The Carrera Panamericana was raced from 1950 through 1954. It was held on open roads in Mexico that ran from a southern Mexican west-coast city towards Texas. The race was formed to celebrate the competition of the Panamerican Highway. It was a multi-staged race across the country that counted towards the World Sportscar Championship. The race saw entrants from factory teams, privateers, and amateurs. On average, only one-third of the entrants were able to finish the race.
The race was canceled after the 1955 LeMans fatal disaster, where a car went into the crowd killing over 80 spectators. The fatal accident by Bill Vukovick at Indianapolis secured the decision to no longer run the race.
The first cars to run the race had top speeds of around 100 mph. By 1954, the cars were easily running at 170 mph. The vehicles were not adequately designed to protect the drivers at speeds this great. Being run on open roads meant that many areas of the course could not be managed; live stock, people, obstacles, and a number of other scenarios could make their ways into the road and cause disaster. The decision to cancel the race was sad, but necessary.