The California Mille, America's salute to Italy's most-famous open-road race, The MilleMiglia, returns for its 23rd year, continuing the celebrated tradition of spirited driving in vintage sports cars on scenic back roads. Some 70 teams are expected to participate,driving ancient Alfa Romeos, powerful Porsche 356s, sleek Jaguar XK120s, Ferraris, Maseratis, and Talbot-Lagos over the thousand mile (mille miglia) route starting in San Francisco and traversing the most interesting and little-known roads that northern California has to offer.
This year's Mille will honor the legacy of the event's late founder, Martin Swig, a lifelong car enthusiast who loved nothing more than exploring the back roads of Northern California in one of his beloved Alfa Romeo sports cars. His two sons, David and Howard Swig, both of whom are serious vintage car enthusiasts deeply bitten by the motoring bug, will continue the California Mille, with the assistance of longtimeMille organizer Dan Radowicz.
A free Mille preview will be presented on Mason Street from in front of the Fairmont Hotel on Sunday, April 28, from 11 AM- 6 PM. Fans are invited to view the cars and meet drivers from a dozen American states as well as from Colombia, Britain, Canada and Japan.
During the festivities co-directors David and Howard Swig will take a wireless microphone to the street to highlight and explain the unique, unusual and significant autos that range from a 1927 Rally ABC and 1928 Bugatti 35B to dozens of Alfa Romeos, Jaguars, Porsches and other vehicles of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s.
Italian Consul General Mauro Battocchi will welcome fans on behalf of his nation and offer historic insight into the Mille Miglia that ran from 1927 to 1957, and how cars that could have qualified for the original event are considered for the California Mille. On Monday, April 29, the Mille cars will depart at 8:30 AM for a four-day, one-thousand mile back roads adventure that will take them along hidden mountain passes, to time capsule towns and through spectacular
scenery that Martin Swig once described as “More Italian than Italy.” The Mille will conclude in Calistoga on May 2.