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Carrera & Panamerican Race

Before low-cost airlines and global warming, driving long distances at high speeds in dangerous cars was still a noble thing. America built a bewildering network of highways that spanned not one, but two entire continents, an asphalt network that still connects Alaska to Argentina today. It stretches almost 48 thousand kilometers and is completely traversable by any reasonable car, except for a small stretch of 160 km of formidable jungle.

This rare product of intergovernmental cooperation is the Pam-American Highway, one of the largest road networks in the world. When the idea of ​​such a network was first suggested at a meeting of the American nations in 1889, it was intended to be a railroad, a steel belt that would connect all the nations of the hemisphere, and allow the free movement of people. , goods and services, and ultimately goodwill.

The plan was never carried out and about four decades later, the nations met again in Santiago and the plan was resumed, but with a modification. It would be a highway and not a railroad.

Today, almost a century later, the Pan-American Highway exists in a kind of quantum state. Its route and the exact extremities vary depending on who you ask. Unofficially speaking, the highway runs from Prudhoe Bay in northern Alaska, ending in Ushuaia (Argentina), one of the southernmost cities in the world. Embarking on a hasty journey from one extreme to the other can take a month and a half. Straying along its many branches … lifetimes could pass.
Once all the nations agreed on the network, the first of them to complete their portion was Mexico. By 1950, it had dispatched a gleaming 3,373-kilometer stretch of asphalt. Realizing that this was a commendable showcase of national capacity, the Mexican government decided to organize a race along the entire stretch of the highway. Thus was born the “Carrera Panamericana”.
The first Carrera Panamericana was held in May 1950. The inaugural edition attracted 132 competitors, many of them amateur Americans. But the main contenders were experienced race car drivers. The Carrera Panamericana was beginning to draw the best racers and car manufacturers in the world: Ferrari, Porsche, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jaguar …
In the 1951 race, two Mexican drivers died in horrific accidents on consecutive days. Almost immediately, the race acquired a reputation for being challenging. The race was held four more times, the stakes were higher and the cars were faster, and the death toll kept climbing.
However, it was not the dangers of this race that finally forced the organizers to suspend it. On June 11, 1955, the worst accident in motorsport history killed 83 spectators and a driver during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Governments around the world agreed to stop races until they were safer for the public and participants. It was a serious blow to motor racing, but it also marked the end of an era.
But even though the event was greatly missed. Soon the race was revived, but in the form of trademarks:
In the 1960s, Porsche launched a version of the Porsche 356 called the ‘Carrera’, to commemorate the manufacturers’ success. Since then, it has always owned at least one model with the Carrera insignia. In 2010, Porsche launched the Panamera, another commemorative plaque.
In 1963, the Heuer watch company, later to become TAG Heuer, launched the ‘Carrera’ model. The watch, a brainchild of company CEO Jack Heuer and a tribute to the race, became an instant classic. Some of the original models remain highly valued collector’s items. The Carrera line, however, disappeared in the 1980s, only to revive with new force in the 1990s.
The history of Carrera sunglasses began in 1956, when Wilhelm Anger, the Austrian manufacturer of sports glasses, founded the brand which was to become synonymous with style, design, quality and technical innovation. And although he has gone down in history as the founder of the iconic brand, he was a plastics engineer. He was the inventor of ‘Optyl’, an innovative material, as it was the first molded plastic that allowed dimensional design in a lighter and more treatable material than traditional plastics.In addition, Optyl was involved from the beginning with the licensing of other brands such as Christian Dior, Dunhill and others.
1970 was when the first collection of blizzard helmets and masks was developed. After several years of development, in 1979, Carrera launched a new collection of sunglasses, Carrera Porsche Design, in collaboration with the automotive designer Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and became a completely different, unique and revolutionary line of glasses. In 2009 it launched the unique and unmistakable ‘Panamerica‘ model, inspired by the original lines of the eighties and which attract attention with its aviator shapes and metal frame.
Today the brand attrats celebrities and are often seen flaunting their Carrera glasses to famous people such as Paris Hilton, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga or Rihanna.
For three decades, the roads of Mexico lay dormant. Until 1988, when the race was rekindled. It was no longer a race without quarter and became a competition for classic cars. Currently, the Carrera Panamericana is held in Mexico every October along 3,000 kilometers from south to north.
To this day, Carrera continues to be a symbol of adventure, spontaneity, emotion and enthusiasm, a nostalgic emblem of those heroes who lived the Carrera Panamericana with courage and determination

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