The Mille Miglia is spreading its wings. The usual Brescia-Rome-Brescia regularity race will take place between May 12–15 in Italy, but for the first time a Mille Miglia Tribute to North America is to be held August 14–17, ahead of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Motorsports Reunion vintage car weekend.
The American event is to be run “in the spirit of the original Mille Miglia” over 1,000 miles of the West Coast, taking in Carmel, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, the Napa Valley and Monterey. Hospitality stops and sponsor villages will be set up along the route so that spectators can enjoy the cars, all of which were built during the years of the original Mille Miglia, some of them having actually competed in the Italian road race up to 83 years ago.
The old road race was a breakneck dash from Brescia to Rome and back each year from 1927 to 1957, with the exception of during the Second World War. It was plagued by accidents, several of them fatal, and was stopped in 1957 after the Marquis Alfonso de Portago lost control of his works Ferrari 335S and crashed, killing him, his American co-driver Ed Nelson and seven spectators, a number of them children.
The race came back as an annual regularity event in 1977, and has since attracted far more entries than it is able to handle. As well as the glitterati-like royalty, famous actors, pop stars and politicians, in 2010 more than four million people lined the roads to see the Mille Miglia’s 375 vintage cars growl their way to Rome and back, an event attended by 1,500 journalists from all over the world.
Both the Mille Miglia and the Mille Miglia Tribute to North America are organized by a consortium for the Automobile Club of Brescia, made up of the MAC Group of Genoa, MEET Communications in Rome and Sanremo Rally. The Status Media Group is working with the group on the organization of the North American event. For further information please visit: www.millemiglianorthamerica.com.