SCORE Journal Issue 9 - 2015

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

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Page 46 of 97

A s the 48th Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 draws near, it's a good time to look back at how racing on Mexico's most famous peninsula first got started. Back in the early 1960s, there wasn't cable TV, color television sets, microwave ovens, cell phones and no GPS. So one can imagine how difficult access was when trying to navigate in Baja, where there weren't any paved roads traveling the length of the peninsula. At that time, the pavement ended pretty much right after Ensenada. Isolated ranchos, cactus forests, millions of years worth of volcanic rock and vast emptiness separated that port city from La Paz, nearly 1000 miles to the south. The Ekin's Great Idea Desert racing was mostly enjoyed by enthusiasts in Southern California who explored its vast, arid playground aboard big Harleys, Triumphs, BSAs and the like, simply because that's all that was available. At that time, only a few "gringos" dared venture south of the border, most of them avid sports fishermen headed to the teeming waters of either the Pacific Ocean or the Sea of Cortez. Brothers Bud and Dave Ekins were among those SoCal desert racers, though they were faster than most and often finished at the front of the pack. "When you grow up out in the [San Fernando] Valley and you go out riding in the desert, you learn to go fast without being able to see very well because of the dust," says Dave Ekins. Among their many accomplishments included Bud who won over all at the Catalina Grand Prix in 1955, and the Big Bear hare & hound three times with Dave often winning one of the smaller displacement classes. Later, both would try something different by racing the International Six Days Trial in Europe several times. BACK IN 1962, HONDA CAME OUT WITH ITS CL72 SCRAMBLER 250; A FOUR-SPEED, FOUR- STROKE TWIN, ITS HIGH PIPES AND LACK OF ELECTRIC STARTER DIFFERENTIATING IT FROM THE POPULAR CB72 HAWK 250 STREET BIKE. DAVE EKINS DID VERY LITTLE MODIFYING TO READY A PAIR FOR THE HISTORY-MAKING RIDE DOWN THE BAJA PENINSULA HE AND BILL ROBERTSON, JR., COMPLETED. 047 SCORE JOURNAL

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