SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal-September 2019

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 97

RE-BOOT Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus LLC Builds A Modern Version Of The Famous Race Car By Dan Sanchez Photos ICON Media Those who know SCORE racing history, know that the Baja Boot was one of the vehicles that changed how race cars were built to take on the Baja Peninsula. The car was the inspiration of General Motors’ Vic Hickey who wanted to create a specialty off-road racing vehicle that ultimately became the first to win the inaugural Baja 500 in 1967. Aside from the car’s rear-engine design and use of all-wheel drive, it gained additional notoriety from being driven by racers such as Bud Ekins, Guy Jones, Drino Miller, Al Knapp, and actor Steve McQueen. The Boot’s innovative design caught the attention of James Glickenhaus, of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus LLC (SCG), the American film producer turned automotive entrepreneur who has built supercars that competed in and finished the 24 hours of Nürburgring, and the 24 hours of LeMans events. Glickenhaus bought the Baja Boot at an auction and immediately saw the challenge to build the ultimate SUV that can handle the rigors of real off-road racing. “The original Baja Boot is a car we acquired that has so much incredible history,” says Jesse Glickenhaus, SCG managing director and son of James Glickenhaus. “The car was a prototype and we wondered why the job was never finished. We wanted to build a new version and believe it should be a car you can drive to the SCORE Baja 1000, race it, then turn around and drive it home.” SCG assembled a team that included SCORE Class Champion and Dakar veteran Darren Skilton as the project manager, and Elliot Pollock at Armada Engineering to build the vehicle. “I wanted to make sure the vehicle was legitimate,” said Skilton. “We wanted to create something that would drive and feel like a performance car. Once body design was laid out Elliot had to design a chassis but it still had to have the proper wheel travel, shocks, steering, engine, gearbox, and components that we know work in a Baja environment. Yet, we still wanted to pay homage to Vic Hickey’s original design.” The new Baja Boot looks similar to the original with front headlights recessed into the vehicle’s front firewall, rear-engine, large radiator scoop on top of the cab, and off-road wheels and tires. But that’s where the similarities end. The chassis was completely fabricated to match what SCG’s designers came up with, and incorporates a 116-inch wheelbase made from a boxed steel frame. According to Pollock, Armada Engineering built the custom boxed upper and lower A-arms for the front suspension and included Fox Factory 3.0 internal bypass coilover shocks. At the rear, the vehicle uses an independent rear with Fox Factory 3.0 internal bypass coilover shocks with tubular A-arms. Both the front and rear offers 19-inches of suspension travel. In Baja race trim, the engineers add dual shocks and Fox Factory 3.5 front and 4.0 rear bypass shocks allowing the suspension to have 22-inches of travel front and rear. In keeping with the original Boot, the new version also uses a Chevrolet V8 in the form of a 6.2 liter 450 horsepower LT1 for the “standard” version and an LT4 650 horsepower version for the Baja race model. Both utilize a GearWorks Turbo 400 automatic transmission but Pollock says they had to rethink how to set it all in place to keep the vehicle’s center of gravity low. “We engineered a system to separate motor and transmission and took Corvette components to create a torque tube that houses an intermediate shaft to connect the motor to the transmission and keep the drivetrain lower,” said Pollock. “The transfer case is in the center of the vehicle so the driver can switch from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and Currie differential Fab 9 housings are used to deliver power to the heavy-duty CV joints that drive the wheels.” Another amazing aspect to the new Baja Boot was that all of the bodywork and panels are completely custom. “We took the design that Michael Young at Glickenhaus came up with and worked with Louie Dietz from Custom Factory to make the panels,” said Pollock. “We created each piece on the body from fiberglass and carbon fiber.” Inside the custom cab are Sparco seats with three-point harnesses but Pollock says that the Baja race version will include a full-roll cage and five-point safety harnesses. While the SCG Baja Boot has some better components than the original, the project team made sure to include race-proven components such as 39-inch diameter BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A radials mounted on Method 17x8 wheels. A set of Wilwood disc brakes and calipers bring the Baja Boot to a stop, while Baja Designs LP6 Pro LED lights illuminate the road ahead. “We’re at a place where we are serious about coming into the off-road world,” says Glickenhaus. “We’ve been ambitious entering into endurance racing from a completely different context, but we also understand that there has been a history of ‘outsiders’ coming into the off-road world and trying to make something that looks good, but doesn’t have the credibility. We cared about doing it right. We wanted to take our Boot to Baja and show that it is capable. When the off-road community started to see the project come together in a way that’s respectful of the industry, we were very happy that several suppliers wanted to work with us.” According to Glickenhaus, the company wants to prove its vehicle at the SCORE Baja 1000 in November, then return every year with more cars, including plans for a four-door model. “The idea is that it could be a chase vehicle or a way to bring people to Baja via a luxury tour,” says Glickenhaus. “As a small manufacturer, we love to bring people from all over the world and introduce them to racing as we’ve done at the 24 hours or LeMans and Nürburgring. We want to do the same thing with Baja, get to know the event, the organizers, the culture, and be able to bring people to experience the culture of Mexico and experience Baja racing in a way that makes it special.” Considering that SCG and Armada Engineering began this project in January of 2018 with a single sheet of paper, they were able to finish this first vehicle in less than a year. It’s a newsworthy achievement in itself but after proving the vehicle can withstand the rigors of the SCORE Baja 1000 in November, the SCG Baja Boot will more than likely create a name for itself. SPECIFICATIONS: Glickenhaus Baja Boot Body:Designed by Michael Young, Custom Composite and Fiberglass by Louie Dietz Chassis: Custom Built By Armada Engineering Wheelbase: 116” Track Width: 84” standard, 88” race trim Weight: 5200-5500 lbs. estimated Engine: GM 6.2L V8 (LT1 450hp standard, LT4 650 race trim) Exhaust: Custom Headers, Borla Exhaust Transmission: GearWorks TH400 Automatic Drivetrain: Currie Fab-9 Housings Suspension Front: Custom Boxed A-arm with Fox 3.0 Bypass coilover shocks (Fox 3.0 Bypass coilover and Fox 4.0 Bypass shocks race trim), Suspension Rear: Independent with Fox 3.0 Bypass coilover shocks (Fox 3.5 Bypass coilover and Fox 4.0 Bypass shocks race trim) Wheel Travel: 19-inches standard, 22 inches race trim Brakes: Wilwood discs Tires: BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A 39-inch diameter Wheels: Method 17x8 Seats: Sparco Gauges: Motec LCD Navigation: Lowrance Lighting: Baja Designs LP6

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - SCORE Journal-September 2019