Back in 1953 Heuer produced a Ref 3336 chronograph to commemorate the Carrera Panamericana road race. This infamous and deadly Mexican road race was run until 1954 and within a decade would be the inpsiration for Jack Heuers second new watch range. In 1962 Jack attended the "12hr of Sebring" race and in the pits had chatted to the parents of the Mexican Rodriguez brothers (who at the time were driving for Ferrari). They discussed the Carrera Panamericana event and concluded they were lucky their sons had been too young to enter whilst it was run.
However the name Carrera "rang a bell" with Jack and Heuer duly registered that name and plans were formulated. The idea was for a smaller watch, with no bezel to sit along side the Autavia (which launched a year earlier in 1962). Classic, easy to wear and with clear legibility was the starting point, whcih can be clearly seen in the first 2447 and 3646 N & S variants that began the series.
In 1963 these first examples were ready for retail, priced at $89 and $69 respectively. As production continued customer demand led to a staggering selection of dial designs, with a variety of scales and driven by several different movements.
The Carrera ran in various guises from 1963 until the TAG (Techniques d'Avant Garde) takeover in 1985 and was then re-introduced in the 1960s style case in the 1990s. It is still in prodcution as a modern TAG Heuer reinterpretation today!