Fifty years on, Bruce Meyers explains what makes Baja desert racing so essential

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000, one of the world’s most unique and challenging motorsports competitions. Today, it’s a grueling and dangerous test of endurance; a non-stop dash through dirt roads and terrain by hundreds of stock and custom-built race cars or trucks of up to several hundred horsepower.

Yet to hear Bruce Meyers tell it, it all started as basically a dare.

At 91 years old, Meyers stands as a living link to the cradle of Southern California hot-rod culture. His Meyers Manx dune buggy combined VW Beetle mechanicals with a custom fiberglass shell to create a unique American icon. Meyers was one of a host of racers, motorcyclists and hot-rodders who would run their creations across the sands of California and Mexico in the ‘60s.

Here, he tells the story of how the Baja 1000 got started, and why it’s persisted as a special event when so many other races have been forgotten.