There’s an air of chaos that’s inevitable when you have 400 classic cars tearing through Italy
Everything you’ve heard about the Mille Miglia is probably true, and yet likely doesn’t even get close to the true madness of it all. Yes, entire families sit out for hours to wave and cheer. Yes, children are given time off school to watch the cars go by. Yes, the police wave the cars through red lights, and their motorcycle-mounted colleagues ride alongside, urging you to go faster. There’s an air of chaos that’s inevitable when you have 400 classic cars tearing through Italy, not to mention support vehicles, photographers and the accursed supercar runs that accompany the Mille Miglia (the last thing you need when nursing the drum brakes of an XK120 is to be cut up by a hotshot in a new Ferrari). But underneath it all you might be surprised to hear that the Mille Miglia is slickly organised. Paperwork and scrutineering are generally dealt with efficiently, accommodation and hospitality are well organised (although you may find it’s a long drive to your hotel), and marshalling is superb – albeit accompanied by a lot of arm waving. Survival tips? Read all the documentation well before there’s usually plenty of time to get to time checks. And if you feel the red mist beginning to descend, take a deep breath, because that’s when accidents happen on the Mille Miglia. All that in mind, there is little better in life than blasting through stunning Italian countryside or driving through beautiful historic town centres to the cheers of thousands of spectators in the wheeltracks of Messrs Moss and Jenks. So, all you need is an entry… You need a car of a type that competed in the Mille Miglia between 1923 and ’57, or better still, one that actually did compete. You don’t want something that everyone else (especially sponsoring manufacturers) has got. You need a well presented provenance file. Then you need to pay to register your car a year ahead with the Mille Miglia and cross all your fingers.