My name is Emmy Hal, and I'm lucky enough to have driven cars in a lot of places.
I've run luxury cars down the Autobahn, rally trucks in Morocco, and raced my own Volkswagen powered car in off road races in California and Nevada.
And while I've spent plenty of time in Baja, California Mexico, I've never attempted one of the toughest off-road races in the world, the Baja 1000.
The Baja 1000 runs through some of Mexico's toughest terrain.
Rocks, silt, whoops, you name it, they got it.
I joined up with the Colorado-based Project Baja team to do this in a Class 11, a stock 1970 Volkswagen Bug named Tope.
Project Baja competed in the 1,000 in 2014, but they only made it 300 miles before mechanical issues and a sheer team exhaustion took them out.
While Josh McGuckin is the leader with a quick wit, and a McGuyver way of thinking, the man who knows all there is it to know about Toby is Matt Wilson.
Need the torque specs for all of the engine bolts?
Matt's your guy.
He reworked the rear suspension to get one inch more travel while still remaining within the race
If Tope had a dad, it would be Matt.
Evan Chute is the wacky creative of the group, always ready with a well-crafted joke.
Matt Fisher might best be described as the dare devil of the four, who's idea of fun is barreling down mountain slopes on his bike at speeds that would make most mortals weak.
For this race Matt Wilson's brother Nick would be joining us.
Three driving teams of two taking Tope down the peninsula from Ensenada to LePaz.
1,000 miles full of anything can happen.
A little bit sunburned, and we've been up for a little while.
But i would say i'm feeling pretty darn good.
What do you think?
I mean i feel pretty excited.
I can't wait to get this bug, i can't wait to be in the codriver seat.
Ducking, and what I'm really excited for is to just get the car to the next driving team, who can then get the car To Matt Wilson, who is going to drive this car across the finish line.
So that's our whole job, is to make sure Matt gets in the car.
Matt is pretty critical to making this whole car go, so we have put him at the end to make sure that we actually get the car down the course.
Well, it's a stock Volkswagen bug and so everything is basically a challenge Because when you kinda look around and you see these trucks that have tires that come over our fenders, over our turn signals.
Our factory turn signals.
You start getting an understanding of what it takes to get through some of these courses.
I know that when I see them, when I see this car in the pause with everybody around it, those guys are gonna be so happy.
It's gonna be really cool.
[LAUGH] I'm really excited.
finish baby, it's all we got to do.
Sound so easy right?
It's a thousand miles, just [BLEEP] finish it.
Let's do it.
What could go wrong?
We were mere minutes to the starting line and I realized I hadn't buckle pulled myself in and I needed some help.
You doing good?
Yeah, I need help.
What are ya doin?
Well, can you help me?
No, my belt.
We have to get going.
Yeah okay good to go.
They're waving us on.
What are you doing?
I'm not buckled in.
Good luck guys.
Have a great time, and drive safe.
Thanks we will.
See you guys tomorrow.
Pull the straps.
Your okay, there you go.
[SOUND] Here we go.
We are currently starting the Baja 1000.
Take her home.
Nice and slow.
Nice and easy.
Just like we said.
Four, three, two, one.
We are off the starting line at the 50th Annual Baja 1000.
33 this is the 37.
You're good, keep going.
9.30, another chicane and you're going to go to the right and we're going to drop you down into the wash, baby.
This is it, this is it.
Good job, we are in the wash.
Nobody's here, nobody cares.
60 miles an hour.
Holy [BEEP] That's rough.
So slide, slow it down.
We've got a water up here.
Slow it down.
And a danger at the bottom to this left.
I think because of the bridge.
Next, going right up to steel nine [UNKNOWN] left, tricks, not from [UNKNOWN].
You gonna keep pushing left [INAUDIBLE].
Good job Sophie you're doing good.
11:37 race, race on 10.
1137, race mile 10.
I come from a mountain biking background, and about six weeks ago, I had a pretty big crash in Moab, Utah, and actually broke a couple bones in my elbow.
And I was able to push my recovery pretty well.
Got a good team of doctors.
What Matt didn't tell the team is that in addition to his broken elbow, he also broke a few ribs and punctured a lung.
Racing the Baha 1,000 is tough, racing it in class 11 is even tougher.
Racing it with slowly healing bones and a lung, well that's just crazy.
We're all gonna see the finish.
And what' that gonna.
This is going to be awesome.
I mean I get choked up just knowing that Josh and Emmy are bringing me a race car to get into and I'll get choked up when I give the race car over to Matt and his brother Nick and
Yeah, this can be real good, real good.
Woo that was fun.
Yeah, did you like that?
That was great.
Josh was so good.
He was so good.
A little bit.
Just this one section.
When we came over and it was suddenly there's downhill and all this silk and I had no idea where the road was.
