Thursday, August 23, 2012

Over 56 Years of Baja Motorsports, Years before the Baja 1000, now the CABO 500 Celebrates 57 Years of Racing in 2013

 UPDATED! Never before published, the 1955, desert racing event, the early CABO 500. The Great desert racing people of Baja California South had already organized their first races for the long desert stretches 12 years before the first Baja Mille Miglia, "Baja 1000", in 1967. Entering the Finish Line, pictured  here in La Paz, the Ford Model A 1932, nicknamed "The Bell". Author Evaristo E. Murillo

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BCS, Baja California South From Ensenada, Baja California North

Hardened traveling south Californian FAMILIES BY LONE ROADS OF SAN JOSE DEL CABO - PEACE - ENSENADA - Mexicali.

Reported By: Estrada Murillo Evaristo

1932 Ford sedan car Strong four cylinders, standart transmission, three changes, the famous Model A exceeded all areas and all weather conditions on the endless gaps in the peninsula of Baja California from Mexicali to San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. the first bajamileros .. ... Photo. Rigo Arce.


Here are some experiences of the ancient routes that our grandfathers and grandmothers carried out by the endless roads of the then Territory of Baja California Sur, from Mexicali to La Paz or San Jose del Cabo in the first decades of 1900 to slow but strong board vehicles newly produced by the companies Ford, Chevrolet and General Motors among others built long after the asphalt road the transpeninsular Benito Juarez in 1973.

Many families in the early twentieth century began to travel the roads of the peninsula during the period in which the manufacturers of vehicles with internal combustion engine as the Ford Motor Company of Detroit Henry Ford in the United States began to produce units in series and large-scale in 1903.
First the emblematic Model T and immediately after the Model A.

Author. Evaristo E. Murillo

In 1535 with the arrival of the Spanish Jesuit missionaries and the first Californians knew the horses, donkeys, cows, sheep and goats, the first two were used as means of transport and cargo through the peninsula, in the eighteenth century, Father Eusebio Kino traveled throughout California and came to Sonora, over 6,000 kms.

Before the advent of motor vehicles, were used as cattle-drawn carts in this graph taken in late 1800 in what is now the pier on the boardwalk in La Paz.

In early 1900, Don Loreto Amao Mendoza (husband of Doña Dominga Gonzalez), a native of San Antonio Community of Southern California with a group of farm workers started from the port of Santa Rosalia, a long journey on horseback to Ensenada and even crossed the border to work in laying the railway tracks in San Francisco in the United States, said Dr. segúm Mark Acuna Gonzalez.

Slope of the Rumorosa in Mexicali, 1914 include the first vehicles and workers

First path at the foot of the slope of the Rumorosa, there is this unit was heated engine, damage to tires and differential. By the radiator there is a vapor column.

The graph shows a convoy of cars in Mexicali, Baja pioneers in the gap they opened because there was a network of roads in the communities before the era of motor transport animals were used.

FIRST DRIVER LICENSE IN BCS that were shipped in the 20s

Author Evaristo E. Murillo

In these graphs there is a FORD car of the 20s., Likewise men and women of 1928 who received their first driver's licenses among them the famous Black Bensenman who incidentally was the first man in Lower drove a vehicle that in 1899, was hired by the company as a mechanic and driver Ruffo, it fell off the wagon from the deck of a boat.

At the bottom of the radiator of the vehicle stands at number one, apparently it is a Ford Model T sedan with three-pedal transmission.

Mr. Pedro Verdugo, 1934 license
Teodora Flores, 1928 license

Albert W. License Bensenman 1928, first man to drive a vehicle in the Baja Sur in 1899.

By the proximity of the peninsula with the northern neighbor in 1899 La Paz had its first vehicle and certainly before Porfirio Diaz introduced the first car to Mexico City in 1903.

In the main cities of the Territory had facilities for fuel, but in the villages was available only a few cans of 20 liters or 200 liters jars.
The long journeys were made ​​by those intrepid south Californian families threatened by the specter of poverty, hunger and joblessness took the decision to migrate to the northern lands, withstand extreme temperatures of summer, the dreaded hurricane or severe weather in winter, the dense fog that makes visibility, overcome the dangers and obstacles imposed on him by rough track conditions and mechanical failure of their means of transport that were resolved through the experience, foresight, skill and innovation their drivers who managed a perfect symbiosis between man, machine and environment to reach their destination in long days that lasted two to three months.

