Seventy years after a BMW 328 first won the event, a 328 Touring Coupe managed to win this year’s 1000-mile Mille Miglia race in Italy.
Despite the car’s age (it rolled off the line back in 1940), drivers Giuliano Cané and Lucia Galliani suffered no technical issues, although arriving at the event was itself a feat. As was the case back in 1940, the BMW wasn’t trucked to the starting line, but driven nearly 300 miles from the company’s museum in Munich, Germany, to the checkpoint in Brescia, Italy. Such was the case for the 328 piloted by Enzo Ciravolo and Maria Lietner that ultimately finished third.
Although the cars proved reliable, the race was still quite a challenge. The 1000-mile route takes teams throughout Italy, providing them with both 80-degree heat near the Adriatic Sea and frigid temperatures in the Alps. In a brilliant marketing move, BMW provided drivers — especially those who fielded the roofless 328 Roadster — with insulated clothing from its motorcycle accessory range.
“Victory by Cané and Galliani, along with the third place finish of Ciravolo and Leitner, is a marvelous example of teamwork,” said Karl Baumer, the director of BMW Classic. “Both the blind understanding between the crews inside the cars and the cooperation with the mechanics along the way worked out perfectly. For that, I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all those involved.”