Some 70 classic cars that could have qualified for the Mille Miglia, Italy’s most-famous open road race, will motor to San Francisco’s Nob Hill on April 15 for a free car show and preview of the 28th annual California Mille.
Ancient Alfa Romeos, pristine Porches and magnificent Mercedes-Benz will take their places next to Jaguars, Ferraris, Bentleys and other classics on Mason Street, closed to traffic between Sacramento and California Streets.
The public is invited to see the cars and meet the drivers from 16 states, South America and Europe from 11 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
At 1:30 Sunday afternoon California Mille co-directors David and Howard Swig will greet the fans and recall the history of the Mille Miglia (thousand mile) that ran from 1927 to 1957.
On Monday, April 16, at 8:30 a.m. the Italian flag will be waved outside the departure arch at Mason and California Streets, officially starting the four-day, one thousand mile tour (not a race) of northern California time capsule towns and little-known backroads.
The California Mille was founded in 1991 as an annual event. Originally recognized by the Mille Miglia organization in Brescia, it is held each Spring like the original Mille Miglia, starting on the last Sunday in April.
The first California Mille, which was actually recognized by the Brescia group and sponsored by Alfa Romeo, was run in October 1991. About 50 cars participated. During the 1980’s, as Martin ran in the Italian Mille, he couldn’t help but compare it with an imaginary California event. At first he didn’t know exactly where to start his event. But after a few years, we discovered that the Fairmont Hotel, on prime Nob Hill in San Francisco would like to host it.