MAY 15th 2014

2014 Mille Miglia. Day one: scrutineering

The Fiera di Brescia! Sounds good, doesn’t it? When I heard this was the place to witness the mammoth task of scrutineering hundreds of cars ahead of the Mille Miglia yesterday, I had in mind a bustling piazza complete with stylish locals sipping espressos at tables covered with red-and-white chequered tablecloths as they take-in the awesome spectacle.

The truth is, from the outside at least, the Fiera di Brescia more closely resembles a Warehouse di Rotherham; not what I expected at all. Stroll through the doors (… of the roller-shutter variety) and it quickly becomes apparent that you’ve entered another world altogether; usually, at a large gathering of notable classic cars there will be a few examples of the magnificent Mercedes Benz 300SL. I counted over twenty.

And then there was the British contingent; Jaguars by the hatful and notable representatives from Frazer Nash, Austin Healey, AC, Cooper, Lotus, Bentley, and Aston Martin. Jaguar was conspicuous not so much by the number of its cars awaiting scrutiny, but by the buzz surrounding their lead D-Type driven by Grand Prix aces Martin Brundle and Bruno Senna. Could they be going all-out for the win?

Back outside again and a carefully-coordinated photo-opportunity further gilded Jaguar’s intentions. All their celebrity-driven cars were lined-up ahead of the legendary Ecurie Ecosse Commer transporter with the assembled press scrambling for a clear shot of the collection. It was an impressive sight. In fact, I’d wager that there were one or two Brits present who were feeling more than a faint pang of pride at the spectacle.

A few hours later and each of the cars had been scrutineered. Next stop; the Piazza della Vittoria for the ‘sealing of the cars‘ and hopefully a setting more fitting of such an array of splendid machinery…

Stay tuned to GRR for more coverage of this magnificent event!

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