European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives May 11 1968, Page 11

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - May 11, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseWolf Lapp lir i list Thamille Miglia s last mile up de Portage confers with official at Florence checkpoint it was near end of the line for Marquis and navigator Eddy Nelson. By Christopher Mitson up staff write a tire exploded and the Speed ing blood red Ferrari sports car twisted snaked and skidded sideways off the Highway into the crowd smash ing bodies about like ten pins. In a moment 10 spectators were dead and dozens injured. That disaster on May 12, 195711 years ago brought Toan end the epic extravaganza that was the greatest town to town Road race of them All. The Mille Miglia one thousand Miles was a wild and sometimes reckless race which ran through narrow streets wind ing lanes express highways and Moun Tain passes from Brescia to Rome Ansback again. Professional Drivers said it was a race in which one sometimes needed courage to go mixed together competing against the clock wore factory cars capable of180-190 Miles per hour and utile fits Oscas and tiny Cisi Talias entered by local racers anxious for their hour of glory. The professionals knew they did thave to make a showing for the crowd just to finish was in itself an achieve ment. But the once a year enthusiasts seemed always anxious to put their Street cars through whatever paces they could Muster. The Mille Miglia was notorious for it wrecks and near disasters. When disaster finally came the crash of the Ferrari the government stepped in and canned the race was perhaps the ultimate in racing. The course so Long that it was impossible to memorize wound through cities to and villages South to Rome parallel with the Mediterranean coast. Me cars would Streak at near impose Hon speeds through cobbled streets sible Fitu 6" to Guiou Ovid Bijj villagers edging the Road and big crowds without Protection at every dangerous Corner. A Slom Rome the cars would Heads across four Mountain passes and a tnrou8h More towns and Vil-alo�8 the Adriatic coast and then again to Brescia. It exerts said no one but an Many signposts on the Long and com Al to read directions a have to slow Dow � Ai d a was us As Good. Nov wrong just a i 4urudolf Caracciola a German despite the name came Home the win Al Ida i May 11, 1968 Ner but then the cars were slower an the danger perhaps a Little less. The legendary Stirling Moss consid ered the greatest Driver of them All was the Only other non italian Victor. Hewon in 1955 in record time. Navigators Rode with Drivers in therace but Moss knew that neither he nor any navigator could Hope to learn the1,000-mile course without interminable enlisted the services of a fellow englishman Denis Jenkinson a former motorcycle Sidecar racing Champion to plot the course on strips of paper using any landmark they could find. The strips of paper ultimately ran to 17 feet enclose writing. Moss drove a huge and powerful Mer cedes 300slr, the fastest sports car of its Day. Jenkinson screamed direction sat him for More than 10 hours and they crossed the line to set an All time rec Ord average Speed of close to 100 maintain that average through Back country roads and towns they ran along the straighter highways at 170-180m.p.h., sliding into Corners and soaring As far As 100 feet through the air after belting Over Hump Back Bridges. They tried to better that fantastic performance in 1957. This time Moss had an even faster car a 450-horsepower, lightweight Mon Ster shot off the ramp at Brescia and Tore Down the tree lined via re Baffione at the Start. Five Miles later they were heading into a Bend at 130. Moss braked gently and the Brake pedal snapped off. Somehow he slowed the roaring sports car to walking had to jump out to halt it. Piero Maruffi won the 24th an last Mille Miglia at the age of 54. He was among the very few who really knew the twists and turns of the 1, Miles. Yet it took Maruffi the Silver fox13 attempts before he won. Alfonso de Portage bom a Marquis in his native Spain had no obsession for the Mille Miglia or any other race. A noted Playboy but still a More than competent professional de Portage cheerfully admitted that he raced Only for publicity to launch him on a political career. His family had held High posts in the Spanish government for almost 500 years. De Portage dreamed of becoming foreign minister or at the very least a ranking Diplomat. His biggest headlines came with the1957 Mille Miglia. De Portage and his navigator Eddy Nelson died in the Ferrari which Sla rued into the crowd and ended for All time the greatest Road race of them All. In route to watery Stop Ferrari car killed 10 spectators the two Drivers the stars and stripes up and incidentally the Mille Miglia. Page

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