The 2007 Mille Miglia, which starts from Brescia on May 17 and concludes in the Italian financial and industrial center on the 19th, will be packed with historic milestones. The first event was run 80 years ago this year; the last came to grief with the De Portago accident 50 years ago and MARVA, who are still at the helm, organized and ran the first Mille Miglia Storica for vintage cars using the current regularity formula 25 years ago.
There will be 375 starters in Brescia’s Via Venezia again this year—221 of them non-Italian entries—although more than double that number applied to compete. They will cover a 994-mile route from Brescia to the overnight halt at Ferrara, move on to Rome on day two and make their way from the Eternal City back to Brescia via old favorites like Viterbo, the Raticosa and Futa Passes, Florence, Bologna and Cremona. En route, this mobile museum, as the organizers like to call it, will compete in 40 timed sections—an increase of two over last year—that will contribute to victory, two of which will be in Brescia itself. One of the new features this year will see the cars run over a 17-mile circuit among the historic landmarks of Rome’s city center. On the way back to Brescia on May 18, the survivors will compete in the event’s last two timed tests at Modena as a tribute to Carrozzeria Scaglietti, who fashioned so many stunning Ferrari car bodies.
One of the cars competing in the 2007 event will be the 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 MMS that won podium places that year, in 1929 and 1930, in the hands of drivers including Achille Varzi. There will be the Maserati A6 GCS Monofaro (single headlamp) in which Alberto Ascari won his first Grand Prix at Modena in 1947. And the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Juan Manuel Fangio drove into 2nd place in the 1955 Mille Miglia will be allowed to stretch its legs after the many annual appearances of Stirling Moss’s winning sister car.
Ex-Ferrari star Jacky Ickx, 62, will drive a 1938 Auto Union Wanderer W25 K, and Prodrive boss David Richards, 52, who has the right to compete for the 2008 Formula One World Championship with a 12th team, will wield a 1952 Ferrari 212 Export.
by Robert Newman