anyone have a 1970 Baja 500 Roster, or know if a Ranchero raced?

RancheroBob

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When my grandfather passed, my mom suggested I buy a small truck which would be able to transport his belongings from the Assisted Living Center he was in. I'm in San Diego and know the problems with smog so I sought a pre-1975 vehicle. On Craigslist somebody had posted a 1968 Ranchero. I found Bob near National City California. The owner says it belonged to his father who had recently had a stroke and that it had a history of racing. He did not elaborate and I just simply saw a small truck that ran well. After using it and driving it for about a year I noticed some odd things on it mainly a plaque mounted to the dash that says Baja 500 norra 1970. Also there seem to be a decaying switch box for a set of lights that had once been on the top. A few buttons? cletes for two sets of tires. Holes for a light bar now removed.

The Ranchero had originally been white. I had Googled Baja 500 white Ranchero and had come up with one that was owned by Hot Rod racing and shown in the 27 hours to La Paz. However Hot Rod Magazine of course would not return my emails. What I do know is that there had once been a stick shift in the car however it was now automatic. The engine in it a 289 had been swapped out. The person who sold be car said it had a big block at one time. (ive since put in a 460) My Ranchero has been a loyal worker for me. . I've posted pictures of Bob including the plaque. I'm wondering if it had been one of the Rancheros owned by Henry Arras and raced in the Baja 500 in 1970s. If anybody has any photographs, knowledge or can possibly link me to this vehicle's history I would be very happy. Also I would like to paint it its original Baja colors and restore the emblems if it is indeed a car that had once raced with norra. Does anybody have a roster of the 1970 Baja 500 participants? Or know of a Ranchero that had raced in 1970? Or has anybody else gotten a little plaque like the one shown in the photo? If anybody has any information I would be very appreciative as I have a Ranchero who just truly wants to know his origin. I did try to contact the former owner but his phone is disconnected and the old emails dont tell anything. Even tried the dmv database and it only goes back 5 years... when I bought the car. Thank you

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partybarge_pilot

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That one is a 70/71.

I had a 69, they were not great off road. Way to much overhang in the rear and not really much weight in the back for traction.
 

RancheroBob

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I've researched this pretty thoroughly. Ray Brock supposedly had a 4-speed and a 390 in the white 68 Ranchero shown in 27 hours to La Paz.. Mine was a small block 289 and an automatic C4 when I bought it. However there was a hole cut for a 4-speed, and had a hurst floor shifter. There was no colemn shifter and a floor auto shift wasnt an option in 1968. My theory was in 69 or 70 they had a few rancheros or clones of the Viva Ranchero. I contacted the president of Norra and he confirmed that they did not record VIN numbers back then. Hot Rod Magazine wouldn't return any emails. It seemed like the Viva Ranchero was a unique white Ranchero. Why would another team Race such a similar quintessential car as Ray Brock? Still curious if anybody else has seen one of those little plaques on any of the other vintage cars like the one that is on Bob. Thanks again for your reply. I figured the best way would be to see a car roster from 1970.
 

BajaTriumph

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Dash plaques were given to Norra participants since the first 1967 race.
 

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harleys dad

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I doubt it would be the one that you have, a cage would have been required and removed would show the cages existience from the past. Those plaques have been sold and collected for decades I very much doubt your ranchero raced Baja. You would see many signs of cage gas tank all kinds of tell tale stuff
 

harleys dad

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I found this in the Petersen Museum Archives.
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the lights on the top of that car would drain most bank accounts these days, Original Cibie super oscars with grey back in good condition with covers are about 1700 to over 2 grand each these days. The worst lights ever. We had those on our ariginal class 11 in 1975 into 76 and took them all off and replaced them with Kc. I still have the original cibies I used them winning a More 500 and forgot how bad they were lol I could hardly see with them
 

RancheroBob

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I've watched the 27 hour to La Paz video and when the Ranchero comes up I cannot see any roll cage on the interior of the Ranchero.
Maybe somebody else can chime in but I don't think roll cages were mandatory in 1970.
Now behind the back window it looks like one time there had been a light bar installed. There are some holes going down all the way down to the bed.

One of the first things I did inadvertently when i got it was pull off the underdash control box for a light bar and it literally disintegrated in my hand and became powder plastic. It was black about 2inches x 1.5 inches and had a rusted switch in it. Possibly a dimmer.
 

michael.gonzalez

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I see a Shittybilt-style ~3" tube roll bar. Was that acceptable as adequate material for a true "roll cage" back then?

Great looking car!
 
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