1953 Mille Miglia

Marzotto and Crosara in the winning Ferrari 340 MM

The 1953 Mille Miglia, was the second round of the 1953 F.I.A. World Sportscar Championship and was held on the open-road of Italy, on 26 April 1953. The route was based on a round trip between Brescia and Rome, with start/finish, in Brescia.[1]

A total of 577 cars were entered 1953 running of the Mille Miglia, across eight classes based on engine sizes, ranging from up to 750cc to over 2.0 litre, for both Touring Cars and Sport Cars. Of these, 490 cars started the event. Although this not strictly a race against each other, this is race against the clock, as the cars are released at one-minute intervals with the larger professional class cars going before the slower cars, in the Mille Miglia, however the smaller displacement, slower cars started first. Each car number related to their allocated start time. For example Juan-Manuel Fangio’s car had the number 602, he left Brescia at 6:02am, while the first cars had started late in the evening on the previous day.[1]



The works S. P. A. Alfa Romeo entered in force with three new cars, the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Competizione Maggiorata to be driven by Fangio, Karl Kling, and Consalvo Sanesi. Scuderia Lancia had assembled a veteran team, consisting of Piero Taruffi, four-time winner Clemente Biondetti, Umberto Maglioli, Felice Bonetto and with the first four driving their D20 2900. Ferrari for their part arrived with four 300 bhp 4.1 litre, Ferrari 340 MM spider Vignale for Luigi Villoresi, Giuseppe Farina, Giannino Marzotto and the American racer Tom Cole. For 1953, the Mille Miglia was a round of the new World Sports Car Championship, the home teams faced strong challengers. From Great Britain, came Aston Martin and Jaguar, and France sent Gordini.[2][3]


The race started at 22:01 on 25 April, when departed Brescia in his Renault 4CV/1063. The faster car would leave the following morning, when conditions were warm and dry. After nine and half hours, all the cars were on their way to Rome.[1][2]

The Alfas took the early lead, with Sanesi controlling the pace, averaging 113 mph, on the leg to Verona, but his drive ended with an accident on the road to Rome. The Ferrari of Farina had crashed out, and Kling assumed the lead, only to retire from an accident himself.[2]

Ferrari 340 MM spider Vignale which won in the hands of Giannino Marzotto, pictured in the Enzo Ferrari Museum

Just past Siena, Marzotto remembered that the Ferrari mechanics did not change his engine oil at the last control point, as they were unable to open the bonnet. After making a U-turn, he raced back to Siena, where his mechanics cut a hole in the bonnet, directly over the engines oil filler cap, and topped the oil up accordingly. Meanwhile, Fangio’s Alfa was now leading, but surrender to the chasing Marzotto when his steering started to play up along with fading brakes. Although Marzotto suffered two minor crashes, he took it all the way to Brescia, to win his second Mille Miglia, repeating his success of 1950. In second place with a remarkable drive was Fangio. For most of the return leg, his Alfa had effective steering on one front wheel.[2][3]

Marzotto, partner by his navigator, , won in a time of 10hr 37:19mins., averaging a speed of 88.96 mph. 11:44mins adrift in second place was Alfa-Romeo 6C 3000CM of Fangio. The third different car on the podium was the Lancia of Bonetto. Another Ferrari came home in fourth, driven by Cole. The top Aston Martin was fifth in the hands of Reg Parnell. Apart from Aston Martin’s fifth place, the other foreign challenges faded away. Belgian journalist, Paul Frère won the unlimited touring class in an unlikely 5.3-litre Chrysler Saratoga saloon.[2][4][5][6][3]

The race had dramatic farce. Film director, Roberto Rossellini drove a Ferrari. Having recently married film star Ingrid Bergman, he raced against her wishes. At Rome, she flung herself across the car and refused to move until he agreed to withdraw.[3]

The event was marred by the fatal accident, which cost the French navigator, his life when crashed his Jaguar C-Type.[5][6]


Mille Miglia

Of the 490 starters, 283 were classified as finishers. Therefore, only a selection of notably racers has been listed below.

Class Winners are in Bold text.

