Aaaaaaand here we go!!! Hello, my name is David Kiley. Some of you may know me as championdjk from YouTube. I am absolutely stoked to join the team of writers here at The Lamley Group. There is a lot of coolness coming to this blog and being a part of it makes me very happy. Starting now the plan for me is to write a weekly feature for the blog devoted to Greenlight Collectibles. Lamley is branching out and Greenlight is one brand that deserves weekly attention. We are going to start today with a series that grabbed my attention when it came out this last year 2019. La Carrera Panamericana Series 1.
Before we get into this Greenlight series, here is a little info on what the Carrera Panamericana was/is.
The original was a road race staged on the then newly built Pan-Am highway. The race consisted of multiple stages and ran border to border (North/South) in Mexico. It started in 1950 and took place annually for 5 years. It was subsequently cancelled due to safety concerns and is considered as one of the most dangerous races in motorsport history.
The border to border race was revived in 1988 and runs annually to this day. The modern version of the race is for the most part not all that modern. The participants are separated into 10 classes and most classes require that the vehicle entering was produced between 1940-1954. Of course the classic cars are fitted with modern safety equipment such as upgraded brakes, roll cages, fire suppression systems, racing seats etc. Also many classes allow for performance upgrades to the original cars. However, the race still maintains its vintage feel.
1953/54 Studebakers are one of the most popular choices among participants in the modern era of the race. And, we will see these appear as a brand new tooling from Greenlight in La Carrera Panamericana Series 2 later this year but for now let’s take a look at series 1.
First is this Classic Volkswagen Beetle which is a tooling that has been in use by Greenlight for a long time. It dates back to the days of the Motor World releases when it was always seen with a plastic base. The base is now metal and it is now used in many Greenlight series. This Motor World survivor casting still holds up over the many releases it has had. I have like 50 variations of it in my collection. If I had to choose one to keep this would be a contender. This car is special in that it is the only one in the series that is from the original races that took place in the 50’s.
Here is one for the Camaro fans. This ’67 Camaro like all of the other cars in the series is a faithful 1/64 scale recreation of an actual car that competed in the race. That is one of the things that makes this series so cool and why I have come to appreciate it so much. The cars don their actual number on the side as well as the year that they participated in the race. This is also noted on the packaging (which is long gone for me).
Take a look at this photo below for an example of how well Greenlight did making this series look like the real deal race participant’s cars.
Next we have a little something for lovers of all things Datsun/Nissan. There are two very nicely done cars in authentic liveries. First pictured is the Datsun 260Z #327 that participated in the 2016 event. This is probably the best looking version of this Z car tooling that we have seen so far. The first releases of this tooling in Tokyo Torque Series 1 had much larger wheels making the car look a little off but now with the smaller wheels it looks markedly better.
The second Datsun is the beloved 510. This casting is shockingly tiny to those that are used to the Hot Wheels Datsun 510 and while both are cool in their own right this one is more accurately scaled. The livery on this is BRE with a little Mexican flare and looks fantastic.
Finally bring on the Mustangs. Like the aforementioned Studebakers, Mustangs are also popular choices among race participants. There are two different castings used in this series and both look great in their authentic La Carrera Panamericana liveries. Both are just really nice fresh looks for castings that have had many releases that span over 10 years.
The series has a little something for a lot of collectors with different tastes. It covers fans of Mustangs, Camaros, JNC, VW and most of all, fans of authentic racing liveries (I happen to like all of that). It is also something special when you can learn some Motorsport history from diecast. La Carrera Panamericana is something I did not know existed until this series came into view and now I’ll be checking out the results of the next race in October of 2020. Now bring on series 2 and that new Studebaker tooling… I’ll be pre-ordering.