Mille Miglia

2005 Mille Miglia

Once the traditional envelopes bearing the Red Arrow emblem have been sent out, the twenty-third retrospective edition of the Mille Miglia can officially start.
Inside them, the entire world’s enthusiasts will find the program and the entry forms to apply for participation. Entry opened on September 1st.
From the text written by the President of the Organizing Committee, Giuseppe Lucchini, to illustrate the program, we can read:
…the memory of the edition of fifty years ago has remained vivid in the mind of all enthusiasts, also thanks to the amazing record set by English Moss and Jenkinson, who averaged 157.65kph.
On reporting on it, journalist and driver Manuel Vigliani, known as "the minstrel of the Mille Miglia”, wrote: «1st May, 1955, the day of the finest Mille Miglia. Glorious weather and an extraordinary line-up of marques and drivers. The city of Brescia crowded with guests from all around the world. Outstanding record-breaking victory of the Mercedes driven by Stirling Moss, who said at the arrival: I think I’ll never be able again in my life to win such a beautiful race in such an exciting atmosphere.»
The only unrepeatable element of that terrific edition is Moss’s record. We wish all the rest to be exactly as Manuel Vigliani described.
It will be a great honor for us to welcome “an extraordinary line-up of marques and drivers, with guests from all around the world” in Brescia once again. The first of them will be Sir Stirling Moss himself.
Since the Eighties, the program of each edition of the Red Arrow has been revealed during the extraordinary historic motorsports events held in August in Laguna Seca, famous for circuit races, the Monterey Historic Racing and the “Concorso Italiano”, and in Pebble Beach, where the well-known elegance contest is held.
In this very exclusive and fashionable context, the guests of the Mille Miglia had the opportunity to meet on a roof terrace overlooking the whole event and reserved for Mercedes-Benz, one of the most long-standing sponsors of the Brescia race.
Thanks to the collaboration with the “Amici Americani della Mille Miglia” club, the emblem of “the world’s most beautiful race” appeared on two stands in Laguna Seca and in Carmel Valley, which made it easier for the visitors to gather any information on the race.
To form an idea of what major role these Californian events play in the world of historic motorsports overseas, just take note of the attendance of 21 Ferrari GTOs out of 36 built in all, or also the 550 Ferraris entered for the “Concorso Italiano”.
These events were then followed by two parties for the presentation of the 2005 Mille Miglia.
Thanks to David Craig, a great enthusiast of the Brescia race, a meeting was arranged in Carmel Valley on Saturday 14th August, within the Elegance Contest and the Tour d’Elegance.
On Sunday 15th August, the American friends gave a party for the Red Arrow in the magnificent mansion of Martin Swig, president of the “Amici Americani della Mille Miglia”, the club organizing the “California Mille”.
Of course, the special guest of these events was Sir Stirling Moss, who after attending last year’s edition sent the organizers these words: «….what a great joy you have brought, not only to those who have competed, but also to the simple spectators. And what a great effort you made to remove this amazing race from history books and bring it to the present, into the heart and mind of so many people. We'll meet again at next year's Mille Miglia, though it’s hard to realize that it will be the fiftieth anniversary of my race… how time flies! »
The memory of Moss and Jenkinson’s exploit in the 300 SLR, the “Silver Arrow”, will live on for ever. The great English champion will be able to relive his victory, not only along Viale Rebuffone, but also a little more than one kilometer further, in the halls of the Museo della Mille Miglia Città di Brescia, housed in St.Eufemia historic monastery.
Along with Stirling Moss was Max von Pein, president of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, who announced that the 300 SLR with number 722 will sweep along Italy’s roads again. At the wheel, of course, will be just the man who drove it to victory in 1955. For the first time, another “silver arrow” will be at the start: the one entrusted to Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955.
On both occasions, the Secretary-general of the Mille Miglia, Costantino Franchi, presented the program of the next Mille Miglia, as usual divided into three laps, to the guests and the press:
Thursday 19th May, check-in and start at 8 p.m. for the first lap Brescia-Ferrara;
Friday 20th May, second lap, Ferrara-Rome;
Saturday 21st May, third lap, Rome-Brescia;
Sunday 22nd May, in Brescia, the prize giving.
The main novelty of this edition regards the second lap: a quicker, more direct route towards Rome has been devised, so that the start from Ferrara will take place an hour and a half later than usually scheduled.
Competing in the 2005 Mille Miglia will be 375 cars built between 1927 and 1957 and belonging to Sport, Grand Touring and Touring categories. They shall be in possession of F.I.V.A. Identity Card or F.I.A. Fiche and attend the Race Officials’ scrutineering in the Piazza della Vittoria in their original livery.
Entry for the 2005 Mille Miglia opened on September 1st. The cars will be chosen from the entry applications put in by December 31st 2004.
The route of the 2005 Mille Miglia, arranged as usual by Gino Danieli, presents a few changes though basically respecting the traditional itinerary of the twenty-four editions held between 1927 and 1957.
Here follows the route of the 2005 Mille Miglia in detail.
The first lap will take off from Viale Venezia, in Brescia, on Thursday 19th May. The cars will tour through the city center, head for Verona and Ostiglia and finally close the first day’s race with the joyful and welcome arrival in Ferrara.
The following day, Friday 20th May, the Mille Miglia will leave Ferrara and make for the Adriatic coast. The convoy will pass through Ravenna first, and then move inland towards Gambettola and the Republic of San Marino. From there, the cars will begin the crossing of the Apennines, pass through Urbino and cruise along the breathtaking Furlo Gorge and through Osteria del Gatto. Then, southwards again, touching the small towns of Spoleto and Leonessa, and climbing up Mount Terminillo.
The Capital will be reached via Rieti and Monterotondo Scalo. On making their entry into the very heart of Rome, all the competitors – not only the foreign ones – will be given the extraordinary opportunity to admire the “Eternal City” at close quarters.
On Saturday 21st May in the morning, the cars will leave Rome for the third and final lap, on the traditional route along the Via Cassia towards Ronciglione, Vico Lake, Viterbo, and Radicofani. Past the small towns of Pienza, San Quirico and Buonconvento, one of the most thrilling moments of the whole Mille Miglia will be experienced: the passage amidst the cheery crowd in the Piazza del Campo in Siena.
A most famous road in the Tuscan countryside will frame the route, via Poggibonsi, as far as Florence, maybe the city the competitors of the Mille Miglia love best and the hometown of Clemente Biondetti, four-time winner of the race, while a few kilometers further, on the Futa and Raticosa Passes, the most faithful enthusiasts will be eagerly waiting for the Red Arrow, all gathered in clusters on the exacting hairpin bends that belong so far to the legend of the Mille Miglia.
Just past Bologna, the meandering Apennine route will turn into a long straight road, the Via Emilia, along which the cars will speed towards Modena, where the last difficult series of Time Trials will settle the final results. From there, they will proceed towards Carpi, Brescello, Viadana and Casalmaggiore.
The long straight stretches across the Plain of the Po will lead the Mille Miglia convoy into Cremona, where the competitors will be given the usual warm welcome.
The cars will make their final parade along the Quinzanese main road before their long-awaited arrival in Brescia.
Once again, it’s a real joy for the organizers to offer the entire world what has become so far a much longed-for and long-standing invitation: for the fiftieth time since 1927, the rendezvous is on Thursday, 19th May 2005 in the Piazza della Vittoria in Brescia, the City of the Mille Miglia.

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XXII Mille Miglia 1955 multicolor commemorative poster by Dennis Simon

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Mille Miglia 1998 poster

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