Historic cars tour the District in first-ever 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA

The Millie Miglia is an open-road race through the streets of Italy, but this year organizers are holding an American version, the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
The Mille Miglia is an open-road rally through the streets of Italy, but this year, organizers are holding an American version — the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Each year during the Millie Miglia, 600 cars go a thousand miles from the north of Italy from Rome and back over 4 days and over 5 million spectators are there (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
Each year during the Mille Miglia, 600 cars go 1,000 miles from the north of Italy to Rome and back over 4 days. Over 5 million spectators cheer on the drivers. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
"It's like Indianapolis for us," said Mark Gessler, President of the Gaithersburg-based Historic Vehicle Association (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
“It’s like Indianapolis for us,” said Mark Gessler, President of the Gaithersburg-based Historic Vehicle Association. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
The Italian event began in 1927 and has turned into a rally for fans (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
The Italian event began in 1927, and has turned into a rally for fans and drivers. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Drivers begin their 8-hour ride in Chantilly, drive through Middleburg to Point of Rocks, Waterford and down to Bethesda and will make their final stop at the Italian Ambassador's home near Rock Creek Park (WTOP/ Melissa Howell).
Drivers began their 8-hour ride in Chantilly, drove through Middleburg to Point of Rocks, Waterford and down to Bethesda. They made their final stop at the Italian Ambassador’s home near Rock Creek Park. (WTOP/ Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
The Millie is slated to be held in May through the streets of Italy next year (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
The Mille is slated to be held through the streets of Italy next year in May. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Shaun Till has done the event in Italy 7 times. He said it is nice to be able to tour with other enthusiasts without having to take a flight to Europe (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
Shaun Till has done the event in Italy seven times. He said it is nice to be able to tour with other enthusiasts without having to take a flight to Europe. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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The Millie Miglia is an open-road race through the streets of Italy, but this year organizers are holding an American version, the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Each year during the Millie Miglia, 600 cars go a thousand miles from the north of Italy from Rome and back over 4 days and over 5 million spectators are there (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
"It's like Indianapolis for us," said Mark Gessler, President of the Gaithersburg-based Historic Vehicle Association (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
The Italian event began in 1927 and has turned into a rally for fans (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
Drivers begin their 8-hour ride in Chantilly, drive through Middleburg to Point of Rocks, Waterford and down to Bethesda and will make their final stop at the Italian Ambassador's home near Rock Creek Park (WTOP/ Melissa Howell).
The Millie is slated to be held in May through the streets of Italy next year (WTOP/Melissa Howell).
Shaun Till has done the event in Italy 7 times. He said it is nice to be able to tour with other enthusiasts without having to take a flight to Europe (WTOP/Melissa Howell).

CHANTILLY, Va.  — The world’s largest historic vehicle driving event hit the road in America for the first time Saturday.

The Mille Miglia (Italian for one-thousand miler) is an open-road rally through the streets of Italy, but organizers are holding an American version — the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA — this year.

“It’s like Indianapolis for us,” said Mark Gessler, president of the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Historic Vehicle Association.

The event began in 1927, and has turned into a rally for fans.

“Every year, 600 cars go a thousand miles from the north of Italy from Rome and back over four days,” he said. “Over 5 million spectators are there.”

Today’s inaugural event attracted 16 vehicles and was quite a bit shorter.

Drivers began the tour in Chantilly, drove through Middleburg to Point of Rocks, then they headed to Waterford and down to Bethesda. The final stop was at the Italian Ambassador’s D.C. residence.

Shaun Till has done the event in Italy seven times. His newest classic car, a 1928 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport, was bought specifically for the event.

“Its nice to not have to fly over to another country and 6-hour time change for an event we can do right here,” Till said. He said he hopes to participate in the Warm Up again next year.

The Italian Mille Miglia will be held through the streets of Italy in May.

 


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