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The Finest Road Race of them All

5157 Views 53 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Dennis David

Stirling Moss called it the finest road race of them all. This unyielding 1,000-mile challenge through the Italian Countryside, sometimes literally, ran from 1927 through 1957. Playing host to greats such as Caracciola, Nuvolari, Varzi and Moss. Who did battle driving the cars from Mercedes, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and of course Ferrari. Where a Grand Prix cars with mudguards raced on the same roads, as would be aces in their Fiat Topolinos. A uniquely Italian affair that lives in legend and reenactment.

Come and join SlotForum in association with Grand Prix History to relive those days which Piero Taruffi called "the proudest moment in my life."

The Mille Miglia
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Boy, have you hit a nerve. I'm the guy who would not buy Carrera's Mercedes 300 until I found out if the figure of Denis Jenkinson (Moss's codriver) had been modeled with a beard. I know that's Emilio Giletti sitting in the cockpit of Carrera's #525 Maserati A6GCS, from the 1953 race, and Ron Flockart in the Ecurie Ecosse D-type, from 57 .

Above my layout is a painting of Moss and Jenkinson, battling it out with an A6GCS in 55, along with a repro poster from the 53 race that shows the course.

I've bought all the Carrera MM cars and some from MMK. I knew about the Mille Miglia before I learned algebra.

And I live in the states, have only spent about two weeks in Italy, and was a day shy of 4 months old when the last Mille Miglia was run.

Thanks so much for this work in progress. Please stick with it and finish it up. I hope the slot car manufacturers take note that we slot car racers are, at heart, true motorsports enthusiasts who appreciate the history of the sport and love those old cars enough to spend our money on them!

Thanks again!
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No, Moss was not lapping the Maserati for the second time. The Mille Miglia - which means "1000 Miles" in Italian - was a one lap race around all of Italy run on "normal Italian roads, passing through villages, towns, and cities, along dead-straight coastal roads and crossing mountain passes, every imaginable type of road being covered by the route, which must surely constitute the toughest racing circuit in the world on which to drive a near-Grand-Prix car." (Motor Sport June, 55)

The race started and ended in the town of Brescia in northern Italy. The course first ran south along Italy's Adriatic coast, crossed the boot to Rome, and then followed the west side of the Appenine mountains.

The Maseratis were surprisingly competitive. Moss's 300 SLR, like those of his teammates, Fangio, Kling, and Herrmann, were essentially Mercedes W196 Grand Prix cars with 3 litre engines. Nevertheless, the 2 litre A6Gs placed 4th, 9th, and 12th.

You're right about Moss, though, he was ahead of 2nd place Fangio by more than a half an hour at the finish, becoming the first British driver to win the MM and breaking the speed record by 10 mph. 521 cars started the race!

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Just for fun, here's a link that shows the print of Moss and Jenkinson passing the Maserati Mille Miglia '55 pic.

The original is by a French artist named Freudenthal who offers magnificent historic motorsports, aviation, and watercraft art. His site is and his prices are very reasonable. Check him out here Fly and Drive.


Put north at the top of the map and you'll see we agree on a clockwise direction:

From Autocar, June 27, 1947 "From the start at Brescia the 1,125 mile course made for the mountains near Lake Garda, then run (sic) south along the Adriatic to Pesaro and across the Appenines to Rome. From Rome the competitors headed north-west to Turin; 145 miles of very fast autostrada brought the weary competitors back to Brescia via Milan." Reprinted in Curami's Mille Miglia Race: The Postwar Years.

There was only a single lap from 47-57, including 55, the year TSRF asked about.

There are at least a dozen good books on the MM, some covering the race's entire history, some focusing on the years when particular marques were dominant. Put "Mille Miglia" in the search box at amazon and some great title come up.

But young slot racers would not know to perform the search if they had never even heard of the Mille Miglia, which is why your project to put something on the web is just great, and a real contribution. Please press on!

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