The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany is bringing to life the Mille Miglia, the legendary Italian 1,000-mile road race. The special exhibition, “Mille Miglia – Passion and Rivalry”, which opened on 10 October 2012, presents fascinating racing sports cars from Mercedes-Benz and competitor vehicles built by Italian manufacturers. A total of nine vehicles are on display.
The Mille Miglia once stood as one of the most famous road races in the world in the 20th century. Each of the 24 times the race was held between 1927 and 1957 was characterized by a fierce level of competition and a supreme challenge for men and machines, in which legendary rivalries marked the racing encounters. The focus of competition was frequently between racing cars from Mercedes-Benz and vehicles from Italian brands such as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati and OM. Additional excitement was provided by the test of strength between the often audacious drivers. The Mille Miglia was raced without any breaks or other interruptions over a route of 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from Brescia to Rome and back. Today, it survives as an endurance race.
The special exhibition, “Mille Miglia – Passion and Rivalry”, which has been organized in cooperation with the Museo Mille Miglia in Brescia, focuses on this fascinating chapter in racing history. For example, memories of 1931, the year of the Caracciola triumph, are evoked by a Mercedes-Benz SSK, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS and an OM 655 Superba. From the year 1952, there are the Ferrari 225 S, Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and Lancia Aurelia B20. The legendary one-two victory by Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955 is documented with a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, a Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti and a Maserati A6 GCS. The special exhibition in the Collection 5 room will be supplemented by photographs and stories about the drivers in this celebrated Italian long-distance event.
Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, had this to say about the exhibition: “[a]s perhaps the toughest road race in the world, the Mille Miglia typifies the passion and rivalry of the sport like almost no other event. With the special exhibition, a piece of German-Italian racing history is coming to the Mercedes-Benz Museum. In particular, I’m looking forward to what will be a genuine premiere: for the first time, we will be exhibiting our racing cars with vehicles from our competitors.”
The “Mille Miglia – Passion and Rivalry” exhibition will be open until 6 January 2013.