Just last week, BMW announced that it would send a selection of cars from the BMW Classics collection to participate in the 2012 Mille Miglia. The vintage car rally is scheduled from May 16 through May 20, and the route will run from Brescia to Rome and back again.

Not to be outdone by BMW, Porsche is also sending a fleet of vintage cars, including two Porsche 550 Spyders; a 356 Speedster 1500; a 356 Speedster 1600; a 356 Speedster 1600 S and a 356 Knickscheibe (bent windscreen) Coupe.

The Porsche 550 and Porsche 356 variants were highly successful in the original Mille Miglia, run from 1927 through 1940, then from 1947 through 1957. A Porsche 356 1100 driven by Prince von Metternich and Count von Einsiedel was the first Porsche to win the event’s 1.1-liter class in 1952, and Porsche swept the podium in the 1.1 liter class that year.

In 1953, some 18 Type 356 models competed in the Mille Miglia, and victories were achieved in the 2.0-liter class and the 1.3-liter class. The following year saw the introduction of the 550 Spyder, with Porsche again taking a class victory withits new entrant.

Porsche continued to enjoy class victories with both the 356 and 550 models through the race’s end in 1957, and it’s fitting that the same cars used to contest the historic race will return to the roads again. While the speeds may be lower (since no one wants to stack an irreplaceable race car), we doubt the drivers will compete with any less passion.