90 year Mille Miglia. Part two. The post-war history.

Mille Miglia
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The Mille Miglia Storico will be held from 18 to 21 in May. It is a recreational tribute to the historic Brescia-Rome-Brescia race. This year we will be discussing the Italian 1000 mile race in a diptych. The reason for this is special, because this year the Mille Miglia is celebrating its 90e birthday. Today we describe the post-war history of this famous and infamous race, which is currently being run as a recreational race.

The resurrection of the Mille Miglia took place in 1947. The organization decided on a name change. The 1000 mile race was now (with the exception of the edition in 1950; it was called {Mille Miglia del 1950 per la Coppa Franco Mazzotti}) officially Mille Miglia Coppa “Franco Mazzotti”. As mentioned, Mazzotti was one of the founders of the historic race in the 1920s. The race was always referred to as {Mille Miglia}.

Driving direction changes

Another change also took place: the route direction was changed from {counter-clockwise} to {clockwise}. Furthermore, the "eight form" soared to make way for a "round" course. In both cases, the Mille Miglia did not visit the same places every year: the route was regularly changed. The first edition after the Second World War was again written by name by Alfa Romeo. Clemente Biondetti (Mille Miglia king with four victories) won with buddy Emilio Romano with an 8C 2900 Berlinetta.

Ferrari dominance

Hereafter the dominance of Ferrari began. That won from 1948 - with the exception of the years 1954 (Lancia, Alberto Ascari) and 1955 (Mercedes-Benz, Stirling Moss) - all competition definitions. Furthermore, the race from 1953 counted towards the World Championship. That status came into being in an era in which the races became increasingly dangerous in character. The assets of the cars were increasing and the boundaries were being pushed further and further.

Accidents and end of official race

Eventually a few fatal events in 1957 put a line under the Mille Miglia. On 12 in May 1957, Alfonso de Portago crashed with his Ferrari. Co-pilot Eduard Nelson also did not survive the accident, just like ten spectators. The Dutchman Joseph Göttgens did not survive the Mille Miglia of 1957 either. He crashed with his Triumph TR3. Among other things, the events prompted the church to push for the end of the historic and illustrious race.


From 1958 to 1961 an alternative Mille Miglia was held, but it was not in the shadow of {the original}. In 1967, forty years after the start of the thousand-mile race, another rally was driven around Brescia with cars from the pre-war Mille Miglia. After the route was once again driven in 1977, it took five years before the old Mille Miglia would eventually return almost annually in recreational form.

Mille Miglia back on the map since 1982

Since 1982, a race is organized approximately every year for all models built between 1927 and 1957. Just like in the past, the route leads from Brescia to Rome, to return to Brescia from the Italian capital. The race mainly has a recreational character, but it is still very majestic. A strict admission policy ensures that only authentic cars appear at the start, which preferably also participated in the old Mille Miglia's. And large drivers regularly make their appearance within the contemporary high society event. The Mille Miglia Storico - as the race is now called - therefore has a different perspective than in the past. Despite that, the present uncovers the secrets of the magic of the Mille Miglia {past} pure glass.

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