Classic Car Racing: ‘Inside The 2020 Mille Miglia’, Italy

Gentleman’s Journal

This year, the race had its own challenges, as the pandemic ripped across the world. The Mille Miglia usually takes place in May, but was postponed until October this time round — and many had feared it might be cancelled altogether. But the show must go on — and the sight of more than 400 stunning classic cars glinting in the autumn sun is one I will remember for a very long time.

The first Miglia Mille took place in 1927, founded by a group of car enthusiasts in the town of Brescia, Northern Italy — the race was their response to the region’s loss of the Italian Grand Prix to Monza, seven years earlier. A 1,000 mile loop around Northern Italy (hence the name), the race took place every year for three decades, save for a break during the Second World War. But the perilous, do-or-die nature of the contest led to many crashes and more than ten fatalities, and the final chequered flag fell in 1957. In the 1970s, the Mille Miglia was reborn as we know it today — more of a grand tour than a hotly-contested, breakneck race (although some drivers, even now, forget this from
time to time.)

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