The mad men behind Las Vegas’ famous Mint 400 desert race reckon there’s no school like old school. Not only will original vintage cars be allowed to race, but they’ll be joined by an open modified vintage class this year. There’s going to be some amazing retro machinery on the course next month.

After successfully introducing a limited vintage class in 2015, it’s awesome to see the sector expanding and some classic cars getting a chance to fight again. As long as cars meet the safety requirements for Best In The Desert events, there won’t be any limits on what owners can do to them.

“There are a lot of really cool vintage off-road race vehicles out there that are still capable of racing. After class steward Norm ‘Hot Rod’ Francis approached us with the idea, we thought it would be a great way to celebrate the history of The Mint 400 by creating a new “Open Class” that allows modified vehicles [1992 and older] to come race. The large majority of vintage off-road vehicles have had some sort of modification,” said Mint 400 CEO Matt Martelli in a press release.

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I’m all about this. Why should these historic race cars keep collecting dust in the back corners of barns?

“Frank ‘Scoop’ Vessels’ legendary BFG Blazer will be on display inside the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.” –Mad Media

The retro cars will be fun to look at without a doubt, but I like what this could mean for competition too.

The suspension technology and power levels of modern trophy trucks and buggies is getting people to unbelievable speeds in (relatively) far greater comfort than I bet any desert racer would have thought possible at the first running of the Mint.

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As excited as I am for new photos of old Broncos, Blazers and one-man buggies blazing through the dunes I’m really stoked to see how today’s drivers do in archaic cars.

To add some style and extra authenticity, Biltwell Helmets is hooking up a line of retro lids for the both the original and open vintage classes, painted by Pete “Hot Dog” Finlan, a “legendary SoCal painter and pin striper.”

Bob Gordon proved an old guy in a primitive car could get dangerously close to today’s champ in the latest tech at the 2015 NORRA Mexican 1000, another vintage-car race across Baja. Who of our generation of racing legends will be brave enough to try their skills in a car that’s older than they are?

Rory Ward restored the famous Mickey Thompson Challenger IV Buggy, and will be racing it this year. –Mad Media

The Mint 400 has already posted complete vintage class rules, which you can read before signing up to compete. Come on, kick some rust off that old truck and get your butt to the desert!

Images via Mint 400


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.