Nearly 10 million people lined the streets of Italy to watch the first Mille Miglia Storica of the new millennium from May 25-27, as 367 mechanical masterpieces built between 1927 and 1957 growled their way from Brescia to Ferrara to Rome and back. Though the route took its toll (96 cars did not finish), many heralded this year’s run as the best yet.
A record total of 821 Sports, Touring and Grand Touring class cars were entered by would-be competitors from 36 different countries. Just 375 cars were accepted, including Giuseppe Campari’s 1930 Alfa Romeo 1750 Zagato, Count Giovanni Lurani’s Alfa Romeo 1500 SS, Alberto Ascari’s single headlamp 1949 Maserati A6GCS, Gigi Villoresi’s winning 1951 Ferrari 340 America and car number 722, the Mercedes-Benz 300SLR in which Stirling Moss and the late Denis Jenkinson set the all-time Mille Miglia speed record. In the end, the winner for a remarkable sixth time was Bologna businessman Giuliano Canè, co-driven by his wife Lucia, in a BMW 328 MM: he scored a total of 11,569 points in the regularity run.