It was founded in 1967 by Ed Pearlman and Don Francisco. At the time it was the first racing sanctioning body devoted solely to off-road racing. The first event, the Mexican 1000 (1967), began in Tijuana, went through Ensenada, and finished in La Paz. NORRA ran this race for nearly a decade. This first event laid the groundwork of vehicle classes and rules that shaped off-road racing in Baja for the next 40 years. The involvement of the Mexican government and other issues eventually transitioned the event to become the Baja 1000 race and NORRA was dormant for several decades.
In 2010, NORRA was reborn and returned to the Baja California Peninsula. The race again was called the Mexican 1000, although with a different flavor and structure. The race was now run in a rally style, with special stages and transit sections, and is focused on historic racing vehicles. Racing vehicles must be motorcycles and automobiles from prior to 1998. In 2011, NORRA added an "alternative fuel" racing class including diesel, electric, ethanol, propane, etc. which allowed modern racing vehicles to participate. The door to modern vehicles was opened all the way in 2012 with the introduction of the "Evolution" category. Clyde Stacy and Robby Gordon were the first winner of this new category.
A small section of the Mexican 1000 was featured in the seminal motorcycling film On Any Sunday. There, famous rider Malcolm Smith is shown racing through Baja desert. An early NORRA sticker can be seen on Smith's helmet at 1:29 into the film.
- NORRA website
- "Baja legends: the historic characters, events, and locations", by Greg Niemann, 2002, ISBN 0-932653-47-2, p.120
- Guise, Curtis. "NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally – Contingency". race-dezert.com. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- Fish, Sal. "NORRA Announces Dates for 2011 Mexican 1000 Rally". race-dezert.com. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- Breauxman, Scotty. "GENERAL TIRE NORRA MEXICAN 1000 WRAP UP".