Classics heading for Mille Miglia
Historic Jaguars worth millions of pounds piloted by a team of celebs were in Scotland last week to get ready for next month’s Mille Miglia event.
Famous faces from motor sport, fashion, design and entertainment were based at Cameron House, Loch Lomond to get to know the priceless Jaguars they will be driving in Italy in a few weeks time. Among the celebs was former Dolce and Gabanna model David Gandy, who now works in the media, and he will be partnered with TV presenter and former supermodel Jodie Kidd to make a glamorous pairing in an XK120. Jaguar design director Scot Ian Callum, a veteran of the Mille Miglia completed the event last year with Jay Leno and this year will partner business magnate and classic car enthusiast Clive Beecham. TV chef James Martin will be partnered with Bremont watch founder Nick English in a D-type, while his brother Giles English will share a cockpit with Charley Boorman best known for his two-wheel exploits with Scots actor Ewan McGregor. Also on the event will be Elliot Gleave, otherwise known as musician Example who will share the driving with his father Michael in an XK140. Five- time Le Mans 24hr winner and world sportscar veteran Derek Bell will make his debut on the event driving a C-type and will be partnered by art collector Adam Lindemann. The main event runs from May 14-17 and Jaguar will also use it to showcase its new XE saloon – they will be used as support vehicles for the Heritage Racing Team throughout the event. Jaguar Heritage racing will be fielding ten of the marque’s famous cars from the 1950s in the event, some of them worth millions, which runs for four punishing days starting in Brescia, heading to Rimini, Rome and Parma before returning back to Brescia. Thousands line the route to see historic cars with famous faces in the cockpits flashing past and the Jags will consist of three C-types, three D-types, two XK120s, an XK140 and a MKV11. The original Mille Miglia ran from 1927-1957 and was famously won by Sir Stirling Moss in 1955. After numerous crashes and deaths it was finally deemed too dangerous and banned but was resurrected in 1977 as a regulation rally event for classics.
I was lucky enough to be asked along for the trial day and got to drive a fabulous white XK 120.
The weather was not kind to us but it was still a superb experience and the XK 120 was superb.
The cockpit was cramped and steering and braking hard work but the wonderful noise from the straight six made up for it all.
It was surprisingly quick when you hit the sweet spot at around 3000 revs and you really had to work the four-speed box to get the best out of it.
The drive to and from Inveraray Castle was a joy – even in the pouring rain – and included a couple of special stages on the old Rest And Be Thankful.
At the end of the day our car finished in fourth spot – a great result since it was our first attempt in this type of competion.
You can still buy a good XK120 for about £150,000 – Dear Santa!
Stunning some of the cars on this grid are worth over £5 million