Those of you who may have noticed me eating a bowl of dry cat food and milk this morning may come to the reasonable conclusion that I’m pretty distracted. This time it’s not because I drank more of that blue liquid I found behind the furnace, it’s because tomorrow I leave for Italy and the Mille Miglia. And I’m very excited.

Thanks to Jaguar, I’ll have a chance to drive in the legendary Mille Miglia — the name, I believe, translates to “1000 Migglias” and, as we all know, a “migglia” is a legendary Italian enchanted worm that’s one mile long. A 1000 mile-long worms are, of course, 1000 miles long, which is the length of the endurance race. Hence the name! The more you know, right?

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The Mille Miglia was run 24 times between 1927 and 1957, with a little break taken in the middle there for everyone to kill each other during WWII. All the big European companies made some amazing cars for the races: Alfa Romeo, BMW, Maserati, Ferrari, Mercedes, Porsche, all the good stuff. Eventually, though, the race ended up killing 56 people – both spectators and racers – over the decades, and it was decided that it’d probably be best to call it finished.

Even so, nothing’s ever really over, and the Mille Miglia was re-started in 1977 as what’s called a “regularity race” for classic racecars of the era. Only cars made up to 1957 that were originally registered for the race can enter, and the route is the exact same, a big loop from Brescia to Parma to Rome and back.

A ‘regularity race’ is a sort of less-murderous rally where the goal is to drive through the segments in a specified time and maintaining a specified average speed. It sounds like something I’d be terrible at, so it’s probably good I’m not really competing.

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I will be driving a Jaguar XE for much of the race, and I was promised a chance to drive one leg in a Jaguar XK120 — I’m very excited for that. I’ll also try and see if I can get into anything else while I’m there (Piaggio Ape, maybe?) because why the hell not? I have no idea how this will play out, but we’ll see.

What I do know is that I’m going to be in some beautiful country, surrounded by some stunning vintage racing cars, and I’m absolutely delighted. I’ll try and keep everyone updated, and I suspect Jaguar will be requesting that I install an in-car urine system in the XE — I’ll let you know how that goes, too.

My one issue is that I’m moving into a new house this month and because I’m leaving at this not-really-ideal time, it’s possible my wife will kill me. So, provided I make it through the night without being suffocated in my sleep, I’ll be in Italy sometime tomorrow, and as always I’ll do all I can to let you know what’s interesting.

Anyone ever run the Mille Miglia? Any tips? Anything exciting I should try and show you? I’m listening!

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