By Jerry Lips
Five years after the end of WWII, American automobile factories were producing enough Hudsons, Studebakers, Nashes, Packards and a stable of GM and Ford models to inspire a whole generation of American auto enthusiasts. It was a decade before the Interstate Highway system and North America was about to dedicate the Pan American Highway.
It was proposed that a great race would be an appropriate way to open the road from Alaska to Central America.
Mexico jumped on the opportunity to attract the manufacturers of the world to enter the greatest automobile race ever. The Pan American Road Race was to start at the US/Mexico border and end at the Mexico/Guatemala border. Although dominated by American cars in its first few years, the Pan American Road Race soon became world famous. The great race attracted every manufacturer of automobiles in the world. Mercedes, Alfa, Lincoln, Cadillac and every other prestigious marquee were taking the competition very seriously. A little German manufacturer by the name of Porsche entered in what was to become the final and most spectacular of all the years of the great race. The Mexican people used the word “Carrera,” a Spanish word meaning “long distance endurance race,” to describe the greatest auto race ever held in North America. It was 1955 and Porsche swept with 1st, 2nd and 4th place wins. It really put Porsche on the map for serious auto enthusiasts worldwide, and they have been on top ever since, with their
famous Carrera model named appropriately after their spectacular performance at the Pan Am Road Race.
In this issue, we cover another great race. The Reno Air Races are the most exciting and famous of all air events. See extensive coverage and photos. I hope you enjoy this special Reno edition.
P.S. Laurie and I have two new grandsons. Linsey and Sean Carter named their little one Catch Carter. Justin and Stacey’s son is named Carter Senator Lips. Both boys are a month old, with no end to their appetites.