Mille Miglia Musings

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

In an event the size of the Mille Miglia it is not possible to mention every praiseworthy effort, but one that was particularly good was that of the Belgian driver Gendebien who won the Tulip Rally, flew to Italy and drove a Jaguar XK120 coupé into 21st place. Likewise, Gatsonides competed in the Tulip Rally and the Mille Miglia, finishing 28th with a Triumph TR2.

The first British car to finish was the Austin-Healey driven by Macklin, who drove on his own and likened the event to a one-lap Grand Prix of interminable length, but more interesting than covering lap after lap of the same circuit. He finish in 23rd place and fifth out of the six finishers in his class.

Other English cars to compete the course were a Jaguar coupé, driven by two French drivers, in 37th place, the coupé Fraser-Nash driven by the Swedish drivers Nottorp and Bran, in 53rd place, and Brooke and Fairman with the Triumph TR2 in 94th place.

An intrepid couple were the German drivers Strable and Spingler who had a Volkswagen fitted with a Porsche engine, Porsche brakes and wheels. They finished third in the sports class, out of 12 finishers, and 44th in General Category, with what must surely have been a very “dicey” hot-rod!

The last car to complete the course was an Isetta, a midget economy saloon balanced on wheel-barrow wheels and powered by a 350-c.c. two-stroke engine, that arrived back at Brescia 24 hr. 37 min. 2 sec. after leaving, but it could not be classified as 24 hours was the maximum time allowed. Seven of these incredible little vehicles competed, four qualified, and the fastest averaged approximately 45 m.p.h. for the 1,000 miles.

Venezian, who finished fifth in General Category, was indebted to the officials at Bologna, for he arrived at the control too fast, locked his wheels and skidded into one of the grandstands, injuring a small boy and denting the nose of his Maserati. The accident looked serious at first and he seemed prepared to abandon the race, but the officials pushed the car back on the road and sent him on his way before he could really appreciate what had happened.

Unluckiest man was surely Mancini who crashed his Maserati within a few miles of Brescia, his mechanic unfortunately receiving fatal injuries.

It was most impressive at Bologna the way most of the Alfa-Romeo 1,900 and Lancia Aurelia cars arrived at speed and still had sufficient brakes to leave marks on the road or lock the front wheels. Most of the Alfa-Romeos left in a flurry of wheelspin. All this after some 10 hours of racing.

An unknown driver received exactly the same speedy attention at the controls as Ascari or Marzotto, the officials merely did their jobs as fast as possible, irrespective of car or driver. At one point four 1,100 Fiats arrived together and they all got away together, less than 10 seconds being lost by any of them. The marshals who did the official stamping and punching of the cards had the remarkable ability of never being upright, they were continually at an angle of 45 deg. either accelerating, braking or cornering round a car.

You may also like

Related products