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Woman Crush Wednesday:
Jacqueline Evans de López

When a film and TV actress enters and races her own Porsche 356 in the most dangerous event on the world racing calendar, La Carrera Panamericana.
Welcome to La Carrera Panamericana. One of the most intensive and deadly open road races on the 50's and 60s circuit. Funded and conceptualized by the Mexican government as a way to publicize the freshly finished 2,200-mile north-south segment of the Pan-Am Highway that ran through the country, it also proved to be quite dangerous.

Challenging and uneven roads, loads of natural hazards and roadside drop-offs all meant even reaching the finish line was an achievement not many racers could manage (Ferrari once fielded eight racers during one year to increase its probability that at least one would make it to the finish line) Between 1950 and 1954, twenty-six people died during the race including pilots, spectators and mechanics. It was nuts. Not a race for the faint of heart.

Still, for all it's danger, it was one of the most anticipated events on the world’s motoring racing calendar, with entries including American racing sedans like Lincolns and Studebakers to fast and nimble European sports cars such as Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Pegaso, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

Despite its deadly reputation, La Carrera Panamericana did not deter drivers from all over the world from giving it their best shot. Rarely though, did the racers shine brighter than the race itself. Except for, of course, British-born Mexican TV & film actress, Jacqueline Evans de López who entered and competed in the race every year from 1950-1954 (the only woman to ever do so).
In 1953 and again in 1954, she competed with her own personal Porsche 356, resplendent with an image of Eva Peron on the bonnet as a tribute to the late First Lady of Argentina. Historical results show that although she failed to finish both times, she entered the races privately by herself, without the support of any sponsorship or mechanical crew—not even a co-driver/navigator to assist her during the epic journey. Yup. Legendary.
We're not crushing on Evans because she's a winner (she never won a race). And we're not crushing on her because she's gorgeous (but damn, she's gorgeous). We're crushing on Jacqueline Evans de López because she didn't let the male leanings of the motor racing world get in the way of her doing something she truly wanted to do. Like many of the unsung heroes whom we pluck from the obscurity of the history books and use as the basis for more modern inspiration, Evans' was a free spirit who marches to the beat of her own drum (or, shall we say, to the beat of her own naturally aspirated, rear-engine performance racing Porsche).
A model replica of Evans' famous Porsche 356, complete with an accurate representation of the Eva Peron livery, one of the most distinct liveries ever to grace La Carrera Panamericana. Inscribed over the rear fender flare in Spanish is "In Representation of the Women of the World".

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