The 1928 Spider is the same car that Campari and Ramponi first drove to win the 1929 race.
sits a 1938 Alfa Romeo 2300B Mille Miglia Spyder and a 1936 Delage D6 70 Le Mans (the latter was acquired by Lawson Sr at an event in 2008 in a spontaneous swap for his Officine Meccaniche sports car, which was famous for coming sixth in the Italian Targa Florio in 1930). Between them, the Lawsons have competed in more than 20 multi-day road rallies all over the world, Andrew says, mostly in Australia but also in Europe, Asia and North America. The 1928 Spider they had planned to race at the Mille Miglia is the same model Campari and Ramponi first drove to win the 1929 race. “It’s remarkable to have a car so uniquely connected to the history of the event,” says Sedgwick. “Forty years after our first rally, having sat with Dad over countless miles, hearing over countless years about just what a fantastic race this is, to finally have a taste of it is every bit as wonderful as he’s ever said,” says Andrew.
Sedgwick’s early curiosity for motoring was sparked by reading Bright Eyes of Danger, by Sydney journalists David McKay and John Smailes, about their adventures on the first London to Sydney Marathon in 1968. Having since participated in the East African Safari (a rally through Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), the Australian Safari (“a gruelling 10-day test of man and machine across the harsh, remote and magically colourful interior of Australia,” he says), and Targa Tasmania, Sedgwick’s first taste of Mille Miglia proved “definitely more than anything I expected in terms of scale, excitement, celebration and authenticity”.
Sedgwick and the Lawsons met at the launch of Alfa’s Giulietta at Melbourne’s Crown Casino last year. Two of the family’s vintage Alfas were on display, and at the end of the event, John spoke about the cars’ histories. Sedgwick was impressed by his answer to a question regarding the cars’ worth. “Paul’s father paused, then said: ‘I don’t really care, I honestly don’t know. I’m not a person who polishes cars, I like them to keep their patina, and quite frankly that’s about it.’ I thought, here’s a pretty remarkable man, together they must be a remarkable family,” Sedgwick recalls. When Sedgwick said he was keen to hatch a plan to drive in the Mille Miglia, Paul replied: “You don’t need to ask me twice.”