The world of Baja racing is full of one-of-a-kind vehicles — magnificent machinations built with one single purpose: to traverse the world’s most insidious desert terrain. As is the case with most competitive platforms, there’s almost always an enamoring “story to be told” — however, few truths are as elegant as those surrounding this 1974 Volkswagen Beetle Baja Bug.
To bring the vehicle into the spotlight for its debut at the 1974 “Baja 1000,” owners Siggy Pelum and Fred Althaus called upon the expertise of Audi Factory Works rally driver Bruno Kreibich, who oversaw the project. In preparation for the grueling overland race (which spans from Ensenada, Mexico, to La Paz) the vehicle was outfitted with a full fiberglass VW body, plexiglass windows, and a chrome-moly tube frame for strategic weight savings. Components like a Rally Abarth exhaust, interior air intake system, and a Porsche RS60 suspension were added, giving the air-cooled, 120-horsepower Type 4 a leg up on its competition. In 1978, the Baja Bug placed first overall in the “24-Horas de Puerto Rico,” before moving on to secure podium finishes in 12 different SCCA Pro Rally events during its tenure. Due to its scrappy nature, the Bug would eventually become known as the “Desert Mouse” — and now, the rambunctious rodent is looking for a new home. If you’re interested in acquiring one of Baja’s most iconic vehicles, head over to Hemmings’ website for more information.
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