Many people have asked if there is a relationship between the California Mille and the
Mille Miglia Tribute. There is no relationship.

In short:

  • The California Mille is a nonprofit event.
    The Mille Miglia Tribute is a commercial event.
  • For all its twenty-one years the California Mille has endeavored to preserve the spirit of the original Mille Miglia .
    The Mille Miglia Tribute has yet to demonstrate its understanding of the Mille Miglia.
  • The California Mille focuses on entries that could have qualified for the Mille Miglia (l927-1957).
    The Mille Miglia Tribute has recently announced an “encore” class for newer cars to bolster an apparent lack of interest by the historic motoring community.
  • The California Mille selects interesting back roads that recall the Italian countryside.
    The Mille Miglia Tribute designers have apparently never driven the Mille Miglia or similar events as their route includes traffic-congested highways that cross the San Francisco Peninsula— not once but twice.

How did this confusion between our two motoring events occur? In the past, the Mille
Miglia re-creation and the California Mille embodied the same spirit as the original race.

A few years ago, a Genoa lifestyle marketing group called MAC bid more than
1,000,000,000 Euros to run the Mille Miglia for five years, through 2012.
MAC licensed Stratus Group ( a promotion organization) of Santa Barbara to
stage the Mille Miglia Tribute in –of all states–California, where the California Mille is
headquartered. An interesting co-incidence.

When the Tribute was announced, Stratus anticipated 15,000 applicants from which the
group would choose 300 to make the drive. Accepted entries would pay an $8,000 fee.
That was the plan.

As of today, “value pricing” has kicked in with discounts offered to car clubs who can
produce cars—whether reflective of the original event or not.

The California Mille does not wish the Tribute ill, but it is sad to see such a proud and historic motoring event corrupted in a quest for cash over values.

Contributed By:
Martin Swig
Organizer, The California Mille

This article was contributed by the above author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or it’s editors