1954 Mille Miglia

The 1954 Mille Miglia (officially XXI Mille Miglia [1]), was a motor race open to Sports Cars, GT cars and Touring Cars. It was the 21st Mille Miglia and the third race of the 1954 World Sportscar Championship. The race was held on the public roads of Italy on 2 May 1954 using a route based on a round trip between Brescia and Rome, with the start and finish in Brescia.[2] It was won by Alberto Ascari driving a Lancia D24.

Three Lancia D24 at start at Brescia on 1 May 1954. Nearest is #540 Eugenio Castellotti, in the middle is #602 Alberto Ascari and in the back #541 Gino Valenzano.
Excited spectators as Alberto Ascari wins in his Lancia D24.
This Ferrari 500 Mondial got 2nd place, driven by Vittorio Marzotto
Umberto Maglioli in his Ferrari 375 Plus at start in Brescia

As in previous year, the event is not strictly a race against each other, as is a race against the clock. 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, Giuseppe Farina’s car had the number 606, he left Brescia at 6:06 am, while the first cars had started late in the evening on the previous day.[2]

The previous August, Italian racing legend Tazio Nuvolari died. As a mark of respect, the route of this race, near it finish would pass through Mantua, where he was a resident.[3]



A total of 483 cars were entered for the event, across nine classes based on engine sizes, ranging from up to 750cc to over 2.0 litre, for Grand Touring Cars, Touring Cars and Sport Cars. Of these, 378 cars started the event.[2]

Fresh from their loss in Florida at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Lancia entered in force with four newly revised D24 cars, these were piloted by Piero Taruffi, Alberto Ascari, Eugenio Castellotti and Gino Valenzano. The cars were modified by race car designer Vittorio Jano. These enhancements featured an enlarge version of their V6 engine, so that could produce 265 bhp.[3]

Ferrari for their part arrived with four 300 bhp 4.9 litre, Ferrari 375 Plus’s for Giuseppe Farina, Umberto Maglioli, Giannino Marzotto and his brother Paolo Marzotto. For 1954, the Mille Miglia was a round of the World Sports Car Championship; the home teams faced strong challengers. From Great Britain, came Aston Martin and Austin-Healey, and West Germany sent Porsches.[3][4]

Also amongst the entry was the four-time winner, Clemente Biondetti, but by the time of the race, he was very sick man, fighting cancer, and only had a few months left to live.[3]


The race started at 21:01 on 1 May, when Domenico Stragliotto and Adolfo Montorio departed Brescia in their Iso Isetta. The faster cars would leave the following morning, when conditions were foggy mixed with little rain. After nine and half hours, all the cars were on their way to Rome.[2][3]

The Lancias took the early lead, with Taruffi's D24 controlling the pace, averaging 108.9 mph, on the opening stages into Ravenna, with a lead of 90 seconds, over Ascari and Castellotti. The Ferrari of Maglioli was back in fourth. On the run into Rome, the Lancia of Castellotti developed distributor problems, and was forced into retirement, moving Maglioli into third. Further trouble hit the Lancia of Taruffi, when his sprung an oil leak and he soon retired. Ascari had taken it easy in the early stages, now assumed the lead.[2][3]

On the run back to Brescia, Ascari's Lancia suffered a throttle spring return failure, and this was temporarily replaced by a rubber band. This and other problems started to affect the Lancia and by the time Ascari reached Florence, he had enough and wanted to retire from the event. It was only after a long stop for repairs, he was persuaded to continue. By Bologna, all the top Scuderia Ferrari cars were out, and the path was clear for Ascari to win.[3]

For Ferrari, they had not lost a Mille Miglia since 1947, but this they were sounded thrashed by the team from Torino, with Ascari, winning in a time of 11hr 26:10mins., averaging a speed of 72.80 mph. 33:51mins adrift in second place was Ferrari 500 Mondial of Vittorio Marzotto, who salvaged some honour for Maranello marque with second place and a class win. The third different car on the podium was the Maserati of Musso. Another Ferrari came home in fourth, driven by Biondetti, in what was to be his last Mille Miglia; he was lifted exhausted from the car at the finish.[3][5][6][7]

With the British attack failing to make it back to Brescia, it was left to the Germans to provide some opposition to the Italian teams. Encountering a lowered gate at a railway crossing, the Porsche driver, Hans Herrmann drove his low 550 Spyder under it, narrowly missing an express train. This daring act gave Porsche a first in class and an amazing sixth overall.[2][8]

The event was marred by two fatal accidents, which cost the French driver, Andre Pouschol his life and that of his co-driver F. Saisse and eight spectators injured when his Citroën 15 Six crashed into a signpost near Vicenza. The second accident cost the Italian navigator, S. Dal Cin his life when F. Mancini crashed his Maserati A6GCS.[9][10][11]


