Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

It’s called the “Panamericana”. From the Carrera Panamericana. Just like Porsche took the Carrera part from this epic race. And it’s another cast from Jean Graton’s Michel Vaillant-comics. From which I’ve shown stuff before.

Advertisement

And which TFritch ran into in Monterey two weeks ago as well (3rd to last picture!).

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!
Advertisement

But what was that Carrera Panamerica? It was a race in Mexico from the southern to the norther borders, organized as a tribute to the newly constructed Pan-American Highway. With the race taking place on public roads (3,077 kms/1912 miles!!!) it was often compared with the Targa Florio. One other thing both races had in common was the deaths amongst both drivers and spectators, reasons for the Mexican government to stop the insanity in 1955.

Excuse me: I only have the Dutch comic in my possession.
Excuse me: I only have the Dutch comic in my possession.
Advertisement

Speeds over 300km/h were not that uncommon, the famous collision between the 300SL and a vulture took place while traveling about 200km/h. In a long right-hand bend. And it wasn’t just during the race there was some hoonage, “reconnaissance”-trips prior to the event were notorious as well. And the Carrera Panamericana was the event in which everybody started using pace-notes. The 1952 edition isn’t just known for that 300SL-bird collision, it’s also famous for having just one (!) fatality the entire event!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!
Advertisement

According to the 6th edition of Michel Vaillant, La Trahison de Steve Warson, the Vaillante Panamericana initially was a prototype based on the Le Mans Sport (which in return was the race version of the Le Mans GT) with a stiffened and heightened (actually: Adjustable ride-height, according to Henri Vaillant “à la Citroën”!) suspension. Both Philipilihp and me showed the amazing Le Mans Sport before.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

It still had the same (approx.) 3000 cm³ 6-cylinder engine. And this white number 30 featured in the 8th episode, Le 8e pilote. In which two American and Russian Vaillante driver-trainees were supposed to compete the Liège-Sofia-Liège rally.

Advertisement
Again: Excuse me for the Dutch! Clearly quite some countries were driven through.
Again: Excuse me for the Dutch! Clearly quite some countries were driven through.

Which is a 5471 km / 3400miles rally in which especially the roads of former Yugoslavia were exhausting for both driver and car. Next to the 4 stages during the day there were 4 night stages as well. Actually it was driving 4 days and nights non-stop.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

But having two trainees from two arch-enemies during the cold war wasn’t all that easy and Le 8e pilote was all about the struggles and the eventual reconciliation between both Roy and Nicolas (you guess which one came from what country). There was an accident of a teammate needed to get the two working perfectly together but yes: They won the rally.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

And that was the end of the Panamericana I think. After that 8th episode it, at first, is all about Formula 1 and when the GTs/rallycars return we’ve entered an entire new era of cars. And I feel a bit sorry for that as the Panamerica played a big part in that 6th episode which definitely is one of my favorites.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

Probably has to do with the fact that definitely is the golden era of motorsports if you ask me with such great events that will never return, for good reasons actually.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!
Advertisement

I’d rather have this one in blue but Altaya only gave us this white one in 1/43. And again: I can really appreciate Altaya recreating these solely based on some drawings Jean Graton made in the past. I’m really curious about the process that led to these.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

Just have to find out how to add those VROOAAR!! and IIIIIHH!!! texts to my pictures, no app found for that. Maybe I’ll just have to develop that app!

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

C’est ca! I added some new Vaillantes the last couple of months so don’t worry: There’s more to come!

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!
Advertisement

Bon Week-End!!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Non, ce nest pas un Carrera!

Share This Story

Get our newsletter