bought the Baja Boot used in 1968 after convincing his longtime friend Bud Ekins to be his co-driver. The car had raced previously in the 1967 race but retired with a blown transmission just under 300 miles into the NORRA Mexcian 1000 (the race that would become the Baja 1000). Steve's first race was the Stardust 7-11 in June 1968, 320 miles of desert racing just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The car ended up losing an axle and retired early.

Steve took the car to Mexico for the Baja 1000 in 1969 with co-driver Harold Daigh. Considered one of the most dangerous races in off-road racing, the experimental Baja Boot suffered a transmission failure which resulted in a DNF. After that, the car would go on to be raced by several different owners up into the 1980s.

Original Photo Via 
Inspired by this legendary car Glickenhaus is planning to build and sell a modern version of the Baja Boot, but no matter what the original will always be one of the coolest rides to ever race off-road.