La Carrera Panamericana: The World's Greatest Road Race!
The Carrera Panamericana was first run to celebrate the inauguration of the Panamerican Highway, and traversed the length of Mexico, from Tuxtla in the south to Juárez near the Texas border. Firms like Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Porsche took advantage, and as class winners, Porsche even applied the event's Carrera name to its sportier models. Since its 1987 revival it's been run rally-style with half-a-dozen special stages a day. Just as it did in the early-'50s, half the entry consists of brash American stock cars, today mostly Panamericana specials based on spaceframe chassis and 600bhp NASCAR V8 engines and running gear, lurking beneath period Studebaker, Hudson, Lincoln or Oldsmobile bodywork. The '50s and '60s European classics are no less heavily modified. The arrival of La Carrera Panamericana at each of the provincial towns on its seven-day, 2,000-mile progress through central Mexico last November provided an excuse for wild celebrations. Everywhere the entourage is mobbed by enthusiastic spectators, waving, cheering and demanding souvenirs. Crowds throng, brass bands play, and salsa and tequila overflows. Includes 350 images, maps of modern and original 1950s routes, plus results of original events.
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