The maiden voyage, the beginning of the legend
The excitement, the emotions, the thrill of the race. In rainy March 1927 the first Mille Miglia Cup shook the Italian roads. An inaugural edition that kicked off the great epic of the speed race, later loved all over the world.
«Among modern pleasures there is none that surpasses or equals that of a journey by car.»Ada Negri “Secolo XX”
The first 1000 Miglia
After months of organizing the first Mille Miglia Cup finally arrived. It was 8 o’clock in the morning on March 26 1927, when Aymo Maggi and Bindo Maserati’s Isotta Fraschini inaugurated the legendary Red Arrow.
It was the debut of an event that amazed the whole of Italy. A long race amidst downpours of rain, banks of fog and whirlwind of dust along the unpaved roads that put the drivers to the test.
An unprecedented awakening
In Perugia the favourite Gastone Brilli Peri in his Alfa Romeo RLSS was forced to withdraw, but the best was yet to come. At dawn on March 27, the whole city of Brescia was awakened by word of mouth. Beyond all expectations, the long drive of 1.600 km through Italy was coming to an end.
At 4a.m. a telegram from Feltre reached Renzo Castagneto at the headquarters of the Royal Automobile Club of Brescia: the arrival was imminent.
On the finish line
Two minutes after 6 a.m., a large crowd welcomed the Lambdas of the Lancia team, followed by the O.M. 665 Superba of Nando Minoja and Giuseppe Morandi. They were the ones who triumphed, crossing the finish line in Viale Venezia in 21 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds, with an average speed of 77.238 km/h.
This was not the only record to cause a stir. With their tiny Peugeot 5 HP MM Cazzulani-Monferroni won the category of 750 cubic centimetre, taking just under 34 hours to complete the entire route, at an average speed of 48.087 km/h. The newspapers headline that a new era, that of a hitherto unknown freedom, had opened.
«Just over twenty hours, not even a day and a night to complete almost 1.700 km: an average speed that exceeds 77 km/h. The motorcar has passed through the streets of half of Italy as a ruler of time and space. The success of the mechanical vehicle therefore is amazing.»“Corriere della Sera”, 1927
The winners of the first Mille Miglia Cup
O.M. 665 Superba
21h 04’ 48”
77, 238 km/h
«Among the aims of the 1000 Miglia is to demonstrate that, with the cars normally on sale, you can travel on existing roads in our country, at high speeds, certain of safety and regularity…Giovanni Canestrini, 1927
Our task is therefore to give the race a technical social and, why not, tourist function.»