bmw mille

BMW Competes in Tough Mille Miglia Race


BMW puts its classics to the test in historic race

THE Mille Miglia, a 1000 mile (1600km) race on closed pubic roads from Brescia to Rome and back, was the world’s toughest endurance race.

It ran from 1927 to 1957, attracted five million spectators each year, killed 56 people and from 1953 to ’57 was a round of the World Sports Car Championship.

Since 1988, it has been held as a reliability and regularity race for historic cars and about 450 historic sports cars will take part in this year’s event.

BMW Group Classic has entered six of its successful 328 sports cars to celebrate the model’s debut at the Eifel Race in 1936 and at the 1938 Mille Miglia, where it won its class.

Two years later Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer took an outright win in their BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé, and three other BMW 328s came in third, fifth and sixth place, to claim the team award.

This year’s contingent from BMW Group Classic included the BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Touring Roadster built in 1937 and a BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster from 1939.

The event finished at the weekend but results have yet to be announced.

Bill Buys fell in love with cars at age 8, when he saw one of his relatives racing in a Bugatti in South Africa. He has driven, raced and/or rallied just about every vehicle from Autobianchi to Zundapp since he was first published in the UK’s Motor Sport magazine, in 1956. He is now probably Australia’s oldest (or, if you prefer, most experienced) motoring writer.