There was once a time when the Mille Miglia was one of the greatest and most important endurance races in the world, up there with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But by the late ’50s, open-road races in general were falling out of fashion, organizers were becoming more safety conscious and several deaths at Mille Miglia led to its being shut down after 1957. But the event has returned, as what the video narrator calls a rolling classic car show. Entry is limited to models that competed in the original incarnation of the race, it takes place on open public roads and points are deducted for going either too slow or too fast.

The video comes from XCAR, where one of its hosts has gone along on the historic rally as a navigator/co-driver in a Jaguar C-Type. The rally now takes place over 4 days instead of one straight 1,000-mile shot, a measure to prevent fatigue from becoming a safety issue. Because as tiring as it is to do that much driving, it is all the more so in a car made before 1957.

The rally starts off well, with the team in the Jaguar hitting their target time exactly. The Jag produced what must have been some truly amazing heat in the passenger-side foot well, because the only casualty of the day was our narrator’s shoe, which actually started melting in the heat. Day two took a bigger toll on our narrator’s psyche, as he did the bulk of the driving in an incredibly valuable car that wasn’t his and took a lot of getting used to in order to operate it properly. The car also got a hole in its muffler, the only mechanical problem of the rally.

The hole in the muffler would eventually reopen and necessitate a swap in the middle of the rally, but the support team pulled it off and the rest of the rally went more or less without a hitch. Our narrator managed to get used to the car by the end, although there are a few points in the video where is looking seriously haggard. In all, it’s a good look at the Jag and what it’s like to participate in the rally, but it still shows only a small selection of the amazing classic cars that participate in the Mille Miglia. Of course, that would take at least one more video all to itself.
Still, this is magnificent eye candy.

Jacob Joseph
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