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THE CHENOWTH LEGACY The Buggy That Changed BaJa Racing By SCORE Journal Staff One of the major influencers in buggy design and innovation was Lynn Chenowth, a header manufacturer, who came up with the idea of offering a race-car kit consisting of a chassis welded from mild steel tubing. The chassis were inexpensive and allowed racers to install their own VW suspension, engine and transaxle components to build a complete off-road racing buggy. The first Chenowths were single seaters but were later followed by two-seat designs. Because Chenowth listened to the input of racers, the design of the buggy kept changing over the years with better visibility, more forward seating positions, improved roll cage protection, and the ability to adapt the various model chassis to the latest shock technology and powertrain options. After Lynn Chenowth’s departure from the company and 2022 ORMOF Inductee Mike Thomas took over, the popular VW engines made way for more powerful Porsche engines and along with their use, transaxle technology improved to handle the higher power. Thomas continued Chenowth’s vision by continually updating the vehicle for their increasing speed, agility and strength. Many of Baja’s legendary racers began their careers racing a Chenowth buggy, including Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, Mark and Scot McMillin, Mark Stahl, Bob Gordon, Doug Fortin Sr, Frank and Ryan Arciero, Roger and Rick Mears, as well as many others. As racers kept winning in Chenowth buggies, their victories put the Chenowth name at the top of the Class 1 unlimited category and proved that the buggy design was fast and strong enough to win in Baja. SJ Bob Gordon’s Class 1 Chenowth was a two-seater design that incorporated the latest shock and had upgraded to using Chevrolet V8 power

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