Mille Miglia North America
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Since 1977, the Mille Miglia has lived on as an historic rally that attracts some 350 entrants annually, all driving cars made between those racing years. But this week, the race makes its overseas debut as the Mille Miglia North America Tribute, which will see some 50 cars roar across California, from Santa Barbara to San Francisco and back, over three days. Which begs the question: you can take the race out of Italy, but can you keep the Italy in the race?
“The (U.S. Tribute) tour will be enriched by an itinerant exhibition telling the story of the Freccia Rossa (Red Arrow, long the race’s recognizable logo), of Brescia (the Mille Miglia’s start and end point), and its territory,” says Sandro Binelli, president of the MAC Group, which organizes the Mille Miglia and looks after its branding. “Tributes must expand the prestige of the Mille Miglia brand and spread its story.”
Put another way, much like Apple wants consumers to associate all smartphones with the iPhone, MAC Group want Americans in search of well organized and ultra-luxury historic rallies to think Mille Miglia. That’s no small task considering the U.S. already is home to a number of well-attended and thought-of rallies, including the Colorado Grand, the Copperstate 1000 and the California Mille. Binelli has nothing bad to say about such competitors, because he believes they’re in a different category altogether.
“Having to face competition from existing rallies has never been an issue for us,” he says, adding that he hopes to expand the Mille Miglia to the United Arab Emirates soon. “All our international Tribute events will be organized following elevated standards of quality consistent with the image and fame of the Mille Miglia.”