Some 70 classic cars that could have qualified for the Mille Miglia, Italy’s most-famous open road race, will motor to San Francisco’s Nob Hill on April 15 for a free car show and preview of the 28th annual California Mille.
Ancient Alfa Romeos, pristine Porches, and magnificent Mercedes-Benz will take their places next to Jaguars, Ferraris, Bentleys, and other classics on Mason Street, closed to traffic between Sacramento and California Streets.
The public is invited to see the cars and meet the drivers from 16 states and Colombia, South America, from 11 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
At 1:30 Sunday afternoon, California Mille co-directors David and Howard Swig will greet the fans and recall the history of the Mille Miglia (thousand mile) that ran from 1927 to 1957.
On Monday, April 16, at 8:30 a.m. the Italian flag will be waved outside the departure arch at Mason and California Streets, officially starting the four-day, 1,000 mile tour (not a race) of northern California time capsule towns and little-known backroads.
The Mille will cross the Golden Gate Bridge heading north and east to the towns of Suisun City, Birds Landing, Rio Vista, and Walnut Grove, arriving at noon for lunch in Lodi. That afternoon, the California Mille will drive east on Highway 88 to historic Jackson, on to Highway 50, through Stateliness at South Lake Tahoe and conclude Day 1 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.
Day 2 will see the Mille heading to Kings Beach, north on Highway 267 toward Truckee, Sierraville, Portola, and Susanville, then east to Reno, Nevada, for lunch. The day will conclude with a drive by Washoe Lake State Park, to Carson City, Virginia City, then over Mt. Rose to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.
Day 3 will begin 8:30 a.m. with the California Mille motoring toward the California state line, then to Kings Beach, Highway 80, down the Sierra to Nevada City and Grass Valley, Honcut, Gridley, and stopping in Williams for lunch after a 165.8 mile drive. The afternoon drive will take the 70 classic cars to Clearlake, Lower Lake, and Middletown, concluding the drive at Solage Resort in Calistoga.
On Day 4, the California Mille will make a 131.8 mile drive to Whispering Pines, Clear Lake, Cloverdale, Rio Nido, Guerneville, and make a lunch stop at Bodega Bay. The 28th annual drive will take the California Mille to Valley Ford, Tomales, Stinson Beach and end the four-day tour with an awards banquet and overnight stay at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, overlooking San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay.
As of this date, vehicles scheduled for the California Mille include 10 Alfa Romeos, 1954-1957; seven Porsches, 1956-1957; six Mercedes-Benz, 1955-1962; and four Jaguars, 1939-1956. Other makes represented include Bentley, AC, FIAT, Aston-Martin, Lancia, Morgan, Ferrari, Ford, BMW, Citroen, Chevrolet, and Ford.■