Carrera Panamericana

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Karl Kling's Mercedes after the accident with the Geier in 1952
The 300 SL with the protective bars in front of the windshield that were installed after the accident

The Carrera Panamericana is a car race on public roads in Mexico , similar to the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio in Italy . Like this, it was part of the World Sports Car Championship .

The event

After the Mexican part of the Panamericana was completed in 1950, it was inaugurated with a multi-day stage race from north to south across the country. From 1951 the route was operated from south to north. Because of too many fatal accidents, the road race was held for the last time in 1954 and then stopped. In 1988 the event was resumed as a rally for classic cars .

In the first year of 1950, the Carrera Panamericana ran from Mexico's northern border to the southern border over a distance of 3436 km. This made the race twice as long as the Mille Miglia. There were nine stages that led from the Texan border to Ciudad Juárez , Chihuahua, Parral, Durango, Leon, Mexico, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tuxtla Gutiérrez and El Ocotal. The start was on May 5, 1950, the finish was reached after 6 days on May 10. For the first race in 1950, only five-seater series sedans were allowed. An Oldsmobile 88 won it . In the following years the Carrera Panamericana was driven from the south to the north, the racing classes were expanded. It showed that the European sports cars were significantly faster than the heavy American sedans. 1951 won a Ferrari.

In 1952 the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL from Karl Kling / Hans Klenk won , even though a vulture had destroyed the windshield and injured the passenger.

After victories in the smaller classes in this race, Porsche later named one model of a series - usually the most powerful - Carrera , and the Panamera got its name from this, as did the Porsche Panamericana design study .

The race was banned after 1954 and only revived in 1988, following old traditions and regulations.

In 1991 the musicians Nick Mason and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd took part in the race, a documentary appeared in 1992 as La Carrera Panamericana .

In 2006, the Unlimited Class was added as a further class . This made it possible for younger cars to take part in the race for the first time. The 2006 inaugural race was won by Rachel Larratt, BMEzine partner , in a Lotus Elise . In 2007 the twentieth anniversary of the modern race was celebrated and it was also the largest race with the highest number of participants.

Overall winner

year team Overall winner vehicle Travel time championship
1950 United States 48United States Roy Sundstrom United States 48United States Hershel McGriff Ray Elliott
United States 48United States
Oldsmobile 88 27: 34: 25,000 was not part of any championship
1951 ItalyItaly Centro Deportivo Italiano ItalyItaly Piero Taruffi Luigi Chinetti
United States 48United States
Ferrari 212 Inter 21: 57: 52,000 was not part of any championship
1952 GermanyGermany Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft GermanyGermany Karl Kling Hans Klenk
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 18: 51: 19,000 was not part of any championship
1953 ItalyItaly Scuderia Lancia ArgentinaArgentina Juan Manuel Fangio Gino Bronzoni
Lancia D24 Pinin Farina 18: 11: 00.000 Sports car world championship
1954 United States 48United States Erwin Goldschmidt ItalyItaly Umberto Maglioli Ferrari 375 Plus Pinin Farina 17:40: 26,000 Sports car world championship


  • Peter Higham: The Guinness Guide to international Motor Racing. A Complete Reference from Formula One to Touring Cars. Guinness Publishing Ltd., London 1995, ISBN 0-85112-642-1 .

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