The original Mille Miglia was a point-to-point race on public roads in Italy, held annually from 1927 through 1940, then again from 1947 through 1957. The event was banned following the 1957 running, as two separate crashes claimed the lives of three participants and nine spectators.

In 1977, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Mille Miglia (Italian for “1,000 Miles”), the event was re-staged in modified form, and continues to be run today.  Modern cars compete in the “Rally 1000 Miglia,” while vintage entries celebrate the event’s glory days in the “Mille Miglia.”

Following tradition, this year’s Mille Miglia event will be run prior to the Monaco Grand Prix, with the route running from Brescia to Ferrara to Rome and then back to Brescia. BMW Classics will be an active participant in this year’s event, with BMW Board of Management member Dr. Herbert Diess driving the 1940 race-winning BMW 328 Touring Coupe.

The 1940 328 Touring Coupe is one of twelve 328 variants entered into this years event.   Other entries include a 328 Beriln-Rom Touring Roadster, a 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, a 328 / China, a 328 Frazer Nash and a 328 Kamm Coupe Replica.

Of the 328, Dr. Diess remarked, “The BMW 328 set benchmarks for lightweight construction and vehicle aerodynamics. This car laid the foundation stone for our success in this area today.”

The 2012 event begins on Wednesday, May 16 and runs through Sunday, May 20. If you find yourself in Italy during that time, we say its well worth a side trip to see the vintage cars run. Want more details? You’ll find them on the Mille Miglia website.