What’s the World’s Greatest Road Race?
If you own a classic, there’s no shortage of places to drive it. The reborn Mille Miglia is this week, the Tour de France Automobile was a few weeks ago, there’s the Copperstate, Targa Newfoundland…
But that’s now. In period, what was the world’s best road race?
The one I would have liked to have seen in period was the Carrera Panamericana, the border-to-border race that ran just five years for 1950-1954, and was widely regarded as one of the most dangerous races ever held. Calling it a “road race” is a bit generous as well, as the pavement and conditions faced by competitors is best described as “adverse”.
In the five years the race was held, drivers faced all sorts of issues—including, for one Mercedes-Benz 300 SL team, a vulture striking their car’s windshield. That was the 1952 race and, yes, its drivers Karl Kling and Herman Lang still won the race.
Which old open road race would you want to watch, given a time machine? With a time machine and access to a race car, which race would you enter?