Is James Glickenhaus set to become the Steve Fossett of the auto world?
Not content with developing his own one-off Ferrari hypercar, the director of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) has a new toy to play with. Jim bought Steve McQueen’s original Hurst ‘Baja Boot’ at an auction in 2010, and with the car came a gold mine of spares and technical drawings.
Now the 67-year old tycoon has reimagined the Boot in a modern guise and aims to not only set a record this year for the highest altitude drive with it, but is also planning to drive one from New York to Paris in summer 2020.
It probably hasn’t escaped you that there’s a significant obstacle in undertaking that drive called the Bering Strait, 82 kilometres of icy sea that separates Cape Dezhnev, Russia from Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska. Glick plans to drive west from the Big Apple, amphibiously across the Bering Sea, down the Road of Bones, across the Trans-Siberian Highway through Beijing, Moscow, St. Petersburg and then on to Paris.
As a warm up for that event, SCG is planning to give the Boot a workout by claiming the world record for driving to the highest altitude by car, which currently stands at 6,688 m (21,942 ft) on the Ojos Del Salado volcano, Atacama, Chile. The record is currently held by a couple of blokes who went up there in a Suzuki Jimny, so our money’s on SCG here. It’s actually quite an undertaking when you consider that 4 percent of people who venture to 7000m return in a bag. Oh, and the team are looking to enter the vehicles in the 2019 Baja 1000 race.
Glickenhaus is looking to build a limited production run of 25 Boots in two- and four-door guises from $125k. Power will come from a naturally aspirated V8 engine, although the company hasn’t announced who its partner is here. We know it’s not Ford, but other than that, his lips are sealed. With over 500mm of suspension travel it’ll be able to make mincemeat of just about any other off the shelf 4x4 you can think of, although SCG will also offer the car in a rear-drive form which, frankly, sounds like ridiculous fun.
Although the chances of any Boots ending up in Australia look slim to none, the central driving position means that it won’t get pinged for being right-hooker. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating undertaking and we take our hats off to Jim’s no-limits approach. Onwards and upwards…