Carrera Panamericana 1999

Imagine 2000 miles of empty road twisting through forests and spearing across deserts, stringing together beautiful colonial towns between Tuxtla in South Mexico and Nuevo Laredo on the American border. This is the route of the seven-day Caffera PanAmericana, the recreation of the legendary 1950s road-race, now contested by period vehicles in classes from ‘historic’ to ‘highly modified’: winner Pierre de Thoisy’s Studebaker Coupe boasted 500bhp. Highest-placed Britons were Irvine Laidlaw and Marshall Bailey in an ex-Roger Clark Porsche 911. Unfortunately, the dangers of the past continue in the retro event: two spectators and two competitors were killed before the finishers collected their medals at Nuevo Laredo, exhilarated to know that they had completed one of the last great road-races.