The Mille Miglia is probably the best venue in the calendar for lovers of older cars (Goodwood Festival of Speed is excellent too), and especially those looking to spot the rarer models, the ones which are kept in storage for most of the year, and only wheeled out a few times a year.
Chris Harris was fortunate enough to be given the chance to drive one of these ridiculously expensive classics in the renowned Italian road rally, a Jaguar C-Type costing “a few million pounds,” one of just 55 ever made.
Despite being picked from Jaguar’s own collection, it is not a show car, with perfect detailing and not a single scratch – it is a well maintained regular-use model which is frequently raced, and by the end of the thousand-mile rally, all that breaks is one of the spokes of the wire wheels. Not only is the car nicely broken in, but also it actually has some interesting history behind it. Apparently, its first ‘custodian’ was famed Argentinian F1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio!
Now, while the vehicle may be interesting, what goes on during the three-day drive is even more so. If you thought that road rally stood for going very slowly in a convoy, not overtaking too much, and generally just enjoying the scenery more than a thrilling fast drive, you were wrong. That’s because the Italians as a nation are fond of cars, and you can bet that the local cops in all of the small towns along the way are too, so they’ll be considerably more lenient if the drivers don’t actually start behaving recklessly.
So no, it’s not boring at all, but instead of us telling you about it, why not scroll down, click play and watch the lengthy video covering the entire three-day event from Harris and his co-driver’s perspective? If anything, it’s worth watching for the bit where the C-Type and a bunch of other priceless classics get escorted out of Rome, by a policeman, running red lights at borderline-reckless speed…
By Andrei Nedelea