Pos. No. Class Driver Navigator Entrant Car - Engine Time Reason Out
1st 547 S+2.0 Italy Giannino Marzotto Italy Marco Crosara Ferrari 340 MM Vignale 10hr 37:19
2nd 602 S+2.0 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Giulio Sala S. P. A. Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM 10hr 49:03
3rd 606 S+2.0 Italy Felice Bonetto Italy U Peruzzi Scuderia Lancia Lancia D20 Pininfarina 11hr 07:40
4th 608 S+2.0 United States Tom Cole Switzerland Mario Vandelli Ferrari 340 MM Vignale 11hr 20:39
5th 611 S+2.0 United Kingdom Reg Parnell United Kingdom Louis Klemantaski Aston Martin Lagonda Aston Martin DB3 11hr 32:43
6th 525 S2.0 Italy Emilio Giletti Italy Guerino Bertocchi Maserati A6GCS/53 Fantuzzi 11hr 38:42
7th 546 S+2.0 Italy Enrico Anselmi Italy Luigi Maggio Scuderia Lancia Lancia Aurelia B20 11hr 41:07
8th 616 S+2.0 Italy Clemente Biondetti Italy E. Barovero Scuderia Lancia Lancia D20 Pininfarina 11hr 49:49
9th 633 S+2.0 Italy Giulio Cabianca Italy Gianfranco Roghi Ferrari 250 MM Vignale 11hr 51:39
10th 512 S2.0 Italy Sergio Mantovani Italy R Palazzi Maserati A6GCS/53 Fantuzzi 11hr 51:56
11th 541 S+2.0 Italy Italy B. Militello Lancia Aurelia B20 12hr 01:39
12th 340 S1.1 Italy Italy Achille Albarelli O.S.C.A. MT4 1100 12hr 04:50
13th 518 S2.0 Italy Italy Vinicio Puccini Franco Bordoni Gordini T15S 12hr 05:39
14th 504 S2.0 Italy Franco Cortese Italy P. Feroldi Fiat 8V 12hr 09:19
15th 446 S2.0 Italy Italy O. Rossi Ferrari 166MM Vignale 12hr 15:49
16th 551 S+2.0 United Kingdom Peter Collins United Kingdom Mike Keen Aston Martin Lagonda Aston Martin DB3 12hr 22:20
17th 337 S1.1 Italy Italy Adone Bianchi O.S.C.A. MT4 1100 12hr 26:35
18th 506 S2.0 Italy Italy G. Vitali Fiat 8V 12hr 29:18
19th 526 S2.0 Italy Italy Massimo Leto di Prioli Fiat 8V Zagato 12hr 30:36
20th 444 S2.0 Italy Italy Orlando Gerli Fiat 8V 12hr 30:49
21st 550 S+2.0 Italy Italy Gino Bronzoni Scuderia Lancia Lancia Aurelia B20 12hr 32:16
22nd 255 T2.0 Italy Italy Vasco Parducci Alfa Romeo 1900TI 12hr 34:05
23rd 457 S2.0 Italy Italy A. Bombardini Fiat 8V 12hr 34:20
24th 447 S2.0 Italy Luigi Piotti Italy Bruno Franzoni Ferrari 166MM Vignale 12hr 36:21
25th 230 T2.0 Italy Italy Mario de Giuseppe Alfa Romeo 1900TI 12hr 37:33
26th 358 S1.1 Italy Italy L. Gamerro O.S.C.A. MT4 1100 12hr 37:53
27th 249 T2.0 Italy Italy O. Marchiori Alfa Romeo 1900TI 12hr 40:46
28th 252 T2.0 Italy Italy Paolo Milanese Alfa Romeo 1900TI 12hr 46:49
29th 237 T2.0 Italy Elio Zagato Italy Franco Martinego Alfa Romeo 1900 12hr 47:16
30th 438 S2.0 Germany Hans Herrmann Germany Erwin Bauer Porsche KG Porsche 356 1500 Super 12hr 47:37
31st 222 T2.0 Italy Alberto Della Beffa Italy Olga Della Beffa Alfa Romeo 1900TI 12hr 50:49
41st 428 S2.0 Switzerland Germany Peter Kaiser Porsche 356 1500 Super 13hr 09:25
58th 407 T+2.0 Belgium Paul Frère Belgium André Milhoux Chrysler Saratoga 13hr 38:03
78th 2349 T1.3 Italy Italy Carlo Mancini Fiat 1100/103 14hr 05:16
84th 2221 S750 France France A. Persillon DB HBR Panhard 14hr 15:36
100th 425 S2.0 United States United States Melvin H. Stickney Porsche 356 14hr 35:54
141st 005 T1.3 Italy Roberto Lippi Italy P. Ungarelli Fiat 1100 15hr 04:35
151st 2229 S750 France Jean Rédélé France Louis Pons Renault 4CV/1063 15hr 14:51
170th 82 T750 Italy Italy Mario Recchi Renault 4CV 15hr 46:12
250th 2201 S750 France France “Bargary” Renault 4CV/1063 18hr 04:29
DNF 603 S+2.0 Germany Karl Kling Germany Hans Klenk S. P. A. Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM 5hr 38:38 Accident
