The legendary race – to be run from 16 to 19 May – will feature the official Alfa Romeo team, made up of racing professionals and internationally famous artists, all united in the love of classic Alfa cars, including Coldplay bass player Guy Berryman, singer Piero Pelù and driver Derek Hill. A parade of stars which will bring even more excitement to the 36th edition of the “Mille Miglia”, the historic re-enactement of the automotive race which many people, quite rightly, consider to be “the world’s finest travelling museum”.
The Alfa Romeo brand is once again a protagonist in the Brescia “classic event”, both as Automotive Sponsor and as “guest of honour”, as this year marks the 90th anniversary of its first victory in the legendary race, held from 1927 to 1957. And with 47 cars taking part in the official team and privately, Alfa Romeo will have one of the largest groups in the entire event, only surpassed by its sister brand Fiat, with 49 participants. The Alfa Romeo contingent is dominated by the four rarities – 6C 1500 SS, 6C 1750 GS, 1900 SS and 1900 Sport Spider models – made available by the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo at Arese (Milan), end which belong to the collection of FCA Heritage, the department which protects and promotes the historical heritage of FCA’s Italian brands.
All enthusiasts’ eyes will be drawn to the splendid 1500 Super Sport from 1928, with coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina, which is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the model’s memorable victory in the 1928 Mille Miglia. More recently, this car from the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo won the historic re-enactement of the Mille Miglia in 2005 and 2007.In the latter year, it was also victorious in the “1000 Millas Sport” in Argentina, a success it repeated in 2008. The marvellous 1928 6C 1500 Super Sport is equipped with a 6-cylinder, 1487 cc engine, which delivers a maximum of 76 HP at 4,800 rpm, reaching a top speed of 140 km/h. 31 of these cars were built between 1928 and 1929.
A curious fact: the car will be carrying the race number 30, also borne by its sister which gained the first Alfa Romeo victory in the Mille Miglia with Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi in 1928. This car will be driven in the race by Giovanni Moceri, current Italian Grandi Eventi ACI Sport Champion and with victories in Italy’s biggest historic regularity competitions to his name, from the Mille Miglia to the Targa Florio and the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti.
Also speeding along the roads of the 2018 Mille Miglia will be the 6C 1750 Gran Sport, the legendary model which Tazio Nuvolari and Giovanni Battista Guidotti drove to victory in 1930. As well as the “overtaking without lights” episode that has gone down in legend, this was also the race when Nuvolari achieved the unprecedented feat of averaging 100 km/h over the entire course. The stunning bodywork was created by Milan coachbuilder Zagato, and still inspires awe in all those lucky enough to see it today. At the wheel of this car will be Roberto Giolito, internationally famous automotive designer and currently Head of the FCA Heritage department.
The official Alfa Romeo team is completed by the 1954 1900 Sport Spider and a 1956 1900 Super Sprint. The former is an extremely rare racing spider – produced in just two units – equipped with the 4-cylinder twin-cam dry sump “1900” engine, with maximum power boosted to 138 HP, enabling it to reach a speed of 220 km/h, thanks to a weight of just 880 kg and particularly efficient aerodynamics. With its innovative Bertone design, the 1900 Sport Spider comes with a 5-speed transmission and a De Dion rear axle: performance and handling worthy of a modern car, responsive and reliable, with outstanding road-holding abilities. This wonderful car will be driven in the race by a celebrity team of Guy Berryman and Derek Hill. The former, a world-famous musician, is bass player of British group Coldplay, with sales of more than 80 million disks to its name. A passionate collector of classic cars, many of them Italian, Guy Berryman will take turns at the wheel of the 1900 Sport Spider with Derek Hill, professional racing driver and son of Phil Hill, whose victory in the 1961 Formula 1 championship with Ferrari made him the first American ever to win the title. A lover of classic cars, which he enjoys driving on both the road and the racing circuit, Derek Hill is Master of Ceremonies at Pebble Beach, the world’s top concours d’elegance for classic cars, and has a special bond to Alfa Romeo, since he actually learnt to drive as a boy on a GTV belonging to his father. By an unusual historic coincidence, in 1979 Phil Hill himself endorsed the Alfa Romeo Mille Miglia Sprint Veloce, a limited edition car dedicated to the legendary race, built specifically for the United States market.
The quartet of official Alfa Romeo cars in the event is completed by the 1900 Super Sprint from 1956, an elegant coupé with Touring bodywork in a “gran tourism” version of the 1900, “the family car that wins races”, to quote the advertising claim that made it famous in the 1950s. The 1900 SS is no newcomer to the Mille Miglia, since in the 1950s, when the competitive race was still being held, it was the car of choice of many gentlemen drivers, on account of its superb performance and reliability.
Last but not least, amongst the many Alfa Romeo cars being driven in the event by private collectors, special mention should be made of the 1955 Giulietta Sprint of Piero Pelù, the famous Florentine singer and musician who in 1980 was a founder of Litfiba, a milestone in the history of Italian rock. A lifelong Alfa enthusiast, Pelù takes part in the Mille Miglia as the guest of FCA Heritage. His car, recently meticulously restored, has received the Alfa Romeo Classiche “Certificate of Origin”, the document containing the production specifications of the single chassis number, as contained in the constructor’s own production records. The Italian singer will also have a star co-driver: his partner, top international orchestral conductor Gianna Fratta.