Mille Miglia Tribute Falls Short of Plans

The Mille Miglia Tribute was recently held in California and the organizers must have been greatly disappointed.  There is not an event that I would more like to take part in than the Mille Miglia in Italy.  However I am realistic enough to know that it will never happen for me.  As a result, when they announced a Mille Miglia Tribute event in California, I paid attention.

An Allard Palm Beach Roadster Entered in the Mille Miglia Tribute

The Mille Miglia in Italy is probably the hardest rally event in the world to get an entry accepted.  At this time entries are restricted to cars that could have participated in the original Mille Miglia from 1927 to 1957.  Each year there are more entries than space available in the rally and some very worthy people and cars get rejected .  Therefore, the Mille Miglia Tribute would provide an opportunity for North Americans to take part in a similar event.  The announcement for the Mille Miglia Tribute said that they expected 15,000 applicants who would pay (about $8,000 as I recall, but this might be in error) to participate in the rally.  From those 15,000 applicants they would select 300 cars to take part in the rally.  I just could not believe such optimism, as 15,000 applicants was a very large number.

Mlle Miglia Tribute Rally Activity

The first sign that things were not going as planned came when the event was delayed from the initial date in August to late October.  The stated reason was to allow time for entrants to prepare their cars.  I suspected that this extension was to solicit more entries.  The Mille Miglia Tribute went ahead on October 25-29, 2011.  From looking at the photos on the event website, I’d guess that the total number of cars entered was 25 to 30 cars.  Far less than 300 cars!  I am very sure that the organizers were disappointed (as was I) and they probably took a financial bath, although they had some very good sponsors.

A Triumph TR3A Leads a Kurtis 500 in the Mille Miglia Tribute

I hope that the Mille Miglia Tribute continues in the future, as it might be the only Mille Miglia type event that I might even have a hope of entering!  It could continue to be a very nice rally, if the organizers do some proportionate planning and develop the rally based on realistic fields.

The Crew of this Austin Healey Won the Mille Miglia Tribute 

I am pleased to see that starting on November 30, 2011 at 8:00PM, Velocity TV will be presenting a show on the Mille Miglia Tribute.  The show will be hosted by motoring enthusiast Alain de Cadenet who will be driving a 1957 Ferrari Berlinetta 250 GT Coupe.  This should be an interesting show and it is always good to see a rally on TV.  This show should help to promote the rally and increase the number of entrants in any subsequent running of the Mille Miglia Tribute.

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