Rod Hall prepares for his 50th Baja 1000
[dropcap style=”style1″]L[/dropcap]egendary off-road champion, Rod Hall, will be competing in his 50th run of the Baja 1000 in a 1968 Stroppe-built Ford Bronco. The Baja 1000 is a glorious, yet treacherous, 1000 mile race in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico.
Race fans may remember the Bronco from his overall win in the 1969 Baja 1000, where he also beat all of the the motorcycles and buggies to the finish line by 10 minutes.
After the win in 1969 he enjoyed a continuous winning streak for years to come, however Hall eventually sold the Bronco to two friends in Barstow, California. It was then raced by them for a few years.
According to Hall, they had trouble keeping the Bronco on its wheels and sadly it ended up at a junkyard in Southern California where it sat untouched for around 35 years.
Luckily a race fan and friend of Hall’s, Gale Pike, found it and rescued it. It’s said that the Bronco was buried so far in the sand that all remaining above ground was the number 56.
Pike paid $5,000 to have it removed from the junkyard and then he had it painted up and placed in front of one of his restaurants.
When Hall started the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, Pike then donated the Bronco to be displayed at the Hall of Fame. It then sat until Hall met Chris Collard. Hall and Collard got talking and they decided to restore the Bronco and once again run it in the Baja 1000.