The Italian Job - Three Morgans on the Mille Miglia Route

The Italian Job - Three Morgans on the Mille Miglia Route


The Mille Miglia Route.
Click on the map to see a larger version.

An introduction by Steve Uprichard

In August and September 2012 four intrepid Morganists in three Morgans set off from the south west of England to retrace the route of the Mille Miglia in Italy. It was Pete Clements’ idea and he persuaded brother Ron together with Ian and Maria Parkinson to join him. Ian did a lot of the organising, contacting continental club members  and working on the route. The Mille Miglia itself covers a mere 1,000 Roman Miles, about 1,500 km but of course, these holidaymakers had to get to the start and then back. The result was an epic journey, just short of 4,000 miles (6,400 km) through France, Italy and Germany. Pete and Ron rolled up at the Morgan Three Wheeler Club AGM weekend in Malvern to finish off their journey in style. Not only did they drive all that way, many nights were spent camping. Ian and Maria’s car was a sight to behold, laden with all the camping gear as well as two people.

Ron kept a diary and took hundreds of photos, some of which appear in a photo gallery below. Thanks too to Alessandro Natali and Barbara Simmank for more words and photos.

Here are a few snippets from Ron’s diary…..

“My brother Pete had an idea……… Italy. Spend a few weeks basking in the late Mediterranean sun, driving the Mille Miglia route down to Rome and back. It had never been done in a Morgan Three Wheeler. My response? “No way”!”

“We covered 80 kilometres in pouring rain and then had to put the tents up in a hurricane. What fun!!”

“…..we headed along the Mille Miglia route towards Sienna on the Via Cassia, a superb road for truly enjoyable driving.”

“Pete’s Matchless back-fired and shed its external flywheel.”

“To quote Ian, the Splugen Pass was “absolutely incredible, awesome, unbelievable!”. “

If you want to read Ron’s tale of their exploits, click here.

A tribute from Alessandro:

“An epic saga, made in shaking little old cars, in all weather without protection, enduring heavy rain and wind. Why did they do it? For prize money? For a medal? I think for their own satisfaction, nothing else. They know deep down they have written another page in the long history of Morgan Three Wheelers”.

An excerpt from Barbara Simmank’s notes:

“Next morning they started their trip to Germany by conquering the Passo dello Spluga 2.113m over sea level with a 10% climb and a lot of hairpin bends, but in beautiful weather. However, in Switzerland, at the valley of the river Rhine, behind Chur, they were greeted by heavy English rain, which accompanied them the whole trip along the Lake of Constance, (210 kms)…….. Now we took care of them and brought them on a 60 kms run to our home.. ….. On Monday we accompanied Ian and Maria through the Black Forest to Freiburg in our 4 wheeler. Guess what the weather did? Raining! The Clements decided to leave one day earlier. Parkinsons made their trip from our home to Verdun total 378 kms. The next day 399 kms to Dunkerque for the ferry home. Unimaginably great – what they did!”

Photos have been compiled from a number of sources including Pete and Ron Clements, Renato Bignardi, Oreste Bianchi, Alessandro Natali and Ian Parkinson. Thank you also to Francesco Ricci who gave his permission to include photos from the Kursaal Car Club celebrations.  

To view the photo gallery, click on any of the photos to bring up a larger version. You can scroll forwards and backwards using the [,] and [.] keys. Press [ESC] or click on the image to Exit.