In 1950, Mexico had completed their stretch of the Panamerican highway. To celebrate this amazing feat, as well as to advertise and attract business towards an artery that will eventually stretch across 14 countries in the western hemisphere, the Mexican government organized a fiesta (see what I did there?) in proper 1950s fashion– La Carrera Panamericana was born.
Although similar to the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio in Italy, this sports car racing event on the open roads of Mexico, from 1950 to 1955, was often considered to be the most dangerous race of any type in the world. 27 deaths within five years (5.4/year) inevitably led to its cancellation by way of a simple announcement suggesting that the race’s original task of advertising the highway has completed.
But not to worry, La Carrera Panamericana had since been revived and remains very active today. In FotW #18, we are happy to present to you Hayden Groendyke & Charles Samples’ 1949 Carrera Panamericana Cadillac. The beauty of this car lies in its design and its preparation for a race it was destined to tackle. Not only is the magnificent Cadillac Series 62 impeccably restored but it is also built upon a chassis constructed by renowned industry leader of classic custom chassis, Art Morrison. Motivating what must weigh an equivalent to no less than 40 whales is a Corvette ZR1 derived LS9 motor mated to a Jericho 5-speed. The task of stopping the mammoth rests upon drilled and slotted Wilwood brakes. This Cadillac is simply a masterpiece of a harmonized past and present.
SPEED STAGE DAY 2 – LA CARRERA PANAMERICANA 2010 from Charlie Samples on Vimeo.
*For those wondering why FotW skipped a week, FPH had been prepping for the New York Auto Show. I’m sorry, I’m sure you guys understand!