27 MARCH 1927: THE FIRST 1000 MIGLIA
Italy is amazed and full of admiration for the results of the “First 1000 Miglia Cup” Brescia, at eight in the morning on 26 March 1927: with the departure of the Isotta Fraschini of Aymo Maggi and Bindo Maserati, the legend of the Freccia Rossa (Red Arrow) came to life.
Won by Nando Minoja and Giuseppe Morandi, drivers of the home factory, the O.M., Officine Meccaniche. Gastone Brilli Peri, a favourite in his Alfa Romeo RLSS, had withdrawn in Perugia. In second and third place, there were two other O.M.s, for an all-Brescia triumph. They raced in difficult conditions, under rain showers, through fog banks and dust storms on untarred roads.
Brescia, 27 March 1927, two minutes past six in the morning: the Lambdas of the Lancia team cross the finish line in Viale Venezia, followed a few minutes later by the celebrated O.M. 665 Superba of the winners Minoja and Morandi: no one thought it would be possible to travel a thousand miles in twenty-one hours.
In the absence of means of communication in real time, television had not yet been invented and the radio was in its infancy, it was word of mouth that woke the fans in Brescia; incredibly, there was a huge crowd, although no one imagined that the long drive of 1,600 km across Italy could have been so quick.
The roads in the twenties were not tarred and, with the exception of the stone paving in the town centres, the roads were in sand. The competitors in the First 1000 Miglia Cup left with their luggage, convinced that they would be travelling for at least two days.
At the Regio Automobile Club in Brescia, in Corso Magenta, at around four in the morning Renzo Castagneto understood that the arrival would take place contrary to all logical expectation, thanks to a telegram from the Feltre control post.
What was incredible, as mentioned in the leading Italian newspapers at the time, was not only the time obtained by O.M. driven by Ferdinando Minoja, who won with a fantastic average speed of 77.238 km / h, in 21 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds, but also the winners of the 750 cubic centimetre category, Cazzulani-Monferroni, who in their tiny Peugeot 5 HP MM took just under 34 hours to complete the entire route, at an average speed of 48.087 km / h.
The newspapers headlined that a new era, that of a freedom hitherto unknown, had arrived; “Corriere della Sera” wrote: “Just over twenty hours, not even one day and one night to complete almost 1700 km: an average speed that exceeds 77km/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”.
Recounting that first edition, Giovanni Canestrini, journalist of the Gazzetta dello Sport, one of the “four musketeers” founders of the 1000 Miglia, wrote: even one of the most appreciated and sensitive representatives of poetry, Ada Negri, had written in the XX century:” among modern pleasures there is not one that surpasses or equals that of a car trip. In our vehicle, obedient to us alone, which leads us only where our whim wants, the need for freedom that is within us becomes a certainty of freedom, a sense of plenitude, of escape, of possession of space and time, which transcends the human limit “.
One of 1000 Miglia’s goals is to show that, with the cars normally on sale, you can travel on existing roads in our country, at high speeds, certain of safety and regularity….
Our task is therefore to give the competition a technical social function and also, why not, a touristic one.