It was 60 years ago today that La Baja 1000 had its first edition in Tijuana

In 1962, the first edition of the popular Baja 1000 off-road race took place

The first winner of Baja 1000 was motorcycle biker Dave Ekins in 1962 when the competition -now one of the most important in the world- was known as Mexican 1000 Rally.

The race’s finish was the city of La Paz, Baja California Sur; the starting point was the city of Tijuana. In its first edition, which started as an exhibition, Ekins’ brother had been chosen to take part in the race but due to a sponsorship contract he was unable to compete. In his place, Bill Robertson Jr., co-owner of Honda Hollywood, participated.

The first edition of Mexican 1000 Rally was more or less an accidental competition. The competitors did not know anything about the terrain’s surface or the climate circumstances of the Pacific coast. In order to complete the race, they had to be assisted with gasoline by a plane for every 80 miles. Between Ensenada and La Paz there was not a single gas station; and that is how it all began on March 17, 1962.

With old maps of the region and geographical adversities, the deadline goal of 32 hours was quickly forgotten. In San Ignacio, Mulegé, they realized that there were tire fragments on the road; they had been traveling the area in circles.

To record their time, they sealed forms at telegraph offices, now called check points. The first time registered in the competition was 39 hours and 54 minutes by Dave Ekins, who would repeat this feat four years later in 1966, improving his time by 8 minutes, despite getting lost in the way for approximately 10 minutes.

The impact of this competition caught the attention of Ed Pearlman, florist at San Fernando valley, who organized on October 31st, 1967, the first competition under the name La Baja 1000, which was ruled not by telegraph offices but by the National Off Road Racing Association, led by Pearlman.

In 1974, the race was suspended due to a series of political and economic circumstances, however, it started once again in 1975. It has continued without any interruptions since then, year after year, with the exception of the editions that took place during the pandemic.

In 2023, there will be a route change, which historically speaking is the first significant change that has been made as the race will begin in La Paz and go all the way to the city of Ensenada.

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