GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Carrera Panamericana: The world's most dangerous road race

Looking at the image above--which is a frame capture from the documentary I wrote and directed titled Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)--it is easy to see why the Carrera had the reputation for being the world' most dangerous road race. Cars hurtled past at over 100 miles per hour while crowds stood inches away from them at the side of the road. Often, they would reach out and touch the cars as they passed shouting "Olé!".

Ray Crawford described speeding along and seeing the crowd in the middle of the road in front of him moving away at the last moment to avoid being run over. The legendary John Fitch, who experienced the same crowd behavior when he raced the Carrera, told me that he could only hope that they would get out of the way in time.

John Fitch in his 300SL

The audacity of the men who drove and navigated the Carrera is unbelievable and it is unthinkable in today's world of safety precautions like seat belts and Armco barriers to imagine the dangers they faced.

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