Veterans brave Roman deluge
The 90th-anniversary Mille Miglia brings out a strong BMW heritage-fleet presence
Heavy rain left parts of Rome flooded, but the Mille Miglia veterans fought on to Brescia’s finish line. BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster
BMW Classic Group’s Hendrik von Kuenheim and teammate Carl Christian Jancke entered the heritage wing’s recent restoration – the 1939 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, nicknamed ‘Silberlinge’ (or Silverline). ‘The temperature in the footwells was a real issue’ said Jancke. ‘My teammate’s shoes melted with the heat, and I had serious burn blisters, but the sound of the car on the narrow streets of the old towns, and the welcome of the crowds more than made up for it.’
Originally built to compete in the 1940 Mille Miglia, the aluminium bodied 328 streamliner contributed to the BMW team victory in that year, in front of an estimated five million spectators. Weighing in at 750kg, the 135bhp 2-litre straight-sixpowered car’s rebuild has been a joint project between ZF, the original manufacturer of the car’s gearbox, and BMW Classic Group. ‘It drives almost like a modern car’ says Jancke ‘But it does want to go sideways in the wet, all that power on skinny tyres.’ Although hard to value – it’s never been sold – the 328 MM Roadster is estimated to be worth north of 10 million Euros (£8.7m). Von Kuenheim and Jancke brought the Silverline in at number 227. ‘I just wanted to get the car home in one piece,’ said Jancke.
Fiat 1100 MM Berlinetta
The restoration of Enrico Renaldini and teammate Giuseppe Boscarino’s unique 1938 Fiat 1100 MM Berlinetta hadn’t actually been finished when the event started, but the car ran and was cleared to take part. ‘The MM Berlinetta was an experimental car – the first to integrate the wheels inside the body – and ahead of its time in the use of aerodynamics, which explains its bizarre rear end,’ said Renaldini. ‘It was advanced for the time, but Fiat’s decision to use steel meant the weight, combined with an underpowered engine, left the car’s potential unfulfilled.
‘After the war it was actually converted to right-hand drive for an English buyer before it found its way back to Italy, where we began the restoration. Unfortunately this will now include an engine rebuild too – but that’s the Mille Miglia for you!’
Unique Fiat streamliner was let loose on the Mille despite unfinished restoration BMW 328 MM Roadster kept its pilots hot on their heels