I feel like the car was on its side, and I was like just mushing the throttle and I'm like this is never gonna work and then it just-
it [INAUDIBLE] up this really steep thing and when we got on top I was like I don't believe this thing does
Stuff like that.
Pull that first.
There you go.
This whole last section is all just these whoops, they just go like this, and you're just like.
Okay, we've figured it out.
23 miles and hour.
You don't get too much air to run into the next one and you can kinda go at that speed for eternity.
[LAUGHING] I don't wanna do that for eternity.
I don't wanna do that for eternity.
How are you feeling?
I had some food.
You're going straight.
I peed a whole lot.
I peed a lot.
Okay maybe we can bring our side cubes up, we can do some lighting.
This will take us into the wash At like, 57.
This is the infamous [UNKNOWN]
It's only about ten miles long, but it's full of water crossings, mud, silt, and rocks.
800 horse power trophy trucks have a hard time here, but Matt and Evan are in 65 horse powered bug going through it at night.
It's pretty much a fools errand.
You see our problem?
No, not so much a problem, but everything's wet in here.
11:37 rate to all 11:37 chase state bones, we are dead in the water with no radio, no power.
Come back, anybody hear us?
It's possible that the alternator is just gone.
Well, the good new is that you're stopped, so you can have some [NOISE] peanuts [NOISE] you know?
The battery is in the front.
The battery is in the front.
How big is it?
About like yay.
The battery should be fine.
Well why did you stop?
Cuz it died.
Well how could the battery be fine then?
It's not fine.
Well, look and see if this battery will work.
Yeah, that's one's too small.
We had a little power failure after running through a couple big hits in a wash, and we were worried that it was water.
But we know this car's pretty well water tight and we found a wire in the back of car that was broken.
Repaired that, but we've come to a point where we don't have enough power to start.
So we are here for a jump.
He's giving us, [SOUND] for breaking the car.
I was totally kidding.
There were times when I was looking at the stars and then looking at the dirt within a half of a second just like, my God.
It was beautiful, my God.
That was definitely the wire cuz it's running now.
I think we just gotta go.
We gotta go
The battery has been in there six months.
I thought I saw I them battling, and yes I did see them
I mean all we need is power and we'll get out of here.
We're not buried in or anything, it's just literally does not make enough power to get out of it's own way.
Is there another alternator around?
Do they have one in their red truck?
I think so.
Does it have the shroud and everything all
Current plan is to jump it again with a bit more of a charge.
My god, that's way in there, for a guy with a bionic arm.
And, get it out to the highway, so we have a clean place to work.
Keep going, [UNKNOWN] To go way up.
We're getting our spare alternator up here and we're gonna throw it in.
And hopefully we get our next driving team up here as well Cuz we're cooked and my arm is feeling really good.
I'm actually above and beyond surprised how well my arm is doing, my shoulders a little sore I think because.
You left those in the dirt back there.
They cover the dirt?
I don't know [UNKNOWN].
But anyway [INAUDIBLE]
Wind it back up.
Let's not kill these folks or their fire.
Take a right, take a right.
That dude just crashed his.There's a Baja pit right there.
There's [BLEEP] Baja pits right here.
Holy [BLEEP] how come we didn't know that?
I don't know.
My God, we're back in the [BLEEP] car again.
But it's daylight.
So it's totally different.
Yeah, at least we don't need our lights.
Keep an eye on that charge to see if we're losing charge or gaining charge cause, Do you know what it was when we got in?
Nope, but we can tell if we're losing or gaining, I guess.
It's dead nuts on 12 right now.
It shouldn't be.
That's not good.
So if you're not closed you should okay we're good, we're good, we're good.
Solid work, solid.
I can't see, I've got so much silt in my eyes.
Blink it out.
[NOISE] 1137 K [INAUDIBLE] for mile, for driver change, and race mile 390.
Baja pit number 8.
You're super quiet, man, but I copied that.
Driver change, race mile 3-9-0 at Baja pits number 8
That we had to do.>> [LAUGH].
Here's what I want, out.
Right now, Matt Wilson, and Nick Wilson.
They're now getting into the driving team.
Those guys are brothers.
And they will be heading off into the sunrise here for the next leg of about, it's 180 miles in.
Then after that, Penny and I get back in again.
I'm trying my car camp it out, and move down the peninsula.
I had to scrounge an alternator this morning in town.
They had to actually wake up the mechanic at 6:45 in the morning so it was an adventure from daybreak.
Feeling super positive now that we got to see these guys [LAUGH] and we got the whole team back together and Energy is infectious, and, man, everything's feeling good right now.
That's a good sign.
See, that one's stuck on 12.
It should be 13.8.
It's about where it is.
Go get them.
All I want to do is have some fun.
