Since 1968The Mexican 1000

Set in some of the most iconic & rugged landscapes in North America, the Mexican 1000 is as much a race against the land itself as it is against other vehicles. The free-spirited nature of the rally has earned it the nickname, "the happiest race on Earth."

The origins of desert racing are as wild and spontaneous as the sport itself. The Mexican 1000 rally, now in its 56th year, has become known around the globe as one of motorsports' toughest challenges. Birthed from a series of bar room bets, the first event hosted 68 entries from around the world.

The '68 Race

By the event's second run in '68, Hollywood celebrities such as James Garner and Steve McQueen, as well as motorsport legends like Parnelli Jones and Malcolm Smith, had jumped in to join the action.

The Wampuskitty

The 1968 Funco Wampuskitty chassis built for this year's event was raced by motorsports greats of the era like; Malcolm Smith, Mickey Thompson, Bobby Ferro, and TV’s Van Williams. The front A-Arm suspension and tubular space frame were wildly ahead of their time and quickly became the definitive racing chassis of the year.

One of the earliest Wampuskitty race cars was owned and campaigned in the ‘68 race by Botany 500, a celebrity suiting brand for the “young bachelor” worn by many of the TV greats of the era. With Safari Special’s reconstruction of that original chassis, it was only natural we follow suit in branding the chassis and supplying race gear. Also, we generally just like saying “Wampuskitty.”

Courtesy of The Safari Special Tom Stamp Archive

Safari Special

Safari Special is an archivist project documenting & celebrating the first 10 years of desert racing & SoCal/Mex culture from 1967-77. It all started with a few photos of Baja in the 70s. Safari Special founder Tim Martin uncovered a trove of his grandfather’s photos from the original Baja 1000 races that told the story of his love for the untamed land and the equally wild motorsport culture of the time. That discovery prompted Tim to begin the Safari Special as a project to chart & catalog the mavericks, the cowboys, the renegades, and the machines that made the sport what it is today.

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