Vehicle speeds was sometimes to a crawl on rough terrain or less than 20 mph on straight roads without hindrance. 

Former section gap Mulege - Loreto, the famous hill of the donkey, which was scaled by the Model A Ford car emblematic, sometimes passengers had to get off the unit to climb to the top.

The CABO 500 in 2013 Continues the Tradition of the Land

What initially was a necessity of survival, over time has become an extreme sport that has attracted the attention of thousands of fans of car racing as the famous Baja Thousand Miles from Ensenada to La Paz, precisely because these same gaps used and known as the palms of your hands our grandparents on an adventure come and go in the car types unforgettable pick ups, camioncitos, sedan, coupe or convertible with its characteristic flown fenders, big headlights, the folding boxes, the unforgettable sound of his horn, tires with rims wood or metal, strong iron engines with powerful four-cylinder transmissions, differentials and springs that exceeded all kinds of terrain.

Author. Evaristo E. Murillo

Curiously, in those times the first motor vehicles share the same roads with wagons, carts pulled by horses or proceedings, donkeys or mules, "when the first cars, people got scared and hid in their homes, were not explained as a lot of irons and blades could walk without beasts were impressed everyone, "said Maria de Jesus Suarez Ruiz who was born in 1910 in the town of San Antonio.

Carlon said Don Jesus Perez (El Pescadero 1932) that many people, the chamacada and even dogs, were impressed that never in his life had been one of those things that walk noisily through the engine and also with the horn of the cars, which caused the dogs barking as demon-possessed "I remember a friend telling him - the dazed, he gave a sow that led to the pigsty, the cochi ripped like crazy and also sunny came home, told her mother that scared him a big animal with a black iron ojotes (the headlights) that to "tarúúúúúúgo, tarúúúúúgo, tarúúúúúúgo." It was the distinctive sound of the horn of the first Ford vehicles.

At that time only was required to observe the natural elements as a means of guidance, currently used pagers and satellite navigators, GPS, helicopters, large teams of logistic support, powerful and modern vehicles, financial resources, as well as an impressive number of fans, previously families thousands of kilometers they toured virtually alone in the immensity of the peninsula.


Author. Evaristo E. Murillo

 To reach the Northland had two alternatives, the first traveling by sea La Paz - Santa Rosalia, then by land Santa Rosalia, Ensenada and even some travelers to go to the agricultural valley of Mexicali took the route to the port San Felipe.

    The second option but was more costly and time consuming and difficult to use the endless dirt roads from San Jose del Cabo or La Paz to the port of Ensenada even further north, but it was necessary to have a vehicle in good condition, food, fuel , spare parts and reserve money to reach your destination in a protracted affair that lasted until 12 weeks, but not before withstand extreme weather conditions, the winding car swaying and brincoteo who repeatedly suffered damage to the sandy, dusty, rocky gaps in a maze of over 1,500 kilometers that they became almost impossible to cross in times of rain or hurricanes.

    Sometimes the trips were of almost 3000 miles round trip, but the return was prolonged by work requirements, for the weather, economic conditions of families traveling or a thousand things that happened along the way. 
There was also able to travel by plane but at that time were few flights and commercial air routes were just beginning to cross the country.

There is precedent in Baja California Sur in 1929 landed a plane of the Mexican Air Force on a test flight built by General Azcarate.

Families who settled in the north of the peninsula and in Mexicali, Ensenada and Tecate and had the need to migrate to towns in the south as San Jose del Cabo and La Paz, they were able to use gaps or even Lower the Pacific Railway starting point in Mexicali, down by the state of Sonora and Sinaloa for later use the sea to the port of La Paz. There are also references from the Port of Ensenada boats sailed to San Jose del Cabo.



1941 photo taken in the neighborhood of Las Casitas located on avenidad Lic Allende and Juárez Primo de Verdad between the Port of La Paz BCS, the background shows the wooden house of Don Andres Estrada, a Ford truck and the distance apart the traditional windmill to draw water.

 Such is the case of Don Andres Estrada Verdugo "The Chévere" home builder from El Triunfo Baja California Sur, Mexico, Elena Dominguez Navarro housewife also from El Triunfo, young couple without much protocol and festivities together their lives in 1935, a year after he had fathered her daughter Victoria Estrada Dominguez, Mario and Amalia born later who lived in what is now known as the Las Casitas located in the current avenues Ignacio Allende, Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez and Bachelor Primo de Truth in the city of La Paz.


So was the neighborhood of the Casitas after the cyclone of 41 houses hundreds of wood, cardboard and palm were destroyed by the effects of wind and water fights from the drawer and the hill atravezado.

   After enduring a series of economic and material needs that lasted for several years in the city of La Paz, I even survive a major hurricane that caused the flooding of a large creek where the whole family was about to die, Don Andres and Elena crossed the strong current with their children in their arms while their flimsy wooden house was swept away almost instantly by the flashing waters of the hill coming through.

The bold marriage decides to try better luck traveling to the port of Ensenada, sleep almost impossible to the many challenges that meant crossing the bowels of the mountains, valleys, deserts, coasts, plateaus, creeks and cliffs.


Downtown La Paz in 1944 and Madero 16 Sep avenues. The building on the left was the telegraph office, the tower in the background was the old City Hall. Photo AHCERMLC
One day in 1942 in the city of La Paz, South Territory of Baja California, Elena had prepared a delicious breakfast of machaca beef, cooked beans, a rich coffee and a kilogram bag of flour tortillas, all cooked in a brick burner using mesquite chips as fuel, rods chollas and dry.

Just when he finishes his breakfast comes with a chopito Don Andres' cheese and juicy beef "that had succeeded with some friends ranchers, sits at the table with their children and are available for breakfast.

        Hey Andres living conditions here in La Paz are canijas, with what little you earn in the work we barely enough to eat, we have a place to live, much less furniture and clothes for our two children, is not it best would be working in Ensenada, say there is much work and they pay very well, is if we are lucky you can go to the United States to earn more money with the Yankees, said Dona Elena.
        For the truth if I thought - said a little worried Don Andres - "look older than you are right, though work on the site, the money does not reach us, we just have to half-eaten, as the northern relatives to talk to me everything is better there and want us out as gather some money for the trip, we go on the boat to raguan leaving La Paz to Santa Rosalia, after'll grab a shuttle that will take us to Ensenada and ready to work.

Precisely in those years had initiated the conflict of the Second World War in Europe, a situation that worsened economic conditions for both the U.S. and Mexico. At that time President Manuel Avila Camacho ordered the creation of the Civil Defence Committees provision is complied with faithfully by the then Governor and Commander of the Southern Territory, Gen. Francisco J. Mugica.


Author. Evaristo E. Murillo

When the day comes to leave, Don Andrew, Elena, their children Victoria, Mario and Amalia say goodbye with sadness and melancholy of a humble house of wood and cardboard palm roof that had built environment of the neighborhood near Las Casitas; to leave the city of their birth, such as luggage carried two cardboard boxes tied with a rope, four blankets, two kilos of flour tortillas, machaca burro meat, a jar of coffee bag, bean stews, dry cheese , dates, sweet pitahaya and a little capital they had accumulated to cover travel expenses, but the saying of the time was "No lunch for the trip to reach."

In the afternoon we approach the cargo ship The A raguan in the old pier located in Alvaro Obregon and May 5, sounds the whistle as a signal source and the ship began to sail the bay of La Paz, suddenly enveloped in sobs and tears embrace the whole family in a circle and say goodbye to the city of their birth, in the distance on the edge of the beach several pairs of hands were waving their hands in farewell it was Elena's relatives, Ramona Navarro Ortega, Ortega Desideria, Gregorio Dominguez, John, Victor, Jesus Dominguez Chule Navarro Fierro Tomas Navarro, as well as the relatives of Don Andres Estrada Incarnation Verdugo, Don Chon, Aristaeus, Josefa, Petra and Paula Estrada Verdugo.

