General Motors' Performance Division has just completed recreation of this wonderful 1954 Cadillac "Carrera Panamericana" coupe, from an era when Cadillac's high-compression, overhead valve V8s were a hot ticket in the U.S. performance car market.

The original car competed in one of the toughest point-to-point road races in the world, Mexico's Carrera Panamericana, in the hands of a Colorado-based privateer team. Headed by driver Keith Andrews and co-driver/mechanic Blu Plemons, the "five ordinary guys from Colorado" went up against massive factory teams, including the 53-man Lincoln team (with its own refrigerated food truck!), and nearly won the stock car division, winning two stages and finishing third behind two factory-sponsored Lincolns.

The Carrera Panamerican covered nearly 2,000 miles of open road from southern Mexico to the Texas border, and attracted the best drivers and the best teams from around the world, including world champions Phil Hill and Juan Manuel Fangio, and factory teams from Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz.

The recreated Caddy coupe will run in this fall's restaging of the Carrera Panamericana for vintage racecars. More pics after the jump...

[Source: GM]