1954 La Carrera Panamericana

Recently I discovered a set of photos from 1954 the La Carrera Panamericana taken by Ina Mae Overman and Stanley Dean Miller, the best part is that they are in color. The 1954 race featured some of the best drivers in the world including Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Carroll Shelby, Umberto Maglioli, Ray Crawford, and many more.

The 1954 La Carrera Panamericana was one of the most exciting and dangerous road races in the world. The race took place on the Pan-American Highway, which stretches 3,000 miles from Mexico to Panama. The La Carrera Panamericana was an open-road race, meaning that it was not held on a closed circuit, but on public roads.

The race was first held in 1950 and quickly gained a reputation as one of the most challenging and dangerous races in the world. The 1954 race was the fourth edition of the La Carrera Panamericana, attracting some of the best drivers from around the world. Starting in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico, on November 19, 1954, and finishing in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on November 23, 1954. The race consisted of eight stages, and the drivers had to cover a distance of 1,910 miles. It was the sixth and final race of the 1954 World Sportscar Championship.

The 1954 La Carrera Panamericana saw some of the most spectacular racing in the event's history. The drivers were pushing their cars to the limit, and the roads were challenging and treacherous. The course was winding and narrow, with steep drops on either side. The drivers had to navigate hairpin turns and blind corners at high speeds. Carroll Shelby suffered an accident while driving his Austin-Healey 100S. Frustrated with his team-mate, Ray Jackson-Moore's slow pace, Shelby supposedly removed Jackson-Moores seat and took off on his own. The brand-new Volkswagen Beetle also made an appearance with the local Mexico distributor entering seven in the race, each finished the race proving their mechanical reliability, but they occupied the last 7 places in the race coming in 14 hours behind the winning Ferrari 375 Plus driven by Umberto Maglioli. Other classes were won by the Porsche 550 Spyder, a Lincoln  Capri, Alar Romeo 1900 TI, and a Dodge Sedan.
The 1954 La Carrera Panamericana was an event that captured the imagination of the world. It was a race that tested the limits of both man and machine, and it cemented the reputation of the Pan-American Highway as one of the most challenging roads in the world. The race was a true test of skill, endurance, and bravery, and it will always be remembered as one of the great events in the history of motorsport.

Thanks to Mary Ellen and the Overman Family collection by Ina Mae Overman for sharing them with us.