After several minutes of sailing a school of sardines are pursued at full speed for a dozen hungry dolphins, diverts attention from the small family who watch watch from the deck of A surprise raguan the persecution and thus forget for a moment the sad farewell of her humble home.

Smooth sailing through the Gulf of California and arrive at the port of Loreto, where he loaded several tons of watermelons and cattle.


Puerto de Sta Rosali 40s., Mining town of El Boleo Co., photo AHCERMLC

P osteriormente are directed to the port of Santa Rosalia and descended from a small boat that is powered by a pair of oars to the beach that day after walking a few blocks from downtown Santa Rosalia, observed ruins of what was a small hotel located next to the bakery El Boleo, Don Andres interview with some neighbors for permission and sleep in the abandoned building, decide to sleep that night in the place, without furniture or beds more than a few old boards that had collected in the street.

Before sunset the Victoria girl who affectionately called him the Korita from a dusty window turns to look at the top of a mountain and watch dozens of hanging baskets carrying groups of men in uniform light brown, colorful helmets on their heads .

It was at that time miners who worked in the extraction of copper and were hired by the mining company El Boleo.

"Never forget the plume that rose from a small railroad and mineral carrying people to the huge cargo ship docked at the pier of the port" recalls Mrs. Victoria ".

The next day just before dawn, a mild aromatic odor of freshly baked bread at the bakery the Boleo wakes Don Andrew who in turn itchy and breaks ribs Elena's dream to tell him to go get coffee and a snorers few pieces of biscuit, or a birotes shells for breakfast for her little children.


Author. Evaristo E. Murillo

After several hours of waiting in the distance you hear the horn to alert transportation of passengers, it was a strong 6 cylinder vehicle Jeep wagon wheel drive standard transmission 5-speed, 10 seats, a small rear compartment adapted to greater volume and a roof rack for loading. This was the famous Route Diligence covering Postal Traveling the circuit number 18 in Ensenada - Santa Rosalia.

Photo: RigoArce

When the passengers were ready in the car, again the driver sounds the horn to signal, then begins its journey through the gap on a winding route of about 1000 kilometers, after ascending the dangerous slope hell out of Santa Rosalia, arriving in the community of San Ignacio to collect messaging, fuel load and go their way north.

Practically the trip from Santa Rosalia to the port of Esenada uneventful, come to a small terminal and later Don Andres locates his sister Josefa Estrada Verdugo who receives them with great joy and immediately prepares you a delicious breakfast of eggs, beans , corn tortillas and coffee.

In a car like this Ford Model A 1932, Estrada Dominguez family traveled in 1942 from Ensenada to La Paz, eventually husband of Victoria Evaristo Estrada Murillo is acquired for your home, this unit was the father Zelindo Meringo, with this carcanchita traveled to the villages to teach doctrine.


Chronic Evaristo E. Murillo

The effort and work that made ​​Mr. Andrés year from 1942 to 1945 mainly in the construction of houses and buildings in the Port of Ensenada, able to accumulate a little capital, enough to buy a 1932 Ford Model A car with a 4-cylinder engine standard transmission which used to return with his family to the city of La Paz.

Vehicle 1932 Ford Model A,,, in the graphic Mrs. Victoria Dominguez Estrada Murillo and her husband Evaristo Evaristo Mtz and his sons, Victor, Esther Elena and Norberto Murillo.

As a precaution, sending your car to a garage in order to perform a complete rebuild of your engine, check the chassis, transmission, differential, springs, rods and brake linings, grease bearings and direction, honeycomb radiator , hoses and electrical cables as it would have to endure the effort of the 1,500 miles of pure gap.

While repairs were made ​​to foringo model A, the family prepares his bags, food and everything necessary for the long journey south was the year 1945, the girl suddenly released a loud cry Korita "Apa-conditioning, Mom, Mom., a globote, a globote in heaven "actually it was a Zeppelin balloon type which heralded the end of World War II, music and people had a grand voice announcing the end of the war United States and its allies against Nazi Germany.

It was big news and bustle as everyone in Ensenada came to demonstrate in the streets, some crying and others sounding the horn of his car, Vitoria says Estrada.

