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Carrera Panamericana

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by krasnavian, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    #1 krasnavian, Jan 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I have begun work on a documentary project about the Carrera Panamericana road races held in Mexico from 1950-55. These five-day races were colorful, fast and dangerous--perhaps the most dangerous in the world--and required extraordinary skill and bravery on the part of the drivers just to survive the ordeal.

    In addition to using original footage shot during the race, I am interviewing people who were there or have standing to comment and offer perspective on these historic races. If you know of anyone who should be included in this document of an extraordinary competition, please let me know or have them contact me.

    Thank you in advance.
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  2. richardowen

    richardowen Formula Junior

    Apr 2, 2004
    835
    Montreal, Canada
    Great subject. Are there any good books on the subject?

    In 1951 Ferrari sent two 212 Inters with four-seat Berlinetta bodywork by Vignale to that year's Carrera Panamericana. Run by Scuderia Guastalla, they competed against the American heavy metal. Piero Taruffi and Luigi Chinetti won the event outright in 0171EL. The other car was driven by Alberto Ascari who said the officials “were all convinced the Italian cars would be better on the mixed portions, but no-one believed our cars would also dominate on the endless, fast straights.”1 This victory cemented the performance potential of Ferrari in America.
     
  3. Ed Niles

    Ed Niles Formula 3
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    #3 Ed Niles, Jan 3, 2011
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  4. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    May I say thank you publicly, Ed, for the referral you sent my way--much appreciated!
     
  5. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Great idea. Its amazing how little has been written or done on the actual Carrera 1950-1954 (not the new Carrera), an amazing race with very colorful cars. I wish someone would write another book on the subject. I know alot of nice photos are floating around, many in color taken by Phil Hill himself.

    Good luck to you.

    Tom Tanner/Ferrari Expo 2011-Chicago March 19th 2011
     
  6. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    Thank you, Tom. It was a great race and a marvelous time.
     
  7. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    Sounds like a great project!
     
  8. Athanase

    Athanase Formula Junior

    Jan 27, 2007
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    "Carrera Panamericana Mexico"
    author:Adriano Cimarosti
    Automobilia edition

    is the reference book.
     
  9. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    #9 F1tommy, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
    I have that book, and it has alot of information from people who were in the race. I does
    however lack many good quality photos. Most are small and not well printed. They also made a Spanish language book printed in Mexico that has some good photos along with the Motorbooks book. 80% of the cars are not even pictured in any of these books and only one has any color photos. I have gotten some color photos off the internet and at shows but that is it. I know alot more are out there as the media covered this event pretty well.
    Youtube has some nice color videos on the 1954 event.

    Tom Tanner/Ferrari Expo 2011-Chicago March 19th 2011
     
  10. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
    2,124
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    I've been enjoying Cimarosti's book and that of Daryl E Murphy titled Carrera Panamericana.
     
  11. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    #11 krasnavian, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
    I did an on-camera interview over the weekend with Sharon Baker who prepared cars and crewed for Bill Stroppe's Lincolns in the Carrera Panamericana. He is a great guy with great stories to tell. Ron Kellogg, his wife Sonya, Jeanetta (Redgirl), and Ed Niles came along and sat in on the session which lasted about an hour.

    My thanks to Ed for setting this up!
     
  12. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Ak Miller was interviewed, in Nick Mason's effort...is he still living??

    Cadillac has restored one of their entries, or maybe they made a replica of it....(Autoweek_)..
     
  13. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    Mitchell Crawford--Ray's son--was a very good interview today.

    Ak Miller passed on October 23, 1993.
     
  14. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Great to see you getting these people interviewed. Looking forward to seeing this when its done.

    Tom Tanner/Ferrari Expo 2011-Chicago March 19th 2011
     
  15. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    Next is Dr. David Scully and, I hope, someone from the Mexican Consulate.
     
  16. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    #16 F1tommy, Jan 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thought I would throw this up. I am researching this car from the 1953 Carrera Panamericana race. It is a Porsche pre A 356 that was entered for driver Lopez Chavez and sponsored by his company Canada Shoes of Mexico. I will pay for any good photos of the car. I need a good rear shot. Am also looking for any other good Pan Am photos for model research.

    Tom Tanner/Ferrari Expo 2011-Chicago March 19th 2011-Carrera Panamericana model contest special theme
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  17. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

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    #17 krasnavian, Feb 1, 2011
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    The attached photograph was taken yesterday as I interviewed Dr. David Scully about Ak Miller's Carrera car at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles (notice Steve McQueen's Jaguar XK-SS in the background).
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  18. GIOTTO

    GIOTTO F1 Rookie
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    #18 GIOTTO, Feb 6, 2011
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  19. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    I love the way this car was put together from junk yard pieces. The hood is said to be two rear fenders welded together.

    The wheels and hubs were from a modern (at the time) Lincoln because Bill Stroppe agreed to supply Ak with tires from his team.
     
  20. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I saw Herschel McGriff at Amelia a couple of years ago. I would imagine Bill Warner has his contact information.

    Good luck with this great project.

    Jack.
     
  21. anton

    anton Karting
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    May 8, 2004
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    My understanding is that the original Caballo was destroyed many years ago and the car you see is a recreation approved by Ak Miller, not the original car.
     
  22. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    As far as I know, you are correct. If the original exists, no one seems to know where it is. As I understand it, Ak was so taken with this re-creation that he donated a license plate from the original that this car now sports.
     
  23. richardowen

    richardowen Formula Junior

    Apr 2, 2004
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    Tony Adriaensens at www.corsaresearch.com has color images from this event.
     
  24. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

    Dec 24, 2003
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    Much obliged!

    I had a great talk with John Fitch. Did you know about those yellow barrels at freeway off-ramps?
     
  25. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Oh yea, John Fitch is an under reported hero.....

    Reminds me to get his book on racing with Mercedes.

    We gonna use the heck out of those barrels this evening after two more hours of freezing rain! Watch out Texans on ICE!!!!
     

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