In 1950, Mexico completed its stretch of the Pan-American Highway. To celebrate, the government organized La Carrera Panamericana, a race running south to north along the new stretch of road–and a race which quickly established itself as the most dangerous race of any kind in the world. For five years, drivers like Juan Manuel Fangio, Bobby Unser, and Felice Bonetto competed in the race until it was shut down due to safety concerns following the disastrous crash at Le Mans in 1955.
Revived in 1988, today’s Carrera Panamericana is still dangerous, fast, grueling, and addictive, as driver Conrad Stevenson can attest. Stevenson got his first taste of the race in a friend’s Studebaker in 2001. After a couple more years of participating in friends’ cars, Stevenson decided it was time to build a car of his own, in this case a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale.