We report on the gruelling Mille Miglia
“In all Europe there is no race quite like the Mille Miglia. For months crews have worked hard on their cars, have gone into strict training and each driver’s hopes, fears and expectations are shared with the friend who also shares the wheel.”
It’s easy to see why: first held in 1927, this was an endurance epic around Italy, from Brescia down to Bologna, Siena and Rome, then east to Ancona, back up to Bologna, east to Treviso and back west to Brescia – about 1000 miles in total.
Alfa Romeo was the favourite, having won the previous year with its new 8C. It had quit racing due to its financial woes, but a privateer named Scuderia Ferrari had taken over its sporting efforts, and its four cars indeed dominated the MM.
The 86 cars blasted away at a terrific pace, dicing on twisting country roads, mountain paces and village streets, the 8C of Baconin Borzacchini going at a record pace that his team-mate Carlo Trossi crashed trying to copy.
Unjustly a broken cylinder head forced his retirement, henceforth the 8C of Tazio Nuvolari leading all the way to the finish, cruising in to a rapturuous reception after 15hr 11min at an average of 67.45mph.
And to the delight of the British, the 1100cc class was won by an MG.