Having become a matter of custom due to its great popularity, the 1000 Miglia returns to the Italian roads from 15 to 18 June, a period slightly later than usual in May, but favorable for tourism and weather conditions. Four stages that will lead the more than 400 participating cars (in addition to those from 1000 Miglia Green and Ferrari Triibute) from Brescia to Rome and back, through the most beautiful places in the country. Here are some curiosities about one of the events, yesterday as today, among the most anticipated of the year.
The first. 1000 Miglia was born in 1927, at the initiative of the so-called “four musketeers”: Giovanni Canestrini, Franco Mazzotti, Aymo Maggi and Renzo Castagneto. The latter, director of the Automobile Club of Brescia, is the soul of the organization of the race, which crosses most of Italy, on dusty roads, 1,600 kilometers long. A thousand kilometers, in fact.
The charm. The race leading from Brescia to Rome and back was not the first in Italy at the time: there were already, for example, the Targa Florio and the Italian Grand Prix (which this year celebrates a century of life). But the 1000 Miglia has a unique feature: it crosses the country and the villages and makes people see the race cars whizzing from the front door, from the balconies, into the squares. A unique pleasure for those who drive and those who watch, still alive today.
The first. At 8 o’clock in the morning on March 26, 1927, the first car to take off was Isotta Fraschini from Aymo Maggi and Bindo Maserati: however, they will not be the first to cross the finish line. After a full night of racing, despite the dust and bad weather, Nando Minoja and Giuseppe Morandi will win at the finish line in Brescia with an OM 665 Superba. It took them 21 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds to complete the route and traveled with an average of 77.238 km / h. Remember this data.
Gramophone records. In 1955, Stirling Moss actually set the record for 1000 Miglia, which remained undefeated forever, with the Mercedes 300 SLR number 722 (the numbers indicated the car’s departure time, 7 and 22) shared with journalist Denis Jenkinson (as he read the “notes” of the trail written on a paper roll). The English champion won the race in 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds with an average speed of 157,650 km / h. A crazy record, considering the roads of the times, which no one has been able to overcome.
Power. A few years ago, Stirling Moss told Quattroruote that after the race and the celebrations, he had once again taken the wheel of a Mercedes to go to Stuttgart with his wife without ever sleeping. And that in that circumstance he had taken “some pills,” which he did not know about the contents of, which had kept him awake. Doping before litter? After all, there was no control.
The numbers. Who has won the most editions of 1000 Miglia di speed, held until 1957? Among the car manufacturers Alfa Romeo with eleven overall successes, ahead of Ferrari with eight and Mercedes with two. Alfa achieved, among other things, seven consecutive triumphs (between 1932 and ’38); Ferrari, six (between ’48 and ’53). Among the pilots is King Clemente Biondetti, with four victories; Tazio Nuvolari, Giuseppe Campari, Carlo Maria Pintacuda and Giannino Marzotto each achieved two.
The end. After the tragedy of ’57, in which Alfonso de Portago, his co-driver Edmund Nelson and nine spectators (five of whom were children) lost their lives in Guidizzolo (MN), 1000 Miglia were transformed into three versions into a mixed regularity race and speed, according to a regulation , similar to that of rallies, loses much of its charm. The great epic about the “most beautiful race in the world”, also known as “the red arrow” for the symbol that separated it, appeared to be at sunset.
The new beginning. Letting such an important competition for collective memory fall into the blue would have been a crime. Thus, in 1982, at the initiative of a group of enthusiasts, including the industrialist Beppe Lucchini, the competition was reborn with the formula of regularity for historic cars. 300 cars are already participating in the first edition; in the beginning the event is held every other year, but from 1987 the celebration becomes annual. With increasing success, the event is attended by VIPs, famous drivers and official cars from the car manufacturers who take them out of museums.
The boss of the stopwatch. Record man of victories in 1000 Miglia regularity is Bolognese Giuliano Canè, for a long time unsurpassed in this specialty, always paired with his wife Lucia Galliani and always at the wheel of BMW, from 507 to 328. Competitors must respect Code of road, shows up on time at the time controls according to their schedule and face special tests where the advance or delay of the set time is measured in hundredths of a second. This value is then multiplied by a coefficient that takes into account the age of the car (hence the driving difficulty). Canè has always been considered a kind of living chronometer because of the precision of his steps.
It is tinted with green. The 1000 Miglia Green has also been held since 2019, a regularity race in an eco-version reserved for vehicles with alternative fuels. The first edition was limited to a distance of 250 kilometers and experienced the success of regulators Gianmaria Aghem and Rossella Conti with a Tesla Model 3 Performance. From 2020, on the other hand, the competition will be held on the exact same route as for historic cars, always with the formula of regularity. Quattroruote will also take part in the 2022 edition of the 1000 Miglia Green with four cars, brought to the journalists of the monthly magazine as proof of interest in new forms of mobility: an Audi Q4 e-tron, a BMW i4 40, a Mercedes EQE 350+ and a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.