Watch: The Baja 1000 is Exhausting Even When You’re Going Slowly

Every year, a handful of nuts try to finish the Baja 1000 in Beetles. And even though they’re driving slowly, the race is still a constant barrage of stimulus.

Specifically, this is a 1970 Beetle running a stock 1.6-liter flat-four attached to a Type 1 transaxle. Underneath, it has a heavy-duty torsion bar, and Fox dampers with external reservoirs. Stiffer springs will also help Tope race down the Baja peninsula.

As team member Josh McGuckin says, it isn’t fast but it’ll go up whatever you point it at. It’s not often I’m in a position to fact check videos like these, but having driven this very car outside Barstow, California, I can tell you that McGukin is, in fact, telling the truth.

The Beetle climbs slowly, but as steadily as a mule. In the car, McGukin told me that there have been times when, going uphill, the engine revs so slowly that you can count each piston firing individually.

And that’s exactly the type of slow tenacity that meant that helped the car cross the finish line at Baja last year.