Mille MigliaEdit

Of the 378 starters, 182 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(s) Entrant Car - Engine Time Reason Out
1st 602 S+2.0   Alberto Ascari Scuderia Lancia Lancia D24 11hr 26:10
2nd 523 S2.0   Vittorio Marzotto Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Mondial 12hr 00:01
3rd 500 S2.0   Luigi Musso   Augusto Zocca Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati A6GCS/53 12hr 00:10
4th 601 S+2.0   Clemente Biondetti Clemente Biondetti Ferrari 250 MM Morelli Spider 12hr 15:36
5th 506 S2.0   Bruno Venezian   Massimo Orlandi Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati A6GCS 12hr 27:43
6th 351 S1.5   Hans Herrmann   Herbert Linge Porsche Porsche 550 Spyder 12hr 35:44
7th 440 GT+1.5   Gugliemo Serafini   Carlo Mancini Scuderia Lancia Lancia Aurelia B20 12hr 47:12
8th 326 T+1.3   Piero Carinin   A. Artesiani Alfa Romeo 1900TI 12hr 51:52
9th 439 GT+1.5   Carlo Leto di Priolo   Salvatore Leto dr Prilol Fiat 8V Zagato 12hr 52.38
10th 343 S1.5   Giulio Cabianca O.S.C.A. MT4 1500 12hr 55:08
11th 305 T+1.3   Mario Della Favera   R. Artusi Alfa Romeo 1900TI 12hr 56:10
12th 428 GT+1.5   Paolo Petrobelli   Evelino Cremonesi Lancia Aurelia B20 13hr 09:42
13th 553 S+2.0   Ilfo Minzoni   Giovannu Brinci Ferrari 212 Export 13hr 10:34
14th 516 S2.0   Franco Cortese   E. Perrucchini Ferrari 500 Mondial 13hr 12:38
15th 512 S2.0   Enrico Sterzi   O. Rossi Ferrari 500 Mondial Pinin Farina Spyder 13hr 14:33
16th 425 GT+1.5   Ferdinando Gatta   Giuseppe Azzini Lancia Aurelia B20 13hr 16:06
17th 430 GT+1.5   Franco Ribaldi   Romano Basili Lancia Aurelia B20 13hr 19:49
18th 416 GT+1.5   Pierpaolo Poillucci   Manilo Poillucci Fiat 8V 13hr 25.29
19th 534 S+2.0   Innocente Baggio   E. Berni Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta 13hr 31:38
20th 524 S2.0   Luigi Oiotti   Bruno Cavallari O.S.C.A. MT4 1100 13hr 31:52
21st 411 GT+1.5   Olivier Gendebien   Charles Fraikin Olivier Gendebien Jaguar XK120 13hr 34:03
22nd 312 T+1.3   Lino Franceschetti   Polo Meo Alfa Romeo 1900TI 13hr 38:12
23rd 550 S+2.0   Lance Macklin Austin-Healey 100 13hr 38:34
24th 433 GT+1.5   Eugenio Lubich   Luigi Villotti Lancia Aurelia B20 13hr 40:39
25th 444 GT+1.5   Piero Siena   Antonio Negri Bevilacqua Lancia Aurelia B20 13hr 41:55
26th 431 S2.0   Ottavio Randaccio   P. E. Serboli Lancia Aurelia 13hr 42:45
27th 528 S2.0   Maurice Gatsonides   W. Ken Richardson Triumph TR2 13hr 52:31
28th 317 T+1.3   Siro Sbraci   Giudizi Alfa Romeo 1900TI 13hr 53:12s.
29th 229 GT1.5   Richard von Frankenberg   Heinrich Sauter Porsche Porsche 356 1500 Super 13hr 53:50
30th 331 T+1.3   Franco Marenghi   Franco Concari Alfa Romeo 1900 TI 14hr 00:53
33rd 228 GT1.5   Walter Hampel   Wolfgang von Trips Porsche Porsche 356 1300 Super 14hr 11:23
34th 219 GT1.5   Max Nathan   Helmut Glöckler Porsche 356 1300 Super 14hr 13:14
36th 424 GT+1.5   Michel Parsy   Georges Guyot Jaguar XK120 14hr 17:00
41st 156 T1.3   Ersilio Mandrini   M. Ferraris Fiat 1100/103 TV 14hr 34:35
52nd 457 S2.0   Consalvo Sanesi   Giuseppe Cagna Alfa Romeo 1900 TI 14hr 46:06
55th 349 S1.5   Gilberte Thirion   Annie Bousquet Thirion/Bousquet Gordini T15S 14hr 49:47
65th 2320 S750   René Phillippe Faure   Claude Storez DB HBR Panhard 15hr 03:16
66th 2206 T750   Jean Rédélé   Louis Pons Renault 4CV 15hr 04:33
86th 028 T1.3   Roberto Lippi   V. Galenda Fiat 1100/103 15hr 35:12
94th 507 S2.0   Leslie Brooke   Jack Fairman Triumph TR2 15hr 42:16
100th 2137 T750   Marino Guarnieri   Danilo Brancalion Renault 4CV 15hr 53:41
159th 2341 S750   Marino Brandoli   Johnny Claes Marino-Fiat Coupe 18hr 49:59
177th 2101 T750   Domenico Stragliotto   Adolfo Montorio Iso Isetta 22hr 10:02
DNF 253 T+1.3   Andre Pouschol   F. Saisse Citroën 15 Six Fatal Accident
DNF 409 S1.5   Nello Pagani Giacomo Pagani Stanguellini Bialbero DNF
DNF 519 S2.0   F. Mancini   S. Dal Cin Maserati A6GCS 6hr 31:38 Fatal Accident – Dal Cin
DNF 526 S+2.0   Paolo Marzotto   Marino Marini Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 Plus 5hr 45:57 Accident
DNF 538 S+2.0   Gianni Marzotto   Gioia Tortima Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 Plus Driver illness
DNF 539 S+2.0   Reg Parnell   Louis Klementaski David Brown Aston Martin DB3S Accident
DNF 540 S+2.0   Eugenio Castellotti Scuderia Lancia Lancia D24 Distributor
DNF 541 S+2.0   Gino Valenzano Scuderia Lancia Lancia D24 Accident
DNF 545 S+2.0   Umberto Maglioli Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 Plus 5hr 41:51 Accident
DNF 546 S+2.0   Piero Scotti Piero Scotti Ferrari 375 MM 6hr 12:53 Accident
DNF 547 S+2.0   Piero Taruffi Scuderia Lancia Lancia D24 5hr 30:19 Oil loss
DNF 548 S+2.0   Franco Bordoni   Cetti Sarbelloni Franco Bordoni Gordini T24S Accident
DNF 549 S+2.0   Gerino Gerini   Luciano Donazzolo Ferrari 250 MM DNF
DNF 558 S+2.0   Enrico Anselmi Lancia Aurelia B20 DNF
DNF 551 S+2.0   Tommy Wisdom   Mortimer Morris-Goodall Donald Healey Austin-Healey 100 8hr 02:30 DNF
DNF 547 S+2.0   Louis Chiron Donald Healey Austin-Healey 100 Brake Pipe
DNF 606 S+2.0   Giuseppe Farina   Luigi Parenti Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 Plus Accident
DNF 609 S+2.0   Peter Collins   Pat Griffith David Brown Aston Martin DB3S 6hr 08:45 Accident
DNF 613 S+2.0   George Abecassis   Denis Jenkinson H. W. Motors HWM Jaguar Shock absorber
DNF 2215 T750   Robert Manzon   Maurice Foulgoc Renault 4CV DNF
DNF 2224 T750   Guy Monraisse   Jacques Féret Renault 4CV 8hr 31:43 DNF


