The Mille Miglia was the toughest endurance race in the world for three decades. Since 1988, it has been held as a reliability and regularity race for historic automobiles. It is a veritable feast for classic fans who line the 1000 mile route through Northern Italy in large numbers. Around 450 historic sports cars will take part in this year’s event.
This year, BMW Group Classic is sending six automobiles from its collection to line up at the start in Brescia. Once again, the sporty sextet from Munich reminds us of the historic link between the BMW 328 and the Mille Miglia. The first appearance of the roadster – which debuted at the Eifel Race in 1936 – at the Mille Miglia ended in 1938 with a win in the class for vehicles with maximum capacity of 2.0 litres. Two years later, even the competitors powered by larger and more powerful engines did not stand a chance. Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer secured a win in the overall placings, driving their BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé with a lead of around 15 minutes ahead of the fastest follower in the field. Three other BMW 328 automobiles crossed the finishing line in third, fifth and sixth place, so that the team award also went to the BMW works team.
This triumph was not achieved with superior engine power, but with optimised weight, low drag, superb reliability and perfect road holding. It enabled the BMW 328 to conquer a firm place in the history of the Mille Miglia. This year’s contingent from BMW Group Classic includes the BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Touring Roadster built in 1937 and a BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster from 1939.
The following teams are lining up at the start of the Mille Miglia 2017, driving vehicles from BMW Group Classic:
136 Ian Robertson Jodie Kidd BMW 328 Berlin-Rom Roadster
139 Klaus Fröhlich Michael Schröder BMW 328
142 Wolfgang Obermaier Des Sellmeijer BMW 328
146 Sergio Solero Francesco Botré BMW 328
149 Philipp Koch Martin Huber BMW 328
153 Hendrik v. Kuenheim Carl Christian Jancke BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster