After the relative anonymity of the Fiera di Brescia, I had hoped for a more fitting setting for the first public appearance of the cars. Not in my wildest dreams did I hope for the kind of scene that greeted us as we arrived at the Piazza della Vitoria.
We’d barely had chance to take in the peerless style and beauty of the architecture when the thousands of people present caused us to realise how much they love their cars. They really, truly, deeply love them here perhaps more than anywhere else, regardless of age and gender. And contrary to what you might think, their love isn’t confined to machinery from Italy; quite the opposite, almost…
The ‘Sealing of the Cars’ is the first public appearance of the cars on the Mille Miglia. It seems like insanity to herd hundreds of rare and often extremely valuable cars through the narrow and awkward streets of Brescia just to give the public its first glimpse, but this is an old and beloved tradition, and the people just cannot get enough of it.
As much as the locals fawned over the Italian marques, and gazed in appreciative awe at the Mercedes Benz and BMW cars which rolled into the piazza, nothing could have prepared us for their reaction to the Brundle/Senna D-Type Jaguar when it bellowed its way in. Within seconds the car was about eight people deep all the way around with photographers, journalists, and cameramen and their presenters all shouting and waving their arms about trying to get a peek of the Le Mans legend as the crowd cheered and waved as only a fevered Italian crowd can.
It must have taken the loud and green British car all of 30 minutes to cross the piazza from one side to the other in order to be given its seal, before it left to join the other Jaguar Heritage cars ahead of this evening’s departure.
There followed a procession of similarly rare and delectable machinery which, once clear of sealing, just parked up in the streets to be swarmed-upon by the masses whilst the drivers headed off for a spot of lunch! D-Types and Ferraris were parked line-astern with Oldsmobiles, Allards, and Fiats, and each and every car was afforded utmost respect, despite the crowding; further proof of the great passion the people have here for motor cars. It’s hard to imagine this scene anywhere else.
It was, frankly, chaos as you can see from our picture gallery. But even when it comes to chaos the Italians carry it off with a certain style!