Some incredible classics attended the very first 1000 Miglia USA Warm Up, but it was a Jaguar XK120 that took the top step in the car's 70th anniversary year
The Millie Miglia road race in Italy is a wonderful example of a thriving tradition that still lives today. This historic event is always over prescribed and has lead to several other Mille Miglia events popping up all over the world, with the Japanese Mille Miglia being the most recent. America hosted its first take on the Italian epic where a Jaguar XK120 took overall victory.
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The 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA, in conjunction with the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) and the Italian Embassy took place between October 25 - 27. Just 18 cars competed in this highly exclusive event, but the examples that made the cut were all deserving of their place. Legends such as a 1928 Bugatti Type 40, 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Boano and 1961 Mercedes 300 SL Roadster lined up at the starting gate.
Crossing the finish line in first place was a beautiful 1952 Jaguar XK120 M driven by John Houghtaling and his navigator Franco Valobra — an apt victor with the model celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. There were actually five examples of XK120 competing in this event, including a rare alloy bodied car.
The three day tour began in Chantilly exactly 90-years since the first American cars entered the original Mille Miglia — a Chrysler Model 72 and a Cadillac LaSalle. The route then headed west to Great Meadow and Middleburg, before the final 150-miles stretch home through Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Technically speaking the race actually ended on Italian soil as the embassy is sovereign land.
Gussalli Beretta, president of 1000 Miglia srl said: ‘The 1000 Miglia represents all things iconic of Italy, its history, traditions, elegance and automotive passion. With programs like the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA, we intend to share our spectacular event with enthusiasts and fans around the world.’ Mark Gessler, president of HVA added: ‘The 1000 Miglia is about classic cars, it’s about history and beauty, and most importantly, it’s about people.’