1953 Studebaker Commander, new DZ 302 Chevy engine. For sale. Not cheap.
In 1999 I participated in my first La Carrera Panamericana and have been back every year since. In 2002 I was appointed the North American Coordinator, replacing my friend Loyal Truesdale, and in that year started the Coyote Convoy. The time has come for me to step aside and allow the new management of the Pan-Am to develop a different system of recruiting and assisting entrants from the US and Canada. At this point, they do not intend to name a new Coordinator, thus all questions about the event should be directed to their office in Mexico City.
Over the years I have been fortunate to help hundreds of drivers, co-drivers, and their support teams find their way to Mexico and back. As a consequence I have gained a lot of good friends and racing buddies around the US, Canada, and even Europe, plus a bunch of great memories.
My blog, CARRERAS NEWS, will come out periodically and I will continue to represent the Chihuahua Express, which now has more entries from the US and Canada than the Pan-Am. In fact, I will return at least one more time to the Pan-Am as a competitor next October. Meanwhile, I will see a lot of my friends at the Chihuahua Express, April 20-24. Viva la Pana! Viva the Xpress! Viva Mexico!
The announcement above was posted on FaceBook on February 24, 2016, but now I am sending it to the 1,400 subscribers of CARRERAS NEWS.
I started writing CARRERAS NEWS fourteen years ago and probably averaged nine or ten editions of four pages a year – that’s over 7000 pages of information, tacky humor, and misspellings.
The original purpose of CARRERAS NEWS was to encourage folks to go down to Mexico to rally along its beautiful mountain highways. Its other main purpose was to provide good, reliable, and honest information about these two events, the Pan-Am and the Chihuahua Express. My theory was that competitors might enjoy these events more (and return to them) if they were better prepared both mentally and mechanically for what to expect before they crossed the border. For years I’ve walked a fine line between dishing out a lot of hype and honestly pointing out some of the pitfalls of traveling and racing in Mexico, a country and people I came to love.
CARRERAS NEWS will continue to do some of this, especially in regards to the Chihuahua Express, but without as much detailed information about the Pan-Am, which must be researched and updated constantly.
CARRERAS DRIVER, which went to individuals who had signed up for the Pan-Am will be discontinued entirely. The annual Coyote Convoy from Laredo down to the start of the Pan-Am will also be discontinued. Just remember that, even if the highways are vastly improved and safer in Mexico than they were even a few years ago, there is always strength in numbers when crossing the border and driving through the borderlands, in particular.
If all goes well, I may eventually offer a one-time "tequila and taco" tour of the usual route of the Pan-Am -- at a leisurely pace. How many Pam-Am racers have had the time to stop and admire the majestic cathedrals along the route, the ruins of Monte Alban near Oaxaca, the pyramids of Teotihuacan, outside of Mexico City, or the sparkling view of Zacatecas at night from the top of La Bufa? We can make it work for a group of 20 or 30. Interested, maybe in 2017? Let me know.
For more information about the Chihuahua Express, April 21-14, 2016, go to www.chihuahuaexpress.com. Thus far this year have 45 cars signed up, and I am expecting two more for sure, and maybe as many as five of six more. I am very pleased that over half of these entries are from Canada and the U.S. Special email updates will continue to go to those who have signed up for these events. Registration will be open until the race begins.
My web site www.panamrace.com, which is highly rated on Google, will be maintained primarily as a site for photos, memories, and general information. It is no longer to be considered as the official site for the event in the U.S. and Canada. And, as I have stated often, the views expressed anywhere are my own and probably do not represent the opinion of the organizers.
CARRERAS NEWS will continue to carry “Cars for Sale.” All of the $20-$40 contribution per insertion go directly to the trust fund for Lupita Hernandez, the Mexican nurse in Chiapas who lost both legs in a Pan-Am accident in 2003. Doug Mockett, Oscar Carillo, and I are the trustees of the fund. Mr. Mockett has been especially generous in our campaign to provide this young woman, now confined to a wheel chair, a decent life.
In closing let me thank you for your readership and support over the past 14 years. It’s been a lot of work, but mucho fun.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida (winters)
Evanston, Illinois (summers)