The Mille Miglia Race
The Greatest Drivers, Cars, Races & More
The Mille Miglia was an open-road, motorsport endurance race established in 1927 by the young Counts Francesco Mazzotti and Aymo Maggi, which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957 (thirteen before World War II, eleven from 1947). The Mille Miglia roared into life in 1927, when Counts Aymo Maggi and Franco Mazzotti — with a little help from sports manager Renzo Castagneto, motoring journalist Giovanni Canestrini and a host of wealthy investors — held the first of their nationwide figure-of-eight endurance races. The course sped from Brescia to Rome and back, with 77 all-Italian competitors racing to cover just over 1,000 miles in the fastest time. Since 1977, the "Mille Miglia" has been reborn as a regularity race for classic and vintage cars. Participation is limited to cars, produced no later than 1957, which had attended (or were registered to) the original race. The route (Brescia–Rome round trip) is similar to that of the original race, maintaining the point of departure/arrival in Viale Venezia in Brescia. It is now known as the 1000 Miglia.
The Mille Miglia Drivers
Enzo Ferrari said it best: "No driver could ever say that he had achieved his victor's laurels if he had not won at Brescia". Perhaps that is why Mille Miglia drew the best drivers from across the globe. Below, we tell you their stories. Perhaps the best known driver was Sterling Moss. His victory in 1954 became a defining moment in motorsports history: With the Mercedes-Benz SLR, the Englishman set a speed record that remains unsurpassed to this day. Moss became a driving hero and was granted knighthood by Prince Charles himself.
The Mille Miglia Cars
For 20 years (1927 to 1947), the race cars from Alfa Romeo were virtually invincible. With a total of 11 victories, they dominated the Mille Miglia. Afterwards however, Alfa Romeo temporarily withdrew from the motorsport scene. This is when Enzo Ferrari stepped up and took over: He won a total of 8 victories with his own sports cars. Mercedes-Benz was the only other team that managed to beat Alfa Romeo twice during the early decades. The heroic Rudolf Caracciola managed to defeat the then superior Alfa Romeos in 1932. Meanwhile, Stirling Moss dominated the Ferraris in 1954. Every Mille Miglia fan should know about the incredible story about the race with Stirling Moss behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz SLR at the 1955 Mille Miglia. The racing team Moss and Jenkinson mastered the 992-mile circuit in just 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds, which corresponds to an average speed of little less than 160 km/ h. With their victory, history had been written.
Mille Miglia & 1000 Miglia Updates
Since its relaunch as a classic car rally in 1977, the “Mille Miglia storica” has been held annually with special stages since its tragic end in 1957. Today, showcasing unique race cars means more than speed at one of the most important and beautiful stages in the history of motorsports. 'La corsa più bella del mondo‘ – the most beautiful race in the world – takes place every year around mid-May and attracts celebrities as well as gear heads from all over the world. Below, we take you through the highlights of the recent 1000 Miglia vintage races as well as share some special features on the epic races of yesteryear.
The Mille Miglia permitted the birth of GT, or grand touring cars, which are now sold all over the world. The Mille Miglia proved that by racing over open roads for 1,000 miles, there were great technical lessons to be learned by the petrol and oil companies and by brake, clutch, transmission, electrical and lighting component manufacturers, fully justifying the old adage that motor racing improves the breed.
COMMENDATORE ENZO FERRARI