Class WinnersEdit

Class Winners
Vetture Sport oltre 2000 602 Lancia D24 Ascari
Vetture Sports 2000 523 Ferrari 500 Mondial V. Marzotto
Vetture Sports 1500 351 Porsche 550 Spyder Herrmann / Linge
Vetture Sports 750 2320 DB HBR Panhard Faure / Storez
Gran Turismo oltre 1500 440 Lancia Aurelia B20 Serafini / Mancini
Gran Turismo fino 1500 229 Porsche 356 1500 Super von Frankenberg / Sauter
Turismo Serie Speciale +1300 326 Alfa Romeo 1900 TI Carini / Artesiani
Turismo Serie Speciale 1300 156 Fiat 1100/103 TV Mandrini / Ferraris
Turismo Serie Speciale 750 2206 Renault 4CV Rédélé / Pons


Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Championship Points
1=   Ferrari 14
  Lancia 14
3   Osca 8
4   Maserati 5
5=   Aston Martin 4
  Austin-Healey 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 6 races could be retained by each manufacturer.


  1. ^ "Programma Ufficiale, XXI Mille Miglia (1954), www.collectorstudio.com". Retrieved on 5 April 2015
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mille Miglia 1954 - Racing Sports Cars".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "1954 Mille Miglia". 2 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Reference at www.racingsportscars.com".[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Mille Miglia Winners".
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-10-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ David Venables, “The Classic Motor Racing Circuits of Europe" (Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0 7110 3481 8, 2010)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-04. Retrieved 2014-10-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-10-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-09. Retrieved 2014-10-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "The Age - Google News Archive Search".
  12. ^ "Reference at www.teamdan.com".[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2014-10-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further readingEdit

  • 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
1954 season Next race:
24 Hours of Le Mans