The fences around the sealing area are usually packed with people having a glimpse at the cars, the nearby
Piazzas are filled with Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maserati but also the less known Etceterinis who give the
extra something. The cafés make their best business of the year and every available chair is outside and
everything is decorated in the colors of the “freccia rossa” (the red arrow), symbol of the thousand mile. Few
things can spoil the party...except torrential rain!!!
Every seasoned visitors of the Mille Miglia knows the sentence “a Mille Miglia without rain is not a proper MM”
but this year things slightly went out of hands...There have been many years with a departure on Via Venezia
in the rain but a look into the old town on Thursday morning showed a completely different picture of the MM.
Deserted Piazzas, not a single car coming earlier than necessary to avoid a long wait in the rain showed a
rather gloomy atmosphere. Just a few hardcore fans waited around Piazza Vittorio for the first cars to arrive,
many of the participants took the chance to do the sealing the evening before, despite the usual traffic in the
rush hour of Brescia many made their way to the city center Wednesday afternoon due to the horrible weather
Over the next hour the place started to fill up as those who missed the day before and had to make their way
to get the seal on the steering wheel before the start in the afternoon, most of them came as late as possible
and therefore achieved the complete opposite from what they hoped for: long waiting lines in the rain. With
more cars coming also the public arrived in larger numbers and with every heavy shower the places under the
marquees of the stores were full of people.
Although the “ars vivendi” of cars, sun and cappuccino fell a little bit short this time there were still a lot of
great cars to have a look at. Not just because of the weather some exciting coupés seemed to be more
appealing to the crowd than the open Barchettas without any weather protection.
One of the stars of this year’s edition was without doubt on of just three examples of the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500
Competizione Coupe, this very example was seen earlier this year at the Retromobile and was brought to
Brescia by Classic Car Dealer Gregor Fisken. Chassis 002 was entered no less than 4 times in between
1948 and 1951 in the original MM finishing third in its second appearance. After been stored for almost 4
decades in the famous “Sleeping Beauty” collection (yes, there have been such before Baillon) the car is
today presented in Pebble Beach quality restoration. Although carefully prepared for the grueling 1000 miles it
unfortunately did not make the finish but that day in Brescia it was surrounded by admirers. Another nice car
was the small OSCA MT4 bodied by Vignale showing that the elegant design of the Turinese coachbuilder
looks great especially on smaller chassis like the OSCA or the Ferrari 212.
Just about lunch time the places finally cleared up as the cars headed to the MM museum for the annual
lunch just to line up for the start early in the afternoon. Since a few years the MM was prolonged for safety
reasons and for the comfort of some less enthusiastic gentlemen drivers on invitation of the numerous
sponsors the traditional start in the evening was rescheduled to the afternoon to make a little bit more mileage
on the first day to Rimini rather than Ferrara to cut the second leg down to Rome. This year a record number
of almost 450 cars took the stage in 30 second intervals to be sent out in the rain that should follow the
participants. Having in mind that there is also the Ferrari and Mercedes tribute run sharing the same roads
one can imagine the size of the convoy of participants, media, service and “fare dodgers” driving through Italy
and the financial power for the tourism in the region. Some might miss the old days of a more familiar event
but the size of the whole show and the popularity both for spectators and drivers might be a large part of the
Unfortunately this year’s MM clashed with another major classic car event, the Concorso d´Eleganza at the
Villa d´Este we reported earlier on, leaving one with the decision whether one should follow the “race” or head
for the elegant concours at the grand hotel in Como. As we decided for the later this year’s galleries from the
MM are only covering the start in Brescia.
Now one might ask why two such important events in Italy choose the same weekend in May for this year’s
edition and the explanation is quite simple: late in the last season the F1 circus had a change in the date of
their Monaco GP and as the Historic GP is bound to that date as well this meant that it was also held a week
later, the very same weekend the MM was originally intended. So the Mille Miglia had the choice of agony to
either clash with the HGP in Monaco or the Villa D´Este and obviously the organizers thought the later would
be the better choice. As there will be no Historic GP in the next year one can assume that this clash of dates
will not repeat and give especially the American entrants the opportunity to enter both the MM and the
Concours in one go making the trip overseas worth the efforts.
So to fulfil the duties of the chronologist there was certainly a winner after the 1000 miles arriving back in
Brescia on Sunday afternoon. The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS crew of Andrea Vesco and Andrea Guerini led an
all-Italian podium of this year’s edition. Traditionally the fight for the tenths of a second on the regularity trial is
an affair between the Italian and Argentinian pre-war crews with the highest coeff. And the honor of the local
participants is saved for another year before the rematch at the 90th anniversary of the first MM next May.
Report & Images … Peter Singhof
... Download Entry List with chassis numbers (updated May 31) >>>