The penultimate edition, that of 1953, was carried out with four participating categories: International Sport, International Tourism, Sport up to 1,600 c.c. and Special Tourism, which increased the number of participants, teams and brands. Again attended the main champions of American and European serials, as the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio piloting a vehicle Lancia.
During the year of 1953 the FIA created the World Drivers Championship to recognize the best driver of the season, and the World Manufacturers Championship in order to recognize the best car of the season that competed in prestigious events such as the Mille Miglia (Italy ), 24 Hours of Le Mans (France), 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium), Nürburgring (Germany), 12 Hours of Sebring (USA), Tourist Trophy of Dundrod (Northern Ireland) and the final event of the Championships would be defined in La Carrera Panamericana (Mexico), which made this edition an event that would decide a highly prized prize.
This year the competition was very close between the Jaguar car and the Ferrari. The dispute would have its final result on Mexican soil, raising great expectations in that edition.
The Organizing Committee had created new categories of competition: Special Tourism for cars with a power of 75 to 115 horses; International Tourism for cars with a power greater than 115 horses; Sport Menor for cars with engines up to 1600cc or 800cc with a supercharger; and International Sport for cars with engines over 1600cc.
In total, 177 cars took the start in Tuxtla Gutiérrez: 74 from Argentina, 47 from Mexico, 39 from the USA, 9 from Italy and 4 from Germany. A curious fact refers to the high number of registered cars in Argentina, this is explained by the elimination of taxes on cars imported in that country; so it was much cheaper to import an American car that had participated in “The Race”. While this measure provided more revenue for the Organizing Committee of La Carrera; it did not manage to raise the level of competitors.
Ten Porsche cars were registered in the Sport Menor category. The most notable participants were, the winner in 1952 Karl Kling, and Hans Hermann driving a 550 Spyder vehicle that reached speeds of up to 125 mph (201 kph).
Lincoln returned again to take back the title of best production car by registering six cars in the race. These were led by Johnny Mantz, Chuck Stevenson, Walt Faulkner, Bill Vukovich, Jack McGrath and Ray Crawford. These cars attracted a lot of attention because in their chest they had painted some cartoon characters like El Pájaro Loco and Popeye. Lincoln also developed a technique of filming some segments of the route and then reviewing it with the pilots and thus analyzing the curves and stretches; this would come to be known as “road movie”.
Lancia won first, second and third place setting a new average speed record throughout the event of 105.15 mph (169.2 kmph). Fangio won the race without winning a single stage.
A victory in La Carrera Panamericana was considered as important as that obtained in any other major event of the time.