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1. Santa Barbara (1959)
|Baja 1000 - 1969|
Set on Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, also known as 'The Devils Playground', the Baja 1000 is the longest off-road race in the world.
It is also arguably the toughest.|
Steve at the Baja 1n 1969
In 1969 Steve entered this 1000 mile adventure, acompanied by co-driver Harold Daigh. The two rode in the custom made 'Baja Boot' off-road vehicle.
The Boot had been specifically designed for the Baja event by leading off-road vehicle designer Vic Hickey and built by California Car Craft legend George Hurst. Before the race took place Hickey gave Steve some lessons in driving the vehicle, and motoring journalist Tom Madigan, who was present on the occasion, recounted them in an article for Motor Trend Magazine: Without showing the slightest fear, McQueen slid behind the wheel of the powerful machine and took to the dirt with a vengeance. It was not McQueen's driving that impressed me, but the fact that whenever he screwed-up or abused the race car, Hickey would jump in his face and chew his tail up one side and down the other. McQueen did not react like a prima donna movie star, but would stand quiet like a child getting instructions from a parent.
Once the race got underway McQueen and Daigh were travelling well and holding a solid overall position, but, with just 237 of the 1000 miles completed, a broken transmission put them out of the event.