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Alfa Romeo at Mille Miglia 2007



20th May, 2007

1928 Alfa 6C 1500 Super Sport

Alfa Romeo participated in the 25th Mille Miglia revival (17th-19th May), with the official "Automobilismo Storico Alfa Romeo” team of five cars which were made available by the Alfa Romeo Vintage Car Museum.

The oldest Alfa participating this year was the Viaro–Bergamaschi team with an Alfa 6C 1500 Super Sport (1928), the same model that won the 1928 Mille Miglia with Campari–Ramponi and went on to win the 2005 revival some 77 years later. Also on the road in the Mille Miglia 2007 was the duo of Marx–Verga in the 8C 2300 Le Mans (1931), the sports version of the 8C 2300 that made its debut in 1931, winning the Eireann Cup in Dublin driven by Birkin, before winning the Le Mans 24-hour event for four consecutive years from 1931 to 1934.

Another two Alfa Romeos in this revival were the Alfa 1900 Sport Spider (1954), with Arcieri–Di Mare and the famous Alfa 1900 C52 Disco Volante Spider (1952) driven by Grimaldi–Labate. These two cars are unusual because neither of them went into production: the first car is one of the prototypes prepared for Sports category events, which were then shelved to make room for production cars like the 1900 SS and Giulietta Sprint. The same fate befell the 1900 C52 Disco Volante Spider, even though it must be said that many of the technical and stylistic innovations adopted on this car were applied in later Alfa Romeos.

Last member in the “Automobilismo Storico Alfa Romeo” line-up was the crew Izquerdo–Azpilicueta on board the 750 Competizione produced in 1955 to participate in 1,500 cc Sports category events. It is powered by a souped-up Giulietta engine with the capacity increased to 1,488 cc.

Now, 80 years on from the first edition of the "world's most famous race", the Mille Miglia revival this year celebrated its 25th edition with a record number of non-Italian entries, 221 out of the 375 teams participating. With over 700 applicants this year, the task of screening them by applying strict criteria in terms of quality and frequency of participation proved extremely difficult. There are a good number of Alfa Romeo models in the line-up of what is held to be the "world's most prestigious travelling museum". This year saw the participation of cars of inestimable value that have written some of the most magnificent pages in international motoring history. It should also be mentioned that Alfa Romeo holds the record for number of victories, fully 11 successes between 1928 and 1947. In later years Alfa Romeo cars were victorious in various categories with models like the Giulietta Sprint Veloce, 1900 TI, 1900 Super Sprint or the Matta, which came first in the military vehicle category. And let us not forget the 6C 3000 CM that, in 1953 with Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel, came very close to chalking up the 12th victory for Alfa Romeo in this classic event.

This year certain changes were introduced to the formula. For instance, there was as many as 40 time trials. The race covered 1,600 kilometres, winding through the centre of some of Italy's most fascinating towns, ancient villages and nature reserves. As is traditional, the Mille Miglia revival commenced in Brescia on Thursday, 17th May at 8 PM. After passing through Peschiera del Garda and the historic centre of Verona, the first car was forecast to arrive in Ferrara at midnight. On Friday, the first car started at 9 AM. One and a half hours later the cars began passing through Ravenna. At midday they climbed up towards San Marino and then on to Urbino, where they began arriving after 2 PM. At 5 PM the cars began making their way through Assisi and later, at around 8 PM, they got their first glimpse of Rome where, after passing through the centre, the second leg came to an end.

Saturday 19th May, was a tough day, driving all the way from Rome back up to Brescia. The first car left Rome at 6.30 AM. After a section passing through many places of historic interest, the race continued on through Radicofani, the countryside around Siena, and arrived at around 2.30 PM in the centre of Florence. One hour later the cars will reach the summit of the legendary Futa Pass and the convoy will then make its way to Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Cremona and finally reach Brescia.

So every running of the Mille Miglia is part race, part adventure, but no edition is ever the same as the one before. This is the secret of this event, one that every year receives the admiration and warm enthusiasm of the public: a clear sign that these cars still manage to evoke strong emotions today, even among the younger spectators who lined the piazzas along the route.

Other Alfa Romeo content: here.

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