This weekend while attending MG/Rover Day at the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, MA, I purchased a very nice book written by Gary Doyle about an artist who until now was not known to me – Carlo Demand. This book is published by Racemaker Press of Boston, MA.
The book is filled with almost 130 drawings, mostly car racing scenes and they all are fascinating. In addition, they appear to be historically correct and these drawings are nicely augmented by an accompanying story written by Gary Doyle.
I have included an image of one of these drawings showing a racing scene from the 1953 La Carrera Panamericana.
Scene From the 1953 La Carerra Panamericana
The drawing shows Guatemalan driver Jose Herrarte racing through a small town in his Porsche 550 coupe that would eventually win the Small Sports Car Class. Behind him is Juan Manuel Fangio in a D24 Lancia that would go on the win the Large Sports Car Class, as well as the Overall victory.
While the Porsche does look like a 550 coupe, it actually is a typical Porsche 550 fitted with a removable hardtop. I found a couple images of a sister car to Herrarte’s car in Randy Leffingwell’s book “Porsche 60 Years”.
The Porsche 550-01
The fitted hardtop made the Porsche 550 go a little faster on the top end, but apparently drivers found the closed cockpit to very hot and noisy.
Interior of the Porsche 550 with the Hardtop
The other car shown in Carlo Demand’s drawing is Fangio’s D24 Lancia. I found an image of this car in Daryl E. Murphy’s book “Carrera Panamericana, History of the Mexican Road Race, 1950-54.”
Juan Manuel Fangio in Lancia D24
Fangio won La Carrera Panamericana outright in 1953, just ahead of Piero Taruffi in another Lancia D24. Taruffi had been the early leader, but he lost substantial time on Stage IV and towards the end the Lancia team did not want its team members racing each other too hard. If you look carefully at the picture below, from “The Carrera Panamericana Mexico”, of Fangio crossing the final finish line you can see a car in the dust. That’s Taruffi.
Fangio Takes the Checkered Flag at the 1953 La Carrera Panamericana
The route for the 1953 La Carrera Panamerican was from the southern part of Mexico, northerly to the border with the United States.
While I have just shown one of Carlo Demand’s drawings the book “Carlo Demand In Motion and Color, Automobile Racing 1895 – 1956” is a very interesting and worthwhile book.