1958 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider
1958 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider

California Mille 2016 – Report and Photos

The California Mille 2016 was held April 24-28 over 1,000 miles of twisty back roads in California. The 26th annual rally brought together 67 historic cars from all over the world to San Francisco to salute Italy’s most famous open road race, the Mille Miglia.

The Cal Mille began with a free car show atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill on April 24. Co-organizers David and Howard Swig, carrying on the Mille tradition begun by their late father Martin Swig in 1991, introduced dignitaries, recalled the colorful history of the original event and its California counterpart, and spotlighted significant classics that could have qualified for the Mille Miglia that ran from 1927 to 1957.

On Monday morning at 8:45, April 25, Italian Cultural Affairs director Paolo Barlera waved the Italian flag at the Partenza (departure) arch spanning Mason Street at California, to officially start the four-day event. A modern Ferrari led the historic vehicles down Nob Hill and into the Presidio where the Mille cruised to the Pacific Coast, driving through Half Moon Bay and ending Day 1 in Carmel Valley.

Tuesday, April 26, saw the Mille maneuvering rarely used back roads toward San Simeon and the Hearst Castle, over one-lane bridges, through Paso Robles, by Mission San Miguel Arcangel, by the James Dean memorial (where the actor was killed in his Porsche 550 in 1955), ending the 247-mile drive in Morro Bay.

On Day 3, April 27, the California headed north toward the community of Adelaida, Paicines and Tres Pinos, stopping for lunch at Leal Vineyards in Hollister. That afternoon, the Mille drove through historic San Juan Bautista, ending again in Carmel Valley.

The final day of the thousand-mile drive took the California Mille through Greenfield, King City, Oil City, and to Harris Ranch in Coalinga for lunch. The Mille ended the drive in Carmel Valley for an awards dinner and farewell ceremony.

Similar to the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 events, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2016 California Mille, with Senior Photographer Dennis Gray providing the following pictures that highlight the strong field of entrants on the 26th annual rally. We split up Dennis’ photos into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a complete view of all photographs.

California Mille 2016 – Featured Photo Gallery

Sunrise on Monday morning.
Sunrise on Monday morning.
1953 Morgan +4.
1953 Morgan +4.
1959 Porsche 356A Roadster
1959 Porsche 356A Roadster

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1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint.
1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint.
1957 Porsche 356 Carrera GT
1957 Porsche 356 Carrera GT
Ex-Ecurie Ecosse 1955 Jaguar D-Type, chassis XKD 502
Ex-Ecurie Ecosse 1955 Jaguar D-Type, chassis XKD 502

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  1. Thanks for the comments. Don, I did have IT but had IT surgically removed. See you guys at the races. Dennis

  2. Terrrific expose’ of a wonderful and iconic event. Delighted to see the tradition carried on with some fabulous cars in the entourage. Martin would be proud, and I’m sure he’s with them all at every event in spirit. Thanks for the great work Dennis. Always a pleasure to see your posts.