Now that this year’s Baja 1000 is in full swing and celebrating its 50th anniversary, we thought it was fitting to go searching for some vintage off-roaders. Granted, though most of the picks this week would need some light modifications to take on Baja, they’d have no problem tackling a few trails just outside the city.
1969 Baja Bug
What we like: The most Baja-ready option on this list. It’s hard not to love a VW Beetle prepped for off-road racing. It’s like the Mighty Mouse of the automotive world.
From the seller: Car is in perfect working condition and is equipped with 1776 ported and polished heads. As for suspension its pretty much stock except for 3″ raised spindles and adjustable beam as for the rear it is stock arms with 28mm torsions. The car is street legal.
Location: Riverside, California
What we like: Although this particular Manx buggy isn’t so suited for the entire race, it would be the best option to have once you get back to the beach in Ensenada, at the finish line.
From the seller: This 1967 Volkswagen-based buggy is believed to be a genuine Meyers Manx, though this has not been verified. The seller has measured the car against a verified Manx and found it to be consistent with a known verified car.
Mileage: 100 (TMU)
Location: Los Angeles, California
1995 Land Rover Defender 90 NAS
What we like: Based on this Defender’s condition it’s clear a lot of its 110,000 miles on the clock were done in the dirt, but that’s what a Defender is made for. That said, it does look well-maintained and ready for another 110K.
From the seller: This 1995 Land Rover Defender 90 is #144 of 500 North American Specification (NAS) hardtop wagons produced for the US market in 1995. This example shows just over 110K miles and has been with the seller since it was purchased from a C-130 military pilot in 2014. Mechanicals include a recently freshened 3.9-liter gasoline V8 with ported heads, a five-speed manual gearbox and a two-speed transfer case.
Location: Houston, Texas
1985 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60
What we like: There’s no mistaking it, this is a workhorse of a Land Cruiser. A little bit of rust here and there and 385,000 miles indicate it was never a trailer queen. There should be no doubt that even with a little TLC this Land Cruiser will see half-a-million miles.
From the seller: This 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser was purchased new by the seller’s father at Beaman Toyota in Nashville, Tennessee. Since being passed to the seller, the truck has been modified with an upgraded Old Man Emu suspension, new brakes, an ARB front bumper, Smittybuilt XRC winch, rock sliders and heated Corbeau front seats.
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
1992 Mercedes-Benz 300GD 4×4 Diesel
What we like: Nothing beats a good manual diesel. Also, the deep green paint is stunning (aside from the slightly mismatched paint job on the passenger door) — it’s easy to see why the color is becoming more popular on modern Mercedes vehicle.
From the seller: This 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300GD was purchased by the seller from a European dealer in 2015 and was imported to the United States six months ago. Power comes from a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission, and the truck was last serviced shortly after it was imported to the United States.
Location: Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania
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