The end is here. The California Mille participants have completed the four-day, 1000-mile journey, wrapping up yesterday in downtown Sonoma. All but one entry completed the challenging route—the lone exception being a stunning 1939 Jaguar SS100 that suffered a blown head gasket halfway through the journey. Unsurprisingly, none were in stock at the local Kragen. Cooling and electrical problems affected several Alfa Romeos and Jaguars, but were deftly remedied by the two master mechanics along the way.
Wednesday’s open track session at Thunderhill Raceway was a highlight of the run, with most of the participants taking to the track for spirited touring laps. This rather unlikely track session pitted the likes of a Peking-to-Paris-modified 1936 Chrysler Imperial Airflow against Alfa Romeo Giuliettas, the Airflow leaning precipitously through the off-camber corners in its attempts to match the lap times of the smaller, nimble European sports cars. Much to the dismay of some participants, the Toyota support vehicles (a Sienna and an Avalon) handily passed most of the vintage sports cars—a testament to the incredible capabilities of modern cars when compared with their decidedly less-able predecessors!
The Mille’s route culminated in a stunning scenic tour down Ridgecrest Boulevard, offering crystal-clear panoramic views of the Pacific as well as the San Francisco skyline. Photos can be found in the gallery below.Tags: 2011 California Mille, Car Culture |