DNF 609 S+2.0 Italy Giovanni Bracco Italy Alfonso Rolfo Ferrari Spa Ferrari 250 MM Pinin Farina 5hr 50:20 Differential
DNF 619 S+2.0 Italy Umberto Maglioli Italy “Carnio” Scuderia Lancia Lancia D20 Pininfarina 5hr 58:30 DNF
DNF 511 S2.0 Italy Luigi Musso Italy O. Donatelli Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati A6GCS/53 Fantuzzi 6hr 08:45 Accident
DNF 617 S+2.0 Italy Gerino Gerini Italy Luciano Donazzolo Ferrari 212 Export 6hr 15:23 DNF
DNF 612 S+2.0 United Kingdom George Abecassis United Kingdom Pat Griffith Aston Martin Lagonda Aston Martin DB3 6hr 18:28 Steering, Accident
DNF 322 T2.0 Italy Italy Alfa Romeo 1900 TI 6hr 27:50 DNF
DNF 544 S+2.0 Italy Roberto Rossellini Italy Aldo Tonti Roberto Rossellini Ferrari 250 MM Vignale 7hr 28:26 Differential
DNF 532 S2.0 Italy Goffredo Zehender Italy A. de Giuseppe Alfa Romeo 1900 C52 7hr 53:25 DNF
DNF 552 S+2.0 United Kingdom United Kingdom Mike Read Austin-Healey 100 8hr 19:54 DNF
DNF 2241 S750 Italy Italy Dioscoride Lanza Moretti 750 9hr 21:54 DNF
DNF 2249 S750 Italy Ilario Bandini Italy Giovanni Sintoni Bandini-Crosley DNF
DNF 2334 T1.3 Italy Alfonso Thiele Italy Aldo Storzini Fiat 1100/103 DNF
DNF 101 T1.3 Italy Nello Pagani Italy “Albis” Fiat 1100 DNF
DNF 141 T2.0 Italy Lamberto Dalla Costa Italy “Velardi” Fiat 1400 DNF
DNF 220 T2.0 Italy Piero Carini Italy A. Artesiani Alfa Romeo 1900TI DNF
DNF 318 T2.0 Italy Bruno Ruffo Italy E. Mantegazza Alfa Romeo 1900TI DNF
DNF 320 T2.0 Argentina Onofre Marimón Italy Gianfranco Maroni Alfa Romeo 1900TI DNF
DNF 527 S2.0 Italy Michelangelo Leonardi Italy Roberto Vallone Ferrari 166MM/53 DNF
DNF 540 S+2.0 United States John Fitch United States Raymond Willday Nash Motors Nash-Healey Brakes
DNF 542 S+2.0 United Kingdom Stirling Moss United Kingdom Jaguars Cars Ltd. Jaguar C-Type Rear Axle
DNF 555 S+2.0 United Kingdom Leslie Johnson United Kingdom W. A. McKenzie L. H. Johnson Jaguar C-Type Split fuel tank
DNF 556 S+2.0 Belgium Jacques Swaters Belgium Charles de Tornaco Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 255S Vignale DNF
DNF 559 S+2.0 Italy Gino Valenzano Italy “Margutti” Lancia Aurelia B20 Ignition
DNF 601 S+2.0 France France Jaguar C-Type Fatal accident
DNF 607 S+2.0 Italy Franco Bordoni Italy Cetti Serbelloni Franco Bordoni Gordini T15S Engine
DNF 613 S+2.0 Italy Luigi Villoresi Italy Piero Cassani Ferrari Spa Ferrari 340 MM Touring Differential
DNF 615 S+2.0 Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Luigi Parenti Ferrari Spa Ferrari 340 MM Touring Accident
DNF 618 S+2.0 United Kingdom Tommy Wisdom United Kingdom Dave Halliwell Aston Martin Lagonda Aston Martin DB2 Rear Axle
DNF 624 S+2.0 Belgium Olivier Gendebien Belgium Charles Fraikin Jaguar XK120 DNF
DNF 625 S+2.0 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Italy Azelio Cappi Ferrari Spa Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Brakes
DNF 631 S+2.0 Italy Consalvo Sanesi Italy Giuseppe Cagna S. P. A. Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Competizione Maggiorata Accident
DNF 635 S+2.0 Italy Piero Taruffi Italy “Gobbetti” Scuderia Lancia Lancia D20 Pininfarina Engine
DNF 636 S+2.0 Italy Piero Scotti Italy Giulio Contini Piero Scotti Ferrari 250 MM Vignale DNF
DNF 637 S+2.0 Italy Eugenio Castellotti Italy Ivo Regosa Ferrari 340 Mexico Vignale Clutch
DNF 638 S+2.0 United Kingdom Tony Rolt United Kingdom Len Hayden Bill Cannell / Jaguar Cars Ltd. Jaguar C-Type Engine


