Red 1957 Austin Healey 100/6 BN4 in front of Fiat at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

The 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

The heroes of the Mille Miglia are household names among motor racing fans: Nuvolari. Ascari. Moss. But without one behind-the-scenes figure, the famous Italian race might never have happened.

Count Franco Mazzotti was an avid racer, the president of the Region Automobile Club of Brescia, and one of the original organizers of the Mille Miglia—the race from Brescia to Rome and back. Mazzotti died in combat in World War II when his Italian Air Force plane was shot down in the channel between Sicily and the Italian mainland.

The first Coppa Franco Mazzotti was organized to honor the Italian icon in 2009. Think of it as a mini-Mille Miglia. The two-day 2021 edition began in Brescia, skirting its three lakes before the finish at Lake Iseo. The cars involved included vintage Bugattis, Bentlys, and more.

Photos from the 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

1923 Bentley leading vintage Bugatti cars at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

The departure at the Castello di Brescia took place in order of age. The oldest cars were first off the line, lead by the #1 plate, a 1923 Bentley, and five vintage Bugattis.

Pinocchio hood ornament on 1927 Bugatti at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A little bit of luck never hurts. This well-worn Pinocchio was affixed to the front windscreen of a 1927 Bugatti.

Blue 1927 Bugatti T37A at start of 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A 1927 Bugatti T37A passes under the Coppa Franco Mazzotti starting banner, with the Castello di Brescia looming in the background.

Crew of 1950 Healey Westland talking near car at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

The crew of a 1950 Healey Westland in an animated discussion before the start of the Coppa Franco Mazzotti.

Black 1955 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A vintage 1955 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT rolls to the start in Brescia.

Fiat fan reading newspaper at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A Fiat fan catches up on the news of the day, waiting for the cars to depart the Castello di Brescia.

Black 1938 Fiat 508 C at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A 1938 Fiat 508 C shines in the sun at the start of the Coppa Franco Mazzotti.

Red 1934 Fiat 508 C Balilla at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A perfect red 1934 Fiat 508 C Balilla in the opening mile of the 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti in Brescia.

Green 1963 Triumph TR3 with hood raised at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

This 1963 Triumph TR3 needed service shortly after the start of the Coppa Franco Mazzotti. Anyone who has ever owned a car with Lucas electronics knows the feeling.

Two men driving red 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect way to spend the day than behind the wheel of this 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible.

Two women driving green 1957 Renault R106 at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

The all-female driving team of Emanuela Cinelli and Loretta Stofler in their 1957 Renault R106.

Police officer holding traffic to let silver 1958 Mercedes Benz 190 SL pass at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A local Brescia police officer holds traffic to let a 1958 Mercedes Benz 190 SL pass through an intersection.

Two men in red 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

Inside the cockpit of a 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.

Green and white 1956 Studebaker Goldenhawk at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

A 1956 Studebaker Goldenhawk, one of the few American cars entered in the 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti.

White puppy in back seat of blue 1961 Alfa Romeo Spider at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

Every car in the Coppa Franco Mazzotti has a driver and a navigator. This 1961 Alfa Romeo Spider has a backseat mascot, too.

Red 1957 Austin Healey 100/6 BN4 in front of Fiat at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

Rolling into a rest stop in Desenzano, this 1957 Austin Healey 100/6 BN4 leads a 1958 Fiat 1100.

Man and woman smoking in front seat of green car at 2021 Coppa Franco Mazzotti

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

 

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