Automotive

Mille Miglia 2019: The "world's most beautiful race" lives up to its billing

The expertise, history, passion and sheer money behind the Mille Miglia is mind-boggling
The expertise, history, passion and sheer money behind the Mille Miglia is mind-boggling
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Who invited the Gullwing guys? Always showing off!
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Who invited the Gullwing guys? Always showing off!
A 1955 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
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A 1955 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
A 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
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A 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
1956 Mercedes 300 SL
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1956 Mercedes 300 SL
1955 Mercedes 300 SL
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1955 Mercedes 300 SL
1954 Porsche 356 1500 Speedster
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1954 Porsche 356 1500 Speedster
1954 Manual shift Jaguar XK120 OTS SE Roadster
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1954 Manual shift Jaguar XK120 OTS SE Roadster
1952 Jaguar C-Type
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1952 Jaguar C-Type
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider
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1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider
1954 Maserati A6 GCS Fantuzzi
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1954 Maserati A6 GCS Fantuzzi
1952 Jaguar XK120 OTS Roadster
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1952 Jaguar XK120 OTS Roadster
A 1947 Cisitalia 202 S Spyder MM
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A 1947 Cisitalia 202 S Spyder MM
The back end of a Fiat Siata 750 Sport Finocchio
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The back end of a Fiat Siata 750 Sport Finocchio
1935 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Pescara Spider
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1935 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Pescara Spider
1937 Fiat 508 C Spider Speciale
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1937 Fiat 508 C Spider Speciale
A 1933 Aston Martin Le Mans
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A 1933 Aston Martin Le Mans
The crowds were out in force all the way
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The crowds were out in force all the way
1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato
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1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato
A 1928 Rally ABC Gran Sport
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A 1928 Rally ABC Gran Sport
1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport
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1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport
The kind of traffic jam you don't mind getting caught in
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The kind of traffic jam you don't mind getting caught in
Grand old cars in the night
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Grand old cars in the night
Manual shift 1952 Jaguar XK120 M Competition
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Manual shift 1952 Jaguar XK120 M Competition
1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
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1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2500
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1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2500
Gandalf makes an appearance to greet this 1953 Kleft Turner
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Gandalf makes an appearance to greet this 1953 Kleft Turner
1956 Mercedes 300 SL
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1956 Mercedes 300 SL
This weird-looking thing is a 1948 Healey Duncan Drone
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This weird-looking thing is a 1948 Healey Duncan Drone
A 1951 Allard J2
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A 1951 Allard J2
A 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type
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A 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type
1950 Ermini Fiat 1110 Siluro
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1950 Ermini Fiat 1110 Siluro
Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of cars line up in a beautiful European town square
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Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of cars line up in a beautiful European town square
1949 Osca MT 4 1100 – smartly captured beneath a "Viva L'OSCA" banner
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1949 Osca MT 4 1100 – smartly captured beneath a "Viva L'OSCA" banner
A 1928 Invicta 4.5-liter High Chassis LE enjoying a heck of a road trip
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A 1928 Invicta 4.5-liter High Chassis LE enjoying a heck of a road trip
1951 Jaguar XK120 OTS Roadster
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1951 Jaguar XK120 OTS Roadster
A 1952 Aston Martin DB3 S
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A 1952 Aston Martin DB3 S
A 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type
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A 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type
Another 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type
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Another 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type
That 1947 Healey Duncan Drone out enjoying the countryside
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That 1947 Healey Duncan Drone out enjoying the countryside
A 1947 Stanguellini Fiat 1100 Berlinetta Berton
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A 1947 Stanguellini Fiat 1100 Berlinetta Berton
A 1931 Fiat 514 MM
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A 1931 Fiat 514 MM
1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS
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1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS
1927 Bugatti Type 37
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1927 Bugatti Type 37
1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia
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1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia
1925 Bugatti Type 23
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1925 Bugatti Type 23
Traditional costume seems to have been the order of the day
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Traditional costume seems to have been the order of the day
1952 Renault 4 CV
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1952 Renault 4 CV
1956 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera
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1956 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera
1952 S.I.A.T.A. Daina Gran Sport Stabilimenti
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1952 S.I.A.T.A. Daina Gran Sport Stabilimenti
1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
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1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
1957 Mercedes 300 SL
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1957 Mercedes 300 SL
#807 must feel like the kid at his grandad's party
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#807 must feel like the kid at his grandad's party
Another square full of exotic machinery
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Another square full of exotic machinery
A 1956 Saab 93
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A 1956 Saab 93
1952 OSCA MT4 1100
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1952 OSCA MT4 1100
A 1950 Ferrari 275 S/340 America enjoying the gorgeous Italian hills
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A 1950 Ferrari 275 S/340 America enjoying the gorgeous Italian hills
The back end of a stunning 1948 AMP Prete Alfa Maserati 2500
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The back end of a stunning 1948 AMP Prete Alfa Maserati 2500
And the front end!
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And the front end!
1939 BMW 328
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1939 BMW 328
A 1934 Alvis Speed 20 SB
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A 1934 Alvis Speed 20 SB
1929 Lancia Lambda VIII Serie Casaro
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1929 Lancia Lambda VIII Serie Casaro
A 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza leading the pack
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A 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza leading the pack
A handy sign to bring along!
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A handy sign to bring along!
A 1929 Lancia Lambda VIII Serie Casaro
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A 1929 Lancia Lambda VIII Serie Casaro
1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport
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1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport
A 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix
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A 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix
A 1952 Jaguar C-Type is greeted by a large tap
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A 1952 Jaguar C-Type is greeted by a large tap
A 1937 Aston Martin 2 Litre Speed Model just loving the rain
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A 1937 Aston Martin 2 Litre Speed Model just loving the rain
Some had the luxury of putting the roof up ...
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Some had the luxury of putting the roof up ...
... others, not so much
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... others, not so much
This 1927 B.N.C Monza driver's face says it all ... goggles next time!
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This 1927 B.N.C Monza driver's face says it all ... goggles next time!
A 1948 Gilco Marian Fiat 1100 Siluro
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A 1948 Gilco Marian Fiat 1100 Siluro
A happy looking 1938 S.I.A.T.A. Fiat 500 Sport
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A happy looking 1938 S.I.A.T.A. Fiat 500 Sport
A 1925 Bentley 3 Litre
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A 1925 Bentley 3 Litre
A 1936 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 A Botticella
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A 1936 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 A Botticella
A cozy-looking Fiat 508 S Balilla Sport Coppa
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A cozy-looking Fiat 508 S Balilla Sport Coppa
1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS
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1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS
A 1928 Rally ABC Gran Sport
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A 1928 Rally ABC Gran Sport
A 1926 Bugatti Type 37
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A 1926 Bugatti Type 37
A 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix
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A 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix
A peek at that Bugatti engine
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A peek at that Bugatti engine
A group of soggy OM 665 Superbas from the 20s and 30s sticking together
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A group of soggy OM 665 Superbas from the 20s and 30s sticking together
In third place: Juan Tonconogy and Barbara Ruffini driving a Bugatti Type 40
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In third place: Juan Tonconogy and Barbara Ruffini driving a Bugatti Type 40
Finishing second: Andrea Vesco and Andrea Guerini driving a Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato
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Finishing second: Andrea Vesco and Andrea Guerini driving a Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato
And the winners of the 37th Mille Miglia: Giovanni Moceri and Daniele Bonetti driving an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SSA from 1928
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And the winners of the 37th Mille Miglia: Giovanni Moceri and Daniele Bonetti driving an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SSA from 1928
Bugatti's own photographers kicked things up a notch
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Bugatti's own photographers kicked things up a notch
Every car a rock star
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Every car a rock star
Through the historic streets of Italy
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Through the historic streets of Italy
It's hard to imagine a more photogenic event than the Mille Miglia
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It's hard to imagine a more photogenic event than the Mille Miglia
The expertise, history, passion and sheer money behind the Mille Miglia is mind-boggling
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The expertise, history, passion and sheer money behind the Mille Miglia is mind-boggling

