Open to cars produced between 1927, and 1957, the Mille Miglia historic rally has become one of Europe’s most exciting motoring events. When the Italian organizers sanctioned a North American Mille in California, I jumped at the chance to participate.
The thought of having my ’57 Lotus 11 on the open road with other sports racing cars of that era was an exciting prospect.
The reality was better than I had imagined, as I found myself running nose to tail with a Ferrari 500 Mondial, on a perfect, Italianate road. I leveraged my diminutive Lotus’ light weight and slippery aerodynamics against the superior power of the 4-cylinder Ferrari, while being chased by a Ferrari 250 Berlinetta, a Lancia Aurelia, and an Alfa Zagato.
Serenaded by the sound of exotic, highly tuned engines, the California routecarried us from the sea to the high desert, through the coastal forests, and back to the sea. While 1,000 miles in only three days proved to be physically taxing in the minimalist sports racing cars, we found that there are few better ways to achieve such levels of delightful exhaustion.
On the practical side, the accommodations were excellent, the food was wonderful, and the organization was superb. Sign me up for next year. (www.millemiglianorthamerica.com)