The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Mille Miglia by Henk Brouwer

23-06-2016

Every year this “moving museum” starts from the Via Venezia and each year the Mille Miglia makes countless hearts beat faster. The hearts of the organisers, of the press, staff, the service-teams, of the local people, the marshalls, the photo -and TV-teams, the police…, but above all those of the participants and their teams. Because if you drive the Mille Miglia for the tenth time or for the first time … that heart beats faster anyway!

On Wednesday, it’s already buzzing in the Fiera di Brescia, where scrutineering takes place. On the Piazza della Vittoria the cars are sealed. The current organization has yet again changed a few things, and the comments that came back from the participants were enthusiastic. The early start from the Via Venezia remains and the first night in Rimini instead of Ferrara also. The entire field of participants driving through a city like Rome, with a check at the Olympic Stadium and the arrival at the Castel Sant’Angelo, is a breathtaking spectacle. Then it heads North towards Siena and Poggibonsi, leaving Lucca and Pisa. Expected finish is around 02:30pm, again at the Via Venezia.

The “moving museum” included extremely beautiful Italian makes, like Alfa Romeo 61 (last year 47), Bugatti 21 (19), Cisitalia 10 (11), Ermini 6 (3), Ferrari 23 (17), Fiat 46, Lancia 42 (31), Maserati 13 (10), O.M. 12 (8) and SIATA 12 (8). In addition, many cars with bodywork particular related to Fiat like Dagrada, Gianni, Giaour and Benedetti. Of course also the English, German and French brands are represented.

All these beauties paraded from the Via Venezia the first day to Rimini. On Friday, the participants arrived early in San Marino, but unfortunately the historic center, located on a hill, was completely hidden in the clouds and the view at times was only 40 meters or even less. This probably was also the reason that it’s not half as crowded as usual. At the end of the morning –after all the cars had mostly passed – the weather cleared. Bad weather or not, the enthusiasts saw all the participants who wriggled through the narrow streets towards the Piazetta del Titano. There they needed to take a hairpin in the square and they have to do it in one go otherwise bailey boo is their reward…

After gathering on the square in front of the Olympic Stadion in Rome they drive under police escort to their final destination, to start early in the morning for the trip north. They leave the Lazio area and enter Tuscany driving via Radicofani, Siena and Florence to take the Paso della Futa. Next they go via Bologna, Modena and Reggio Emilia to Parma. The Saturday is always the day with the records in speeding, accidents and weather condition.

Sunday is the last day and the cars do their thing in the motodrome at Monza. At the finish in Brescia on the Via Venezia the corks finally pop for the winners …

(1) #074 – Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato (1931)
(2) #004 – O.M. 665 Superba Sport 2000 CC (1926)
(3) #085 – Alfa Romeo 6C Gran Sport 1500 “Testa Fissa” (1933)

(For more of Henk’s collection of pictures click here)