Ferrari is a car brand associated with large and small racing events around the world for many years. The name Ferrari seems indispensable in famous racing events in the world such as F1, 24 Hours of Le Mans or many races in many other categories. The Italian brand also owns countless awards and championship titles after many years of participating in racing events with different car models, one of which is the glory at the 1952 Carrera Panamericana race with the Ferrari 340 Mexican racing car.

Carrera Panamericana was a race considered by the Mexican Government at that time as an opportunity to promote the newly completed Pan American Highway. This race lasts 5 days with the main track along the length of this highway, a total of about 3,500 km divided into nine stages. According to many racers as well as many people’s beliefs, the Carrera Panamericana is the most dangerous road race in the world. However, for many people, the harsh conditions of the race are an irresistible challenge. On May 5, 1950, at the inaugural race there was a gathering of more than 130 sedans.

The Ferrari 340 Mexico was built specifically for the purpose of conquering the harsh roads of the Carrera Panamericana race, and aimed to win this race, but did not achieve the goal. The Italian supercar brand has only built exactly 4 Mexican 340s throughout the brand’s history. This racing car is a manifestation of the enduring spirit and talent of the Ferrari manufacturing team with a racing car that can successfully conquer difficult races.

Despite all the dangers that saw three riders sadly die in the first five days of the event, the race attracted the attention of Europe’s elite racing community when the winner was Hershel McGriff, crossed the finish line first in his Oldsmobile 88.

While most competitors enter with heavy vehicles, customization requires the support of teammates as trucks will follow carrying spares such as new tires and brakes to overcome the harsh roads. . Hershel’s light and original Oldsmobile made it easy to negotiate the winding mountain roads, and his victory convinced Enzo Ferrari that he could enter and win the race with a car that suited his needs. the harsh conditions of the race.

It was for this purpose that Ferrari took first and second place with the pair of 212s driven by F1 champions Piero Taruffi and Alberto Ascari and decided to return next year. In 1952, the Ferrari racing team entered the Mexican 340 car into the race. This is a car built from the ground up to cope with the harsh conditions of racing. By the time the Ferrari 340 Mexico entered the race, competitors such as Jaguar, Mercedes, Lancia and Porsche had convinced the organizers to create a new European sports car category.

The 340 Mexico is a retuned Ferrari 340 America based on a car that won the Mille Miglia. The Ferrari 340 Mexico is designed with a long front hood and is equipped with a 4.1-liter Lampredi V12 engine capable of producing 280 horsepower, which helps the car reach a speed of 282 km/h. The car is equipped with new cylinder heads and carburetors to help increase the already impressive power of the engine. The rear axle and gearbox were also strengthened and the car was fitted with a larger 150 liter fuel tank so it could go further in the race without needing to refuel multiple times.

Luigi Chinetti, owner of Ferrari’s exclusive dealer in the US and founder of the North American Racing Team, was a racing companion for Piero Taruffi in 1951. That’s why he was knowledgeable about this race, more than anything else. The race also features Alberto Ascari, who finished second last year and wants to win this race. In that year’s race, only 39 cars completed races in a total of 92 categories. Chinetti finished the race with the Ferrari 340 Mexico in third place.

Lancia won in 1953 but in 1954 Umberto Maglioli won in his Ferrari 375 Plus and the following year Phil Hill with his 375 MM. This was also the last year the race was held when there were 27 deaths within 5 years of holding the event. However, this is also a testament to Ferrari’s dominating power in one of the toughest and most dangerous races of all time.

 

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