A Rally to Remember

Even at lollygagging speeds, Italy's Mille Miglia road show stirs nostalgic hearts

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Bruce Male got only eight hours of sleep during his run, but his Maserati “performed flawlessly.” Sylvia Oberti just barely finished the race thanks to her backup team and a spare fuel pump. And Richard Sirota’s Ferrari blew a clutch outside San Marino and dropped out of the rally. “No matter what, we finish next year,” he promised.

Mille Miglia 2001 was “won”—getting to the checkpoints at the appointed time—by two gentlemen from Ferrara, Sergio Sisti and Dario Bernini, driving a 1950 Healey Silverstone. They were given a silver trophy at a Sunday morning ceremony filled with speeches about Mille, old and new. As they spoke, I remembered Maria Naldi and her window in Radicofani. All would be quiet in the piazza now. Nothing to see from her window but a glorious 15th-century church, a thousand-year-old castle, the rolling hills of Tuscany and dashing young drivers in sleek machines roaring through her memories.


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