A feast for the classic car aficionados, the legendary Mille Miglia returns for 2016. Once known as the toughest endurance race that ever grazed the planet, the Mille Miglia has been at the centre of pride and sporting pedigree for European car makers. The legendary race through the heart of Italy has been exciting automotive fans since 1927 … till 1957 when it was put to an end due to increasing accidents, specifically after the horrendous crashes of Alfonso de Portago and Joseph Göttgens in which Alfonso and his co-driver Edmund Nelson driving the 4.2-litre Ferrari 335 S was killed along with nine spectators. Up till 1957, the Mille Miglia was the definitive race that boasted the morale of manufacturers and showcased the prowess of their Grand Touring cars.
One of the cars that had a significant impact in the racing era between 1935 and 1940 was the BMW 328. With over 100 class in 1937 alone, the BMW 328 went on to win the RAC Tourist Trophy, Le Mans, Alpine Rally and eventually the Mille Miglia. Appearing for the first time at the Eifel Race of 1936 where it won the 2.0-litre class, the BMW 328 went on to win the 1938 Mille Miglia in the up-to 2.0-litre vehicle class. While in the subsequent years, competition came in with more powerful cars with bigger displacement engines, the lightweight 328 trumped stood its own, winning by a huge margin of 15 minutes at the 1940 event in the hands of Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer driving the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé with an average speed of 103.6 mph (166.7 km/h). That same year, BMW also took home the best team award for their works team, thanks to three other BMW 328 cars finishing third, fifth and sixth. The reason for the glorious successes of the BMW 328 was underlined by it’s lightweight design, lower drag and superior reliability… all trends that the German manufacturer is synonymous to even today.
For 2016, BMW and its classic car division have plans to re-live the company’s endurance glory by bringing back six of the BMW 328 cars back to the Italian roads. For the 2016 Mille Miglia event, BMW plans to bring back the venerable BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Touring Roadster and the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster along with four more BMW 328 cars. The 2016 Mille Miglia starts at its traditional location of Brescia in Northern Italy on May 19, 2016 and heads south towards Rome passing through the beautiful Italian countryside. From Rome, the Grand Tour would then head northwards passing Poggibonsi and over the legendary Futa Pass to reach Parma in the evening. For the fourth and final stage of the event on May 22, the cars would journey through Piacenza while diverting at the race track at Monza and ending the 1000 mile drive back at Brescia.