La Carrera Panamericana

“The World’s Greatest Road Race!”

Through photos of the stunning countryside and cities visited en route, action shots and parc fermé, interviews with drivers and key personnel, plus vivid narrative, readers are transported to Mexico for an eye-witness account of the fantastic Carrera Panamericana, “The World’s Greatest Road Race”. It’s a tale of two halves: the early years, full of excitement, glamour, financial intrigue and tragedy; a time when major players in the auto industry got in on the act. Banned after the 1954 race because of fatalities, the PanAm was reinstated in 1987, and the modern incarnation for classic cars forms the second half of the book. Includes over 400 images, maps of modern and original 1950s routes, plus results of events.


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 comprises 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. Mexicans love a fiesta, and the arrival of La Carrera Panamericana at each of the provincial towns on its seven-day, 2000-mile progress through central Mexico last November provided an excuse for wild celebrations. As Johnny Tipler and his co-piloto Sarah Bennett-Baggs experienced when they drove the race in 2011 in a Porsche 914/4, everywhere the entourage is mobbed by enthusiastic spectators, waving, cheering and demanding souvenirs. Crowds throng, brass bands play salsa, and the tequila overflows. Includes over 400 images, maps of the modern and original 1950s routes, plus results of original events.


  • The story of the legendary Mexican road race, which lasts for 7 days and covers 2000 miles of central Mexico
  • A race deemed more arduous than the Mille Miglia!
  • Interviews with great names from the original series such as Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, John Fitch, and Hans Herrmann
  • Stunning, original and rare archive photographs bring the story to life
  • Includes full history from 1950 to the present day
  • Foreword by Jo Ramirez
  • Exclusive new chapter in which author Johnny Tipler recounts his experiences driving in the race in 2011

Additional info

  • Covers the period From 1950
  • Covers models Lincoln Capri, Hudson Hornet, Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Porsche 550 Spyder, VW Beetle, Austin-Healey, Lancia, Ferrari, Studebaker Regal Starliner, Porsche 356, Triumph TR3, Porsche 911, Volvo PV544, Saab 96, Volvo 121, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint GT, AR Giulia Berlina, Ford Falcon/Galaxie/Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, AC Cobra, MGB, Jaguar E-type, Mk II, Lotus Elise.

About the author

Johnny Tipler is an international motoring journalist and author, with over 30 books published on a variety of
sports-orientated subjects. He ran the JPS Motorsport press office for three years, chronicling the fortunes of Team Lotus and Players sponsored events. Johnny was also an associate of the Motor Industry Research Unit, deputy editor of Restoring Classic Cars, sub-editor on CarWeek from 1993-1995, and features editor on Land Rover Owner International in 1996. He has contributed regularly to 911 & Porsche World, Land Rover Owner, Octane, and Lotus Club International magazines. His features have included ‘drive’ stories, interviews with key industry figures, sporting events (eg Carrera Panamericana), buying guides, and historical articles on important vehicles.
Johnny has a BA in History of Art. He currently lives in Norwich and has four children.

Exclusive video

Johnny Tipler - La Carrera Panamericana 60th anniversary at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010

eBook details

eISBN: 978-1-845846-89-3 • eV number: eV4689 • Published: February 2014 • Language: English • Digital edition: First Digital Edition. Base eBook price: £14.99 / $23.99 / €19.99 (vendors may set their own prices, so actual prices may vary).
Stacks Image 278

Original book info

V4170 • Hardback • 25x25cm • £19.99 • 272 pages • 429 colour and b&w pictures • ISBN: 978-1-84584-170-6 • UPC: 6-36847-04170-0. Price subject to change, P&P extra.

La Carrera Panamericana

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