The Baja Boot buggy was built for
the Baja 1000 using NASA space technology
in just 28 days.
Steve was obsessed with speed, both on 2 and 4 wheels. The legendary chase scene in a Mustang GT in his first film Bullitt was the start of his real passion: making his own film about car racing. It was to be ‘Le Mans’. Steve signed up for the real race and there was no script because everything had to be based on reality. Despite a budget of $60 million, a staggering amount for the time, the film was not a great success.
Steve McQueen lived at top speed and always determined what was good or bad for him in his career. He showed a striking resemblance to James Dean, and also succeeded him when it comes to leading roles, position as a cool person and driving a Porsche. The big difference was that Steve did not die behind the wheel of his Porsche, but from the consequences of asbestos cancer. Steve was just 50 years old.
The Baja 1000 is a 1,000-mile race along Mexico 39’s Baja California Peninsula,
ominously known as “The Devils Playground.” Steve had a special relationship with this race: he took part from 1967 to 1975. In 1969 Steve and navigator Harold Daigh took part in this hellish rally with a special Baja Boot buggy. After the start the race went according to plan and they were in the lead. In fast sections they flew the buggy 50 to 70 feet high through the air and that demanded a lot from the vehicle. After 237 miles it was the end of the story when the transmission exploded.
The four wheel drive Baja Boot buggy was built by Vic Hickey. Vic was one ofV General Motors’ top engineers. However, GM had a “no racing” policy at the time, so the Baja Boot buggy was built in just 28 days under cover of darkness in Hurst, Michigan. They constructed a tubular steel frame with independent suspension and installed a 450 hp Chevrolet V8 engine back to front to facilitate the unique 4×4 system. After testing during the Stardust 7 11 rally, the car was ready for the Baja 1000.