If I were to ask you who the “King of Cool” was I bet every one of you would be able to guess Steve McQueen. McQueen was as well known for racing motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles off-road as he was for his acting. Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is rebooting McQueen’s legendary Baja Boot, and we have pictures.
The Original Baja Boot
The vehicle featured an SAE-1010 1-¾-inch steel tubular frame, 350 ci SB Chevy engine, a GM Turbo 400 Hydramatic transmission, Dana 18 transfer case, torsion bar suspension, Olds Toronado axleshafts, close-ratio power steering, 11-inch Hurst-Airheart disc brakes, and Corvette differentials with Posi-traction.
The engine was fitted behind the driver’s seat in front of the rear axle shafts, while the drive assemblies were put in the vehicle in inverted positions from standard, allowing a driver to disengage the transfer case and operate the off-road machine in just front-wheel-drive.
With 36×12.4×16-inch Goodyear Baja Special tires, the Baja Boot boasted nine inches of wheel travel and could reach speeds upward of 140 mph.
As impressive and innovative as the Baja Boot was, an even more remarkable fact is that Hickey was able to build it in less than 30 days. (Source: OffRoadExtreme.com)
The Baja Boot – Reboot Version
The new version is intended to be a 50 state legal Baja 1000 winning vehicle.
In Jan 2019 we started a blank sheet of paper and a wild idea. Let’s create a new version of the Baja Boot, race the Baja 1000, and drive home. 17 months of blood, sweat, and tears we have Boots on the ground #racecarfortheroad #bespoke #MadeinUSA #scuderiacameronglickenhaus pic.twitter.com/212XuWBGfj— Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (@Glickenhaus) August 15, 2019
A little desert testing.
How about a little engine noise?
Glickenhaus indicated that the Baja Boot would run a 5.0-liter V8 and have around 20 inches of suspension travel. The plan is to run in the Baja Challenge class until an SUV class can be developed. With that amount of travel, I can’t think of another SUV that would match the Boot.
The two significant hurdles to this massive effort are achieving the 50 state-compliant emissions, and finishing the Baja 1000 with a vehicle still solid enough to drive home. I hope it does both.