Dashing designer Duncan Quinn – aka DRIVEN’s own 007 – traveled to Italy last week to take part in the famed Mille Miglia, “the most beautiful road race in the world,” featuring scores of priceless classic sports cars speeding from Brescia to Rome and back again.

Here’s his report from the field:

It is a rare thing that causes me true pause.  Sophia Loren in her prime.  A Lamborghini Miura.  A perfectly executed French 75.

Now extend that pause and put it on pause.

‘Name your dream car, and there was at least one here.  So much amazing machinery was on display it simply couldn’t be processed’

The biggest wall of the biggest room of the most fanatical nine-year-old boy could not possibly cope with the breadth and depth of truly fantastical machinery that partakes in the annual Mille Miglia on some of the most magical roads in the world.

Cars that you read about in books, hear snippets of on blogs.  The holy grail of petrolheads.

Mercedes 300SL Gullwings?  Two a penny.  Ferrari Daytonas and F40s?  Tripping over them.

Bugatti, Bentley, Porsche, Jaguar, AC, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati, Austin Healey… name your dream car, and there was at least one here.  So much amazing machinery was on display it simply couldn’t be processed.

In the space of 24 hours I got behind the wheel of a multimillion–dollar Blower Bentley from the ’30s (above) and negotiated a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti around some breathtaking turns.

In short: This event is silly.  Ridiculous.  Nuts.

‘A Gumball Rally for grownups with more history, more style and simply more madness than I could possibly describe’

A Gumball Rally for grownups with more history, more style and simply more madness than I could possibly describe.

In the words of Franco in the 1976 movie this was truly a case of the First Rule of Italian Driving – “What is-a behind me, is-a not important.”

Police escorts waved us on to go faster than the 100 mph+ we were passing them at, and motorcycle cops helped clear the way of traffic so we could truly enjoy the roads as the thronging crowds screamed at us to “Vai! Vai!” at the top of their lungs.

Given the circumstances it would have been rude not to drive like a gentleman rogue and keep everyone happy.

So I did.

– DQ

Earlier: Our Man at the Ferrari Factory

Photos ©Daniel Evanko. Click to enlarge: