2019 California Mille Miglia
This great event accomplishes a lot of things and checks a lot of boxes if you are into…well..if you would rather participate in something vs. being a spectator?. You would also rather put stickers all over your $1.5M Mercedes Gullwing before you take it on a 1,000 mile road trip than have it live on life support under a cover with a battery tender. Maybe you live in Japan and in your car collection resides a 1 of 8 1940 Aston Martin Speed Model Type C! You know…. the last Aston Martin to leave the factory in December 1940 as WWII arrived on England’s shores? What? This is simply the pre-war Aston Martin that you are not going to see in person. People that collect Aston Martins have probably not seen this car in person. Not only do you want to own this unicorn but you want to drive it – a lot – like 1,000 miles in the US. There are other flagship events that share and honor the great cars that we all love like Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Ville de Este, Goodwood, etc. plus many more. You can find a gathering somewhere that will immerse you in the history of fine motorcars and get you right up next to a rolling piece of automotive history. Only a couple of events in the US will welcome and then support a group of cars that were built for the open roads and do so out on the open road.
Each April, the California Mille brings us back to the time when supercars raced across Italy in a 1,000 mile road race. These were early days and the cars required a mechanic as a co-pilot. The Mille Migla was historically the full package of scenic beauty, awesome cars, great friends, and adventure. The world changed and the Mille Migla ended in 1957. All of the history, passion, and friendships remained in the hearts and minds and thus the California Mille was born in 1991. It’s a simple recipe – get a bunch of like-minded “Amici”, book some hotel rooms, and let’s go!
Taking your 62 year or older prized classic super car out on the open roads in Northern California is not a casual decision. This is remote country and we don’t call it the California Alps for nothing. What you do get in this deal is a 5 day immersion into everything that comes with owning an old car. It’s probably going to break down…you’re going to wonder what you were thinking….you’re going to be sore…but you are going to connect with your car on a level that can’t come any other way. The friends that are up ahead or trailing behind are going to need some encouragement, maybe hold a flashlight, a push, but the friendships created make it all possible. There’s no way a guy and his wife are going to go across the Cali Alps in a 12 H.P. Fiat Topolino for 5 days…alone…in a really small car…and come out of it sill married without a group of “Amici” that helped. They have your back. They know the drill and they will toast you both at the end.
These are the people that don’t live vicariously through social media. These are the same people that have extensive collections of cars that will also go out and drive them. Follow this adventure in any way that you can but don’t rule out that you can’t go do it yourself someday. Take an overnight and go find this group and you will feel the commitment and the love of the road that they share.