Monday, 27 May 2013

Mille Miglia Italy

On the next leg of our adventures we took Flat Susan to the Mille Miglia in Brescia, Italy. We stopped a couple of nights in Potenghe on Lake Garda. 
The Mille Miglia, or thousand miles, was an endurance race that was organized 24 times between 1927 and 1957. Participants raced with their Gran Turismo cars over the open roads of northern Italy from Brescia to Rome and back on an 8-shaped route. Due to frequent fatal crashes the race was banned in 1957, but since 1982 it was revived as a touring trip for old-timers.
Before the race starts, the ancient streets are lined with almost 400 vintage cars dating from 1921 to 1957 and for car enthusiasts, like our fellas, it was a sweetie shop. I must admit it was fascinating to Dolores and me and took me back to childhood days when Stirling Moss was racing. We even spotted a couple of cars he had raced during his career. 
Here's a selection of my favourite cars from more than 50 I managed to photograph.
Bugatti 37, 1926
FORD A Roadster Deluxe, 1931
Sales of umbrellas soared that day and Italian style went out of the window when we ended up resorting to buying silly plastic ponchos and big brollies in an effort to beat the weather.
The rest of the weather for our holiday was perfect, comfortably hot and sunny!
Alan, Dolores and Dave with a
Lagonda M 4.5 Rapide, 1934
Almost had a catastrophe after fastening Flat Susan to my camera strap whilst looking an utter drip (pun intended) in my poncho, PANIC, PANIC, how would I tell Neet that we lost her???.....
but after a search, utter relief when we found her half drowned in a puddle on a marble slab,
I'm relieved to say that she made a good recovery and we all dried out after lunch in a great little cafe nearby....
Flat Susan certainly helps to make friends as people are so fascinated by her and the story of her travels around the world. The cafe owner (below) was so friendly and asked about her smallest ever customer!
Mercedes-Benz SSK 1929
The rain poured and the wind blew turning so many brollies inside out
that every bin was stuffed full of dead umbrellas .
Lots of famous people entered the race... Sir Chris Hoy, Daniel Day Lewis, David Coulthard etc., and here's Yasmin Le Bon co-driving a
Jaguar XK120 OTS, 1950
Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Sport, 1929
Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged 1930   
Rally ABC 1929
I loved the flying Hippo on this..
Lagonda M 4.5 Rapide 1934
Lancia Lambda serie V11, 1927
All of the shop windows had themed displays and I would have loved to bring this one home for a special little boy!
There were so many photos of old racing stars in the shop windows, but I just had to snap this fabulous one of my childhood hero, Stirling Moss.
Arrivederci Brescia!


Angie said...

So many wonderful cars many great shots ....I love the umbrellas in the bin. My fave car was the 1930 Bently and that flying Hippo made me smile.As for Flat Susan ...what a tale she has to tell of her near drowning and her rescue too.xx

Helen said...

oh that looks fun, what lovely cars!! I saw the chef James Martin's attempt to win that race on tv a couple of years ago... Glad Flat Susan survived her puddle!

Annie said...

What an amazing day out for you all....including Susan [that is apart from when she went swimming of course lol ]
A x

Anne said...

Great cars. I remember Stirling Moss :-) In fact my Driving Instructor told me to remember that 'I was not Stirling Moss & slow down'. When I was 40 my present from DH was a day at Mallory Park where I got to drive a Formula 4 round the track in a race. I was the only female & came 6th out of 36 participents!!! Still love driving fast. Glad you found Susan!!!x

SueH said...

Jo, I love the Itallian lakes, Garda and especially Maggorie . What a shame the weather was so bad though, still, it sounds as if you had a wonderful time looking at all the old cars.
Oh, and poor Flat Susan, what an experience for her to go through. Bet she wasn’t so flat after she’d eaten that lump of cake though, Lol!

Twiglet said...

Great pics - amazing cars. I bet FS was in a bit of a panic for a while - maybe hoping a handsome Italian might have come to her recue! x Jo

sam21ski said...

Blimey she nearly got lost on her very first adventure - lol

Love all the fab classic car photos Jo, I say it every time, but you find the best places to go.

Can I be your flat Susan on the next trip, although I don't want to end up in a puddle on the marbled pavement!!

Sam xxxx

Hetty said...

OMG. JEALOUS!!! I wish I was there with you. The ultimate vintage car race and you were there! I don't think I can show these pictures to my DH......Lucky you.

Lynne said...

Jealous jealous jealous! Not for the cars - am totally not into them - but for all that suave, chic, yet understated .....Italianness! I LOVE Italy. Have great time.Lx

Redanne said...

Oh wow Jo, loving that Lagonda! Your photos are brilliant, shame the weather was not in your favour but looks like you made the most of the day. Poor flat Susan, thank goodness you found her again - hope she liked that gorgeous cake! Hugs, Anne x

Kyla said...

oh,some truly beautiful cars and i love the flying hippo too!!

Looks like you are having a fabulous time :-)


gardenpinks said...

My DH who can be more than a tad boring on the subject of Stirling Moss would have loved to have been there to see all those cars. Apparently, according to said DH, it is a Roman thousand miles which is less than a thousand miles!!!! And Stirling Moss did it with an average speed of 973 miles per hour - now I bet you really did want to know that :)
Shame about the weather but it looks as if the Continent have been suffering the same as us.
Poor FS! Glad she was saved :)
Lynn xx

Lynn Holland said...

You were in one of our favourite places but what a shame about the weather. Then again you wouldn't have got the great umbrella bin shot.
Lynn xx

Tinkertaylor said...

My neighbours go to this event every year (spectators)and I'm so happy to finally see some of the wonderful cars on show. Shame about the weather but Italy is beautiful at any time of the year. Lucky flat Susan enjoying that cake

Ann B said...

Brill photos Jo, Andy is so, so jealous (he was able to name all the cards without looking at your titles).

Love the model car as well.

Ann B
(just catching up after a busy few days)

PS Thanks so much for the ATC, very thoughtful. Afraid I didn't join in this time

Neet said...

Jo - I almost feel as if i was there - thanks for the journey.
hugs, Neet xx

Susie Bentz: My Time to Play said...

What an exciting trip - you really captured the atmosphere with all the cars, celebrities and the bin full of dead umbrellas! Makes me want to visit! So relieved that FS is none the worse for her little adventure.