I've got a feeling
That feels so good.
45, staying alive.
That means we didn't roll over.
Do you wanna go through the cactus fence?
[LAUGH] Hey, I wanted to run over a cactus And I can pit.
All right, sorry that was stupid.
A good call.
[LAUGH] Good call for a bad decision.
At 11:37 in the race Chase.
We copy you.
Hey, Baja pit says pull the plug.
Took our gas, and they're gone.
I'm here, I'm outta gas, I'm just going to have to change your tires for you.
And we'll go from there.
We are in need of a quarter tank of gas.
I'll give you what I've got and do the tires.
Do you have [UNKNOWN]?
They're backed up too so, Understand we're kind of on our own now.
We paid for a company called Baja Pits to supplement our chase crew.
The had a truck with mechanics and tools on the course about every 50 miles.
However Toby's pretty slow, travelling at an average of 20 miles an hour.
We found that the smaller Baja pits closed before we could get there.
Our gas, gone.
Now some of the larger pits would be open regardless we knew, but our pit strategy was now fully FUBARed.
We're now running on our wits.
The left side should be tight and still good, the other side I couldn't get all the way up.
We're getting the full Baja experience.
Almost rolling the vehicle.
Mat's tracking it
Saw a snake.
Car's running great.
Our pits have closed, even though you get pit service.
The pits are gone, so we're gonna be working to keep those guys open, or self-pitting, and yep that's the challenge with class 11.
BOG said they talked to them, the FG pit and confirmed that they will be there, that they know you're On the way.
BFG pit knows you're on the way.
So between the two of them, we'll get something.
And so, the brothers continued on a long pavement section to the [INAUDIBLE].
Where large Baja Pits was open and waiting for us.
Then made good time, even bypassing the federalist checkpoint outside of town.
The pit boss in San Ignacio confirmed to us that the next Baja Pits would be open as we continue down to Loreto and beyond.
But, in Mexico, anything can happen.
We are here at Baja Fits 12 in San Ignacio, and we're about to do a driver change.
Took out a little bit of fuel.
We're doing some adjustments, making sure that the steering box is still adjusted correctly, and we'll tinker with the suspension a little bit, and then we should be off shortly.
San Ignacio was great.
San Juanico, I'm not even gonna tell you about it.
It's so awesome, and you guys should never go there.
Actually, it's terrible, don't ever go to San Juanico, it's the worst.
It's the best.
[LAUGH] Seriously, I'm pretty sure she slept.
No, this is just me.
And only three Diet Dr Peppers too, which is pretty good.
Normally, I'm at six at this point.
Remember, before you met me?
[LAUGH] No, I don't.
Tail looks good, I look good, you look good, we're looking good.
Tail fin looks good.
Tail fin looks awesome.
Maybe a little Little bit of rash to the back fender, but that's okay.
I'm not worried about that.
We don't need that.
That fender's gonna be detroyed soon anyway.
I've been driving quite a bit of the course.
I've probably driven maybe 500 miles of the course, and it's very deep silt.
Very deep ruts.
We went to a cowboy wash the other night.
And it was muddy and very nasty.
So, having a class eleven car that can get this far and onto the finish is quite an accomplishment.
You're gonna go down here, ride the highway, then you're gonna go to Loretto, then you're gonna drop back west.
And he dropped back down the other side [UNKNOWN] and started running along that beach area.
It's gonna be bad.
So I don't know if you've ever driven in that.
It's nasty, you're gonna have your shields, you're gonna want a lot of rags.
The word is the cars are only doing like five miles an hour through there.
So I should put my rain jacket on?
But that won't be a bad idea if it's a lightweight one.
But that wouldn't be cause you guys got a lot miles after that.
And you get wet.
Then you be cold.
Yeah, you're gonna be cold, hypothermia, that kind of thing.
We submerged the car to this level.
The radio's been kind of weird since then.
Yeah, we could tell that you couldn't hear us a lot.
The last, probably, 25 or 30 miles have been Really difficult, and I was definitely starting to make some mistakes.
Just kinda pushing a little bit too hard, trying to get here quicker.
We found out that the bug can traverse water up to its shoulder line, so that's pretty good.
We got stuck in the silt.
[SOUND] Mostly because there was another vehicle that was stopped and we had to stop and then it's all over.
So that took a while but we had a very friendly local that pulled us out with his Hummer so that was awesome.
Yeah, it was pretty cool.
We got out to scout a couple of things cuz we were like, this is no way.
And it was just all these rocks
And so you came across these things and this rock ledge down and rock ledges up, and I'm like this is king of the hammers.
And we have a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle.
This isn't gonna happen.
Turns out it did.
All right, I'll see you on the other side.
I'm gonna be the first one to see.
At the road [UNKNOWN].
Super straight, super straight right through here.
