June 21: The first Mille Miglia after World War II runs on this date in 1947

June 21, 2013

You couldn't run a flat-out race through 1,000 miles of public roads in almost any country of the world today, but that's what Italians did every year between 1927 and 1940, an event known as the Mille Miglia that combined a public spectacle with an auto industry proving ground. In 1947, the first post-war Mille Miglia was run, and in the following 10 years the race established Mercedes, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari as champion sports car builders. After a crash that killed 10 spectators in 1957, the race was banned; today, it's re-staged as a run for historic cars. Here's the view of the race from 1953: