“The Thousand Miles” is a classic and vintage car time-speed-distance (TSD) race which generally takes place in Italy during the month of May.
It was established in 1927 by Counts Aymo Maggi and Francesco Mazzotti, sports manager Renzo Castagneto and motoring journalist Giovanni Canestrini, apparently to contest the fact that the Italian Grand Prix had been moved from their home town of Brescia to Monza.
Since 1977 it is limited to cars produced no later than 1957, which have attended the original race. The route is a round trip of Brescia and Rome, roughly 1500 km, a thousand Roman miles, and sees the cars cross various Italian regions.
The event has seen the likes of Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolf Caracciola, Enzo Ferrari, Huschke von Hanstein, Karl Kling, Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips and Stirling Moss.
Running across Italy, the race travels along the coast, over the mountains, through the countryside, in front of ancient castles, through medieval villages, past famous landmarks, through famous cities and also around racing circuits.
Along the way, small crowds of cheering people wave at the drivers as they race by. As Enzo Ferrari stated on the “world’s most beautiful race”: “It is the race of the people. One may say that the whole of Italy leans forward with her eyes on the tarred strip of road somewhere along the course on Mille Miglia day. It is a day when I feel my life is useful.”