Class Winners

Class Winners
Sport oltre 2000 547 Ferrari 340 MM Vignale Marzotto / Crosara
Sports 2000 525 Maserati A6GCS/53 Fantuzzi Giletti /Bertocchi
Sports 1100 340 Osca MT4 1100 Venezian / Albarelli
Sports 750 2221 DB HBR Panhard Touzot / Persillon
Turismo internazionale +2000 407 Chrysler Saratoga Frère / Milhoux
Turismo internazionale 2000 255 Alfa Romeo 1900 TI Pagliai / Parducci
Turismo internazionale 1300 2349 Fiat 1100/103 Mancini / Mancini
Turismo internazionale 750 82 Renault 4CV Angelelli / Recchi


Standings after the race

Pos Championship Points
1 Italy Ferrari 9
2= United Kingdom Aston Martin 8
United States Cunningham 8
4 Italy Alfa Romeo 6
5= United Kingdom Jaguar 4
Italy Lancia 4
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included in this set of standings.

Championship points were awarded for the first six places in each race in the order of 8-6-4-3-2-1. Manufacturers were only awarded points for their highest finishing car with no points awarded for positions filled by additional cars. Only the best 4 results out of the 7 races could be retained by each manufacturer. Points earned but not counted towards the championship totals are listed within brackets in the above table.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mille Miglia 1953". Racing Sports Cars. 1953-04-26. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  2. ^ a b c d e "History of Formula 1 - Mille Miglia - 1953". Grandprixhistory.org. 1948-07-04. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  3. ^ a b c d David Venables, “The Classic Motor Racing Circuits of Europe" (Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7110-3481-5, 2010)
  4. ^ http://www.racingsportscars.com/results/Mille_Milglia-1953-04-26.html
  5. ^ a b "1953 Mille Miglia". Teamdan.com. 1953-04-26. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  6. ^ a b c "SPAM protection / Ochrana proti SPAMu". Wsrp.ic.cz. Archived from the original on 2014-08-09. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  7. ^ http://www.teamdan.com/wsc/1953/53millem.html[permanent dead link]

Further reading

  • Anthony Pritchard. The Mille Miglia: The World’s Greatest Road Race. J H Haynes & Co Ltd. ISBN 978-1844251391
  • Leonardo Acerbi. Mille Miglia Story 1927-1957. Giorgio Nada Editore. ISBN 978-8879115490

World Sportscar Championship
Previous race:
12 Hours of Sebring
1953 season Next race:
24 Hours of Le Mans