Blood, Sweat, and a Year

It is pretty scary how fast a year can screech by you when you are addicted to an event such as La Carrera Panamericana.

This ‘disco’ year has been an amazing and grueling year, mostly for Conrad, who has managed to build his race car in its entirety for this year’s event. After paying the handsome entry fee in the beginning of the year, time steps on the gas, and you know October will be here next week.


Here’s all that it takes to build a 1966 Alfa Sprint Speciale in a year:

  1. One must be afflicted by, I will borrow Conrad’s daughter, Raven’s phrase, the “wing nut” factor…which is a very rare mental condition that asserts that you can really, REALLY do anything, ANYTHING.
  2. Be so lucky to have dear friends whom, like yourself have hoarded buckets and garages full of old car parts, and selflessly donated them to projects like this.
  3. Have that creepy and enviable ability to pull all-nighters without chemical aids.
  4. Must be willing to decline fabulous vacations, parties and events to work SEVEN days a week, including spending less time with your family when you are unsuccessful at convincing them to come hang with you at your shop.
  5. Working knowledge of the machine you are building is most helpful.
  6. Talking less about your project and actually working on it.
  7. Finally, as Conrad says and lives by this phrase, “Hurry up and make mistakes so you can fix them and get on with making more mistakes.”



We have a great team this year and we are all looking forward to the adventures ahead! Ed Adams will be towing the car to Laredo where Conrad and I will meet him and the Coyote Convoy (nickname for the American racers who travel as a group across the border into Mexico to the race start). Muchisimas gracias to Gerie Bledsoe, the North American coordinator for La Carrera Panamericana, whose years of experience traveling to and from Mexico, he shares year after year with all of us knuckleheads.