2015 Mille Miglia Getting Underway

This weekend the 2015 Mille Miglia will get underway.  The Mille Miglia is advertised, with good reason, as “the most beautiful race in the world”.   These days the Mille Miglia is a road rally, but from 1927 to 1957 it was a very challenging 1000-mile long sports car race with the fastest cars in the world being driven by the fastest drivers.  The picture below shows the famous Tazio Nuvolari in an Alfa Romeo in the 1930 Mille Miglia.

1930 alfa nuvolari 1930

Tazio Nuvolari Won The 1930 Mille Miglia In An Alfa Romeo

In 1957 there was a horrible accident that killed 10 spectators as well as one of the most talented and well-known drivers, Alfonso De Portago and his co-driver.  This bad accident, coming on the heels of the infamous 1955 Le Mans accident caused many objections to the Mille Miglia.  The result was that the Mille Miglia  was shut down and not held in that format anymore.  The picture below shows Piero Taruffi in a Ferrari, who competed in the Mille Miglia many times, finally taking the checkered flag by winning the 1957 Mille Miglia.  He was chased to the finish line by von Tripps  also in a Ferrari, but while it looks very close in the photo, vonTripps had started a few minutes ahead of Taruffi.

1957 taruffi von trips

Piero Taruffi Winning The Last Full Race Mille Miglia In 195a

The modern Mille Miglia was reborn in 1982 as a road rally and tribute to the original Mille Miglia race.  It has become a very prestigious event and just being selected to compete in the Mille Miglia is quite an honor.  In the last few days the 2015 Mille Miglia entrants have been gathering in Brescia getting the final paperwork done and getting their cars ready for this year’s event.

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Michael Cotter’s 1952 Jaguar C Type  Readying For The Mille Migia

The cars taking part in the Mille Miglia must have been built between 1927 and 1957, the years of the original event.  This year about 430 cars are entered and 69 car brands are represented.  The following is a list of the cars and numbers in this year’s Mille Miglia.  For example, there are 38 Alfa Romeos entered.

Car Manufacturer And Number Of Cars Entered

Alfa Romeo 38 Gilco 2
Mercedes-Benz 38 Lotus 2
Jaguar 36 Talbot-Lago 2
FIAT 34 Allard 1
Lancia 30 Alpine Renault 1
Porsche 22 Autobleu 1
Bugatti 21 Benedetti-FIAT 1
Aston Martin 19 Borgward 1
Ferrari 19 Bristol 1
Healey 11 Cargem 1
Maserati 11 Citroen 1
Cisitalia 10 Cooper 1
BMW 9 Delage 1
O.M. 8 Delahaye 1
Austin Healey 7 FIAT Cisitalia 1
Bentley 7 Giaur 1
S.I.A.T.A. 7 HRG 1
Triumph 7 HW (poi HWM) 1
Zagato 7 HW Alta (poi HWM) 1
MG 6 Invicta 1
Riley 6 Kieft 1
Arnolt 4 Lincoln 1
Chrysler 4 Nash-Healey 1
Lagonda 4 Oldsmobile 1
A.C. 3 Peugeot 1
Alvis 3 Rally 1
Amilcar 3 Renault 1
Ermini 3 Rovelli-FIAT 1
Ford 3 Rover 1
O.S.C.A. 3 SS 1
Abarth 2 Stanguellini 1
B.N.C. 2 Studebaker 1
Bandini 2 Talbot 1
D.B. 2 Zanussi-FIAT 1
Frazer-Nash 2

One of the cars that I will be following is the lone Bristol in the event.  This 1949 Bristol 400 Pinin Farina convertible is crewed by Adrian Berry and Hannah Goodman., who have just recently competed in the Icelandic Saga in a Lotus Elan.  This year, the Bristol will wear number 178.

MM Bristol

1949 Bristol 400 Pinin Farina

For a listing of the entrants and their cars click on the Provisional Start List below.

Provisional Start List 2015

Best wishes to all of the competitors.  I look forward to seeing the results and interesting photos of this rally.

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9 Responses to 2015 Mille Miglia Getting Underway

  1. Note that I corrected my initial post as von Tripps started ahead of Taruffi in 1957. That’s what happens sometimes when I post something in the late evening. Sorry if I confused any early readers.
    Steve McKelvie

    • Manel Baró says:

      At the thirteenth attempt, 50-year-old Piero Taruffi scored a well deserved victory in the 24th -and last- real Mille Miglia, bringing his 3.8 litre,Tipo 315S, Ferrari over the finishing line at Brescia alongside the 315S of Von Tripps, who had started three minutes ahead of him… to finished just ONE second behind his veteran mate who , after 33 years of racing, had promised his wife to hang up his helmet..
      As you may guess, aristocrat Von Tripss behaved like the true gentleman he always was, !

  2. Cargirl says:

    Yay for the Arnolt Bristols, the Ac Ace and the Aceca! I love that those cars are in there. But come on with the MB 300 SL coupes – I counted 28. 28! I have four clients driving in the event (none are in an MB 300 SL). Please keep up the great coverage.

  3. I completely agree with you about the Arnolts and the ACs.
    Mercedes-Benz is a major sponsor of this event, so I think that the organizers might have their fingers on the selection scale when choosing cars. That said, the 300SL coupes are very nice cars but perhaps they might be over-represented.
    Steve McKelvie

  4. Linda caira says:

    Where is James Martin in this race?

  5. Linda caira says:

    Where is he?

  6. Adrian Berry says:

    James Martin in #418 finished (this time) at position 264

    • Hi Adrian,
      Thanks for that information. In addition, congratulations on your own finish in this wonderful rally! Your Bristol is a very impressive car.
      By the way, it is interesting to note that James Martin’s navigator was Charley Boorman, who many would recognize as one of the motorcycle riders in “The Long Way Round”.
      Steve McKelvie

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