This 1968 Ford Bronco is the most successful Pioneer 4×4 class truck in modern NORRA desert racing history, it has competed in the brutal Mexican 1000 since 2010, racking up 7 class wins and 4 Pioneer-era “Steve McQueen” trophies.
“The Bronco has always been the benchmark of off-road ability and an icon in the world of desert racing, but perhaps more importantly, it is a symbol of cool that has no equal. Nothing beats driving a cool-ass vintage Ford Bronco through a cactus lined trail in Baja, with a big moustache covered in dust. We look forward to that feeling fifty-one weeks a year.” – Boyd Jaynes
The 2019 running of the Mexican 1000 would see the much loved Devil Horse Motorsports Ford Bronco fitted with a new engine, it had been running a 351 Cleveland V8 for the first 9 years, accumulating almost 10,000 race miles and a slew of victories.
The team wanted to stick to engines from the blue oval for heritage purposes, so they sourced a brand new Ford Performance Parts X2347 crate engine – a 347 stroker V8 producing 360 hp in a lightweight, low-compression package able to run on local Mexican low-octane pump gas. Ford developed the X2347 to be daily drivable, tough, and as reliable as possible, making it perfect for use in off-road endurance racing.
“Changing to the 347 stroker had a dramatic effect on every aspect of the vehicle, the change in the power to weight ratio, increase in usable horsepower and reliability all contributed to what felt like an ‘awakened’ race truck. Brian and I both agreed the distance between corners seemed shorter and the truck was compliant with every squirt of the throttle. We found ourselves running in a portion of the field with, supposedly, much faster vehicles. And of course having more power in a race car is always better, but when it sounds as wicked as this engine does, that’s a big bonus.”
“I also love that our new engine came direct from Detroit. ‘Born in Detroit, built for Baja’ can refer to both the truck and myself, as I’m from the greater Detroit area.” – Boyd Jaynes
Amazingly the team covered 1,300 miles of rugged Baja terrain on one set of Yokohama Geolandar M/T tires with no flats, a feat that would have been impressive in a regular road truck travelling at the speed limit.
The first official running of the now legendary race was in 1967 as the NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally, it was won by Vic Wilson and Ted Mangels driving a Meyers Manx VW Beetle-based beach buggy.
A variety of oftentimes surprising vehicles have won the race in the following decades, with the race now covering a number of classes offering spaces for everything from vintage 4x4s to entirely modern bespoke racing trucks.
The Devil Horse Motorsports Team have become a Mexican fan favourite for their use of bespoke racing suits modified to look like mariachi outfits, the team owners/drivers Boyd Jaynes and Brian Godfrey grow out their moustaches for the event, and they put their sombreros on as soon as the day’s racing is finished and the helmets come off.
Ford Broncos have been desert racing since shortly after the model was first introduced, they’ve racked up countless wins over the decades in the most brutal forms of desert racing known to man, and there’s no sign of this run coming to an end.
If you’d like to see more from Boyd and Brian you can click here to follow their adventures on Instagram or here to follow them on Facebook
Ben has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.