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The 1954 Carrera Panamericana

For promotional reasons, the VW distributor for Mexico entered a total of 7 vehicles in the race in order to prove the vehicles reliability and to make the car known to the public.

Known driver's were Alfonso von Hohenlohe, Manuel Hinke Jr and Jan Wijers.

To maintain the given time bracket, an average speed of 50mph was required but they had already achieved 61 mph during a reconnaissance, so the expectations to see the finish line in time were high. They were driving bumper to bumper in order to create as little air resistance as possible, since the available power was scarce. (They used standard VW engines)

All 7 vehicles finished the race within the given time bracket, none were disqualified.

At the end the press assumed that, based on the good results, the VW's were using Porsche engines. In order to prove the fact that original VW engines were used, a certified VW mechanic from the US was flown in.

© Franz Kern