Watch: Jason Drives an Actual Competition Baja Bug

Racing in Baja requires an unbelievable amount of planning, a stunningly large crew, and, in Project Baja’s case, nearly a dozen support vehicles all told. And yet, every year people head to the Baja Peninsula in cars that were built nearly half a century ago.

So what’s it like to drive one of these Class 11 vehicles? Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinksy finds out.

As Torchinky puts it, despite being broadly the same as a stock Beetle, these Class 11 cars are like a perfect clone that spent years working out and eating right.

That’s not just because Class 11 rules allow teams to add a roll cage and some bigger tires, but also because the teams maintain them meticulously.

In Project Baja’s case, the Beetle gets torn down and blown apart after every race it competes in.

You can find out what we thought of driving a Class 11 Beetle and several other Beetle-based off-road racers earlier this year.