The 1000 Miglia is a photographer's dream, combining rolling Italian countryside and beautiful traditional architecture with painstakingly restored vintage cars of the highest caliber actually being driven in all kinds of weather.

The turnout for this event is truly gob-stopping. Hundreds upon hundreds of absolute dream machines from as far back as 1923, each in the sort of condition you'd expect if they were sitting in the Mullin Automotive Museum, and the absolute cream of the most desirable autos of their era. And they're alive, and running, and driving through streets that are even older and more majestic and lived-in.

Another 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type
Another 1950 Healey 2400 Silverstone E-Type

The 2019 route starts and finishes in Brescia, which sits in the triangle between Milan, Venice and Bologna. Over four days, it winds its way out to the eastern coastline, then down through Assisi to Rome, then back up through Siena, Vinci and Florence to Bologna, before passing back through Modena's Motor Valley and back to the starting point.

Putting a thousand miles on the clocks of these venerable old machines is not something the owners do lightly, and the 1000 Miglia team takes seriously its responsibility to make this a road trip for the ages. Each major stop is a red-carpet celebration of motoring history, and a magnet for crowds.

Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of cars line up in a beautiful European town square
Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of cars line up in a beautiful European town square

Indeed, the crowds that come out to line so much of the route are treated to an exceptionally up-close view of a parade of cars that were almost as rare and noteworthy nearly a hundred years ago as they are today.

Every car a rock star
Every car a rock star

And the front end!
And the front end!

And if it's a treat to see these things out on the road and being treated like the high-performance race cars many of them were in their day, it's even more amazing to see them persevere as the weather turns nasty. Some have the luxury of being able to put a roof up, others, not so much – and the final day looks like a long one for those that haven't come prepared with raincoats and visors.

This 1927 B.N.C Monza driver's face says it all ... goggles next time!
This 1927 B.N.C Monza driver's face says it all ... goggles next time!

At the end of the day, though, the Mille Miglia is a race, a combination of time trials, time controls and average trials with a history that goes back as far as 1927, when some of these cars were brand new and others hadn't even been conceived.

This year's winners: Giovanni Moceri and Daniele Bonetti in #59, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SSA built in 1928. Second place was a nearly identical Alfa a year younger, and a 1927 Bugatti Type 40 filled out the podium.

And the winners of the 37th Mille Miglia: Giovanni Moceri and Daniele Bonetti driving an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SSA from 1928
And the winners of the 37th Mille Miglia: Giovanni Moceri and Daniele Bonetti driving an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SSA from 1928

Do yourself a favor, jump into the gallery and enjoy our favorite shots from the 2019 Mille Miglia – race aside, it looks like the road trip of a lifetime.

Source: Mille Miglia

1 comment
owlbeyou
That was a treat! Beautiful setting, gorgeous cars (mostly), and the preparations for this event were amazing. I don't like seeing classics like these with drivers wearing modern helmets, so it's nice to see that the few who did wear them had headgear that matched the era, but most had no helmets at all! Besides, there weren't cars getting thrashed around hairpin corners anyway. Just when I thought it would be nice to see breakdowns on the side of the road with their hoods up, there was a Bugatti getting pushed! Wish I was there. Italy is a beautiful part of the world.
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