Simon Said - We Did It Our Way!
Italy: is there any country which loves cars more, or has contributed as much to their history?
After four days driving almost flat-out through landscapes which are often unchanged since our cars were first built, it's hard to imagine anywhere which would have given us such a warm welcome, or provided such a 'step back in time' immersion. The excuse was, as you've probably guessed, the Mille Miglia. They don't even call it 'the retrospective' anymore, preferring 'race' instead, which of course sounds heroic but is typically wishful thinking: we were threatened with disqualification if we got to any more checkpoints ahead of the pace car, although the police motorcycle outriders and cheering crowds along the route seemed to think otherwise. However seriously you take it, the 'MM' is a unique social, cultural, gastronomic and sporting event, wonderfully Italian in its chaos and exuberance, and an absolute must if you love cars.
Our advice? Check you have a stopwatch, waterproof clothes, a car that will last 1,000 hard miles and a sense of humour. You'll laugh, curse, miss sleeping and want to do it all over again when you've recovered.