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36th edition of Mille Miglia will commence on 16 May
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36th edition of Mille Miglia will commence on 16 May

By Ganesh Murthy

Published on :
36th edition of Mille Miglia will commence on 16 May

Mille Miglia – The 1000 mile race

The Mille Miglia, ‘1000 mile’ race is all set to take place from May 16-19, 2018 one week prior to the Monaco GP. Mercedes-Benz will partner with the organisers again, for the 2018 edition of the one thousand mile race which is  organised since 1927 in Italy.

The classic car race that dates back to 1927

The 1600km race follows the route of the original race albeit with slight modifications in order to take the vehicles to roads that were not traversed over the years. Some of the brand’s famous vehicles that will make an appearance at the start in Brescia include SSK (W 06), 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ (W 198), 190 SL (W 121) and 220 “Ponton” (W 180) and behind the wheels of these vehicles will be Mercedes-Benz Classic brand ambassadors Roland Asch, Ellen Lohr, Bernd Mayländer and Bernd Schneider. Alfa Romeo will also be taking part in the historical event, with its legendary cars line-up that include 6C 1500 SS, 6C 1750 GS, 1900 SS and 1900 Sport Spider models that are a part of of FCA Heritage collection. There will also be 30 Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio models in service as official cars for the event.

The first stage of the race will start at Brescia which will follow till Cervia-Milano Marittima. The second day the race will proceed to Rome. On the third day to Parma, before returning to Brescia on the fourth and final day. Vehicle models that have already participated in the race during 1927 to 1957 are not allowed to participate in the race. Vehicle models that are allowed to take part in the race include the SL models and other AMG models that have historical value for the brand. Participants on the race will traverse the same route as the classic cars and compete in special stages along with the classic cars.

A sneak peak of the legendary vehicles that will participate in the race –

Mercedes-Benz SSK (W 06, 1928)

This model from Mercedes-Benz S-Series is one of the exclusive sportier models which brought great success to the brand when it came to motor racing and it also took part in the Mille Miglia in 1930 for the first time. Rudolf Caracciola and Christian Werner took the sixth place after driving the car for 17 hours and 20 minutes. Nestling under the hood is a massive 7-litre inline 6-cylinder engine that made 167.6bhp and with a supercharger thrown in, the power shot up to 221.3bhp. The car achieved a top speed of 192kmph. It was in production from 1928 to 1932. There was another SSKL version (Super Sport Short Light) was the first to take part in the Mille Miglia in April 1931 and Rudolf Caracciola again steered the car to victory finishing the race in 16 hours and 10 minutes.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957)

Based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing car from the 1952 season, it was the first series production car to get a four stroke petrol injection engine. The 3-litre inline 6-cylinder engine produced 212bhp, which is 25 per cent more than the carburetor version.  Top speed of the car was 250kmph. The car was in production for 3 years and a total of 1400 units were built.

Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W 121, 1955 to 1963)

This two seater roadster from the three pointed star was unveiled first as a concept in February 1954. The open top roadster was similar to the build of Mercedes-Benz 180 “Ponton” saloon (W 120). The 1.9 litre inline 4-cylinder engine was newly developed though, which made 103.2bhp. Top speed was 171kmph. The engine also featured an overhead camshaft. The car was in production for 8 years and 25,881 units were built.

Mercedes-Benz 220 (W 180, 1954 to 1956)

The first model from the brand to sport a unibody design was launched in 1954. Under the bonnet was a 2.2-litre inline 6-cylinder engine that churned out 84.5bhp and it reached a top speed of 150kmph. These cars participated in the 1956 Mille Miglia with tweaks done to the chassis and engine. Three cars were also race prepped by the then head of racing division, Karl King. The race prepped cars were fitted with shorter and stiffer springs, modified shock absorbers and the gear changes were done via floor shift like in the 190 SL, instead of the fitted column shift.