This week, our esteemed Road Warrior Howard Swig is at the 2011 California Mille, a four-day, 1000-mile tour through the Golden State. The event was founded by Howard’s father, Martin, but Howard’s not just there to watch—he and his brother are piloting a 1959 Lancia Appia in the event. Below, his first dispatch from the field.
The 21st California Mille began this past Sunday at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The American event is named to honor the famed Italian Mille Miglia road race, which originally ran from 1927-1957 from Brescia to Rome, and then back to Brescia. Only cars that would have qualified for the Italian event are eligible to run in the California Mille, making for a delectable field of classics. The entrants include American and European sports and touring cars, as well as prewar and competition cars. If you can call any of the vehicles in the California Mille common, they’d include Alfa Romeo Giuliettas and 1900s, Porsche 356s, and Jaguar XK 120/140s. Chopard returns as the presenting sponsor.
Drivers hit the road on Monday morning, beginning their 1000-mile run through some of Northern California’s best roads. There are also two stops at tracks planned—Infineon and Thunderhill—for touring laps. My brother and I are running a 1959 Lancia Appia Pininfarina coupe; you can pick it out in the photo gallery from its “53? badge. We’ll be bringing you updates of the odyssey as the event progresses.
Tags: 2011 California Mille, Car Culture |