Precisely in that year a few days after the conclusion of the war against Adolf Hitler Füher German, Japanese Emperor Showa Tenno Irohito and the Duce Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini Italian, Dominguez Estrada family begins its return to the city of La Paz.

Don Andres somewhat desperate and nervous collect the vehicle workshop testing even without heating, settings, power and good engine. His decision was because he trusted the experience and reputation of the garage for repairs to vehicles also performed in the United States.

Immediately fuel load, 4 cans of gasoline of 20 liters, 5 liters of oil, a jar of grease, a basic tool, lamp oil, two tires, a package of spare tubes, patches, hot patch huarache, matches, a small press pressure, a manual air pump, eight spark plugs, starting, distributor, 2 bands, a water pump, a power generator, two coils, 4 points, two resistors, four water cans of 20 liters, a carburetor , a package for the headstock and one for the crankcase, two steel safe differential axles, 4 bearings, 10 lug nuts, mended wire, electrical wire, rope, graphite, oil pump, 4 valves, lifters, four sets of piston rods, a small shovel, ax, machete, a tent, a 22-caliber rifle and pistol with ammunition, binoculars, knife, steel spring, a mechanical jack, two levers spatula, spreader, two bar soaps , a pencil and notebook, food, grill, food, pots, pan, bucket, blanket, red, gifts and sweets.
3-speed transmission standart

block and steel crankshaft

With front brake pads, bearings and pin

without metal rod, they used a
pulp known as Babet

kerosene lamp

Strong and durable Ford Model A engine
4 cylinder, exceeded all areas and all road conditions most difficult times in the peninsula of Baja California Norte and Sur.

A small but courageous LAUNCHES FAMILY ADVENTURE
Author. Evaristo E. Murillo
The traveler delegation was integrated in 1945 by Mr. Andrew, Elena, their children Victoria, Mario, Amalia and Maria Luisa Estrada Dominguez several months old.

Very early goodbye to their families in Ensenada, Josefa Estrada was Verdugo, who was his host for several years in that distant place.

The carcanchita Ford Model A was finally loaded to the brim, even a dog "The black" slipped into the delegation of the Baja adventurers, looked like a wagon miner who sought gold in North America.

Vitoria Remember that early in the morning left the port of Ensenada to La Paz, said that everyone was happy because after 4 years finally return home.

Talk to the early days made ​​it across without incident by the farms and small farming communities like St. Thomas, Camalu, San Augustine, San Quentin, the Marble, Lake Chapala, Cataviña, Punta Prieta, in some places we rested, we slept in other , invited us to dinner, we bought gas cans, water and some food, the black 1932 Ford carcanchita progressed slowly but steadily, the jumps were endless, we passed a ranch, another, another and another, a curve, a mountain and more pending but with an eye toward the goal that was our home.

But the problems begin because the radiator is stuck with a dead branch that was on the gap, pull the water and start heating; my father reached the shade of a mesquite and start with the repairs, we applied a paste black but like we had to wait for dry we had to sleep there in the field.

Every time we had suffered damage build a camp on the mountain, I think they were the happiest moments of our childhood as my father cleaned the area, put some stones in a circle for a fire, while my mother amazaba flour, my father got deep into the forest to collect enough firewood to cook and spend the night.

Then she was ready the grill and griddle my mother baked the delicious flour tortillas, warmed beans, to crush and bag coffee, were extraordinary moments "had dinner in the light of the campfire, or under the moonlight and also under thousands of stars with a chorus of hundreds of crickets. "

Before going to bed my father played the accordion sometimes, sometimes the guitar or just listen to the radio, around the campfire playing some rhythmic tunes they made ​​us dance like that song "Back in the big ranch" and even sang a love songs dedicated to my mother, I remember I liked Rosario Night, Scratching the Sun, Eyes of my Elena, Ways of Life, among others.


Talk Vitoria in a section of the route is finished gasoline and water are practically immobile at Don Andres decides to seek help from a nearby ranch, but as cars barely passed through the area on foot is directed at 10 é in the morning at low heat, after waiting more than 7 hours finally appears on the horizon with a given gas can in one hand and a package of food in the other, Don Andres returned but in poor physical condition from the effects of heat, causing fatigue and hunger faint, and his wife attends, she wets her face with a damp cloth, air pours with cardboard and regains consciousness, he gives a little water and some food, then follow their way southward.


The famous and awesome Donkey slope one way that only experts could go ...

As the tide had risen at the foot of the slope of the donkey this off of Santa Rosalia, Don Andres decides to cross a swamp about 300 meters long, but as the tide had risen suddenly the vehicle is stuck and suddenly the engine stops work because the water affect the electrical system and spark plugs.

Again going for help at a nearby ranch and actually returned with four men fishing in the area, once dry the system plugs ignite the vehicle and the four men to manage lung and push the car out of the marsh.

To climb the slope of the donkey whole family has to leave your vehicle in order to overcome the slope, only the driver reaches the top, then Don Andres directs poderososo carcanchita 4-cylinder to the direction of San Javier along a road crowded with rocks and mountains, "If there was nothing to do Loreto or pa to reach travelers said," To go to the capital of the Californias was necessary to visit the famous stream of Parras

Section gap Conception Bay, before reaching the town of Mulege, a single right way and the sea

After overcoming the beach area and tides, as well as the mountains of Mulege, drivers take a series of streams and creeks as the Bean, however complicated and gaps continue until you reach the rocky oasis of the Jesuit mission of San Javier then grab the gap to San Isidro and La Purisima so the same cross by St. Michael and St. Joseph of Comondu, the route continued to cruise the area now Ciudad Constitucion, the travelers were on their way to the mission of San Luis Gonzaga.

The famous and now Cruise Cd Constitution required years of 1950s.

Commented our grandparents before coming to La Paz, the drivers took the Pacific route is in the area of the Rabbit, then cross the edges, get to mile 35, the gaps down the Centenary of the ejido to the turn of km 13 where now stands the last check point of the Baja Mil.

Author. Evaristo E. Murillo

Don Bernabe from San Jose Perpuly Comondú says that in 1937 the town mechanic Horacio "El Bachi" Olachea Smith, was from Los Comondús to the family of Felix Aguiar to the agricultural valley of Mexicali BC, says that in the gap, the wife of Mr. Aguiar gave birth to a child, a situation that forced them to camp in the bush.

Main street of San Miguel de Comondú in the background shows the first vehicles on the gap transpeninsular. Photo AHCERMLC.

He said he used a truck platform type 1928 Ford four-cylinder, the foringo was called "The Cantacurrí" carried her three children, wife and father, at that time there was much poverty in Comondús and many people it started out to emigrate to the luggers where the government was giving away land for cultivation as Chicali.

He said that the sale of a dairy cow and other items Mr. Aguiar was able to finance the trip to the Far Mexicali had to leave their home, their property and their land.

The truth was needed much courage to leave home to home and more venture by the distant roads of the peninsula of Baja California, especially those traveling in small vehicles actually his strength lay in its chassis, engine, transmission, its docks, but definitely the skill of their drivers to pass through the difficult routes.


"The existing roads are narrow gaps in long stretches only allow access by a single shot, and although the terrain is flat in general, is covered with rough and sharp vegetation, sometimes is so sandy that it is not easy to cross two cars to go in a different direction.
Many of these gaps are poorly aligned and transport large uncertainty flowing through them, making it necessary to go slowly, thus restricting the scope of a force stationed for the purpose of military operations.
In none of these gaps is the most basic work of art, besides being unlined, which makes harvesting difficult, because in every fold of the ground must not throttle down to destroy the vehicle and transient, for the most insignificant Rain puts slippery and Atascosa, taking place this last problem also in very dry weather because the soil is crumbly and dusty in excess.
Despite all these defects are still lacking many gaps to communicate vital points which ligament is necessary to plan a good campaign. As is evident, this class of roads only allows an average speed of 20 km / hour. "

Original Source: The Grail in BCS Mugica J. Fco., 1941 - 1946, John Cuahutémoc Murillo.
The Story Continues Soon... 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

enjoyed old fotos..have any more of san miguel de comondu?