Back in the early 60’s, a handful of speed seekers set out to find set new records. The goal? A fast blast from Tijuana, Mexicao down to La Paz. The distance is nearly 1,000 miles. And the original crew making the journey did so on the backs of motorcycles. Eventually, some four-wheel fiends wanted in on the fun. Bruce Meyers piloted his Meyers Manx and whupped the times set by the dirtbikes. To make this thing a bit more official, it turned into a real race in the summer of 1967.

This is how the Baja 1000 began.

That first race was called the Mexican 1000. It followed the same Tijuana to La Paz route, and it was run by NORRA. Eventually though SCORE stepped in and took it over. The race moved down to start in Ensenada. And we’ve recently celebrated 50 years of amazing off-road action.

But if you want to see what the first race looked like, then click play on the video above. There are some terrific machines that must’ve been terrible to drive down that rough and dusty Mexican trail. One team is even celebrated for being smart adding a roll-bar to their open-top Jeep.

What an insane time to compete in a racing event. Getting to that finish line likely never felt so good.

[Thanks for the tip, Andy!]