I'm just trying to stay classy, just trying to keep her out of the cabbage buds.
You just Stick it between the mustard and mayonnaise.
[LAUGH] Silt coming up, silt, silt and cactus stone is what our notes say.
All right, curving to the right, curving to the right.
At 2:00 AM this morning we were in a silt bed
That was actually removed from the race.
There was a checkpoint that they had in the middle of the silt bed that they pulled out.
But we managed to kinda just find a line and hit a stride and we actually made the checkpoint in the middle of the silt, in silt bed.
Totally on accident, we weren't intending to.
We really did want to dodge.
[INAUDIBLE] it was gnarly.
There was one point where the car like almost 90 degrees on its side in a rut and it just hooked right out of it, came back to its wheels and we were just hammered in first gear for like 30 minutes straight, just plowing [INAUDIBLE]
I got to get out.
11:37 race, we are stuck in some silt here.
Race mile, we are at race mile 796.
Stuck in silt, we are self-extracting.
I believe we will be able to get out of this.
Also, we did just pass like four trucks.
Somewhere right in there, that's the reason you won't, right in here, see.
Right there, it's probably right where it is on the beach, right in there somewhere.
He says they're big time.
Well maybe we'll send Jason down there.
We're in the last chunk to get this from race mile 930 where we're standing now, to the finish line in [UNKNOWN].
Grab the ear phones and go right to the right side, you'll see us all standing there.
You see the drone?
You can see the drone.
We see the drone, we see the drone.
Don't call me a drone.
Right here, right here.
I had it locked in gear, and we were rocking in the sand.
And it just went ba-bam.
And then I put it back into reverse, and there was nothing there.
My arm is awesome, the broken elbow is great.
My shoulder is pretty sore from holding it up but ugh the bionic arm is really good.
As I say we've been back and forth with them, and Larry saw us pass them on this just pin straight dirt road Three lanes wide, going 60 miles an hour.
Somebody's gotta picture of that somewhere, of these two class 11's off the back.
It's just pinning.
200 miles is all we need.
All we need, come on baby, 200 miles.
We'll treat you nice later.
All right brother, take us home.
[SOUND] [SOUND] Remember slow and steady.
[SOUND] Do not get stuck, make it to a pod, 200 miles.
is that you?
Probably too hot.
[SOUND] 240 over.
[SOUND] Does that beat anything else you have for air or sparks?
Hard to say.
Almost seems like ignition.
[SOUND] The transmission's slipping.
Sure running hot.
Take it easy.
Let it cool down as much you can on these downhills.
[NOISE] This is any [INAUDIBLE]
Herbie fully loaded with Lindsey Lohan Our car hasn't talked to us once either.
I've got a vehicle up the road, probably 300 yards.
Go to the right, up and around if we can.
[SOUND] Nope, nope.
Now we're [BLEEP].
We are high and centered my friend.
Okay well we've gotta dig then.
Okay, let's do this.
I lost my strap, geez.
Swinging from a hairy vine, I can make a backpack [UNKNOWN] and fine, chop chop Run that and jump.
This is where the silt is.
Better leave some fuel on buddy, fuel, fuel, fuel, fuel.
Though the brothers started the last leg of the race in the beautiful Bahr sunshine, they day quickly turned to night and the terrain to a chewed up silt, but the Project Bahr secret weapon had finally arrived Drive.
Blanco Diamonte, a 1991 Ford Econoline van with 4 wheel drive, and a 10 inch lift.
Though late to the chase, Blanco Diamonte rescued Tope no fewer than four times over a six miles stretch.
One time towing 1137 a full two miles through waist deep silt, throttle pinned and revs up in the stratosphere.
Until finally, Little Toby could make it to the finish line of the 50th Annual Baja 1000 on its own.
Were you there?
You made it.
Dude, good job.
You guys, you did awesome.
I can't believe [CROSSTALK].
It was a hot round you guys, hot round!
I just said slow down.
He's like as we're sorta sideways up like this, he's like slow down, slow down.
Going by and all of the sudden he's like [SOUND] we're like checkpoint.
You guys I would like to say the 1137 has finished the Baja 1000 with 4 intact
I wan't in Tope when it crossed the finish line, and we were ten hours late on time, but this is still one of the most satisfying finishes I've ever had.
I didn't build the car, putting in countless hours of welding, wrenching and painting until a stock Bug turned into a race car.
I didn't help plan logistics, or buy the food, or book the hotels.
All I did was offer to document the race and sit in the codog seat.
No, it was satisfying because I got to see a group of friends come back from their failure a few years before.
To learn from their mistakes and move forward as a successful team.
Working together to achieve what others would find impossible.
Raising with Project Baja shows me that with good friends, a good plan, and a good car you can accomplish anything.
One, two, three-
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