Villafranca, March 2012 – Those who know it call it “the most beautiful car race in the world.” And they are probably right because it is very hard to find so many marvellous cars, the culture, tradition, famous people and racing legends together with such passion in one single competition. This is why, even at its thirtieth edition, the Mille Miglia race still makes the hearts of sportsmen, enthusiasts and the thousands of people who watch it along the streets beat faster as the extraordinary line of vintage cars goes past.
Not even the Museo Nicolis di Villafranca could miss this event (one of the most important private Italian museums that boasts a collection of over 200 vintage cars) and, for this edition, it has decided to ‘go the whole hog’ by entrusting the wheel of its “Lancia Astura 1000 Miglia” to none other than Giordano Mozzi, the winner of the 2011 edition. A businessman from Mantua, he has proven experience as a racing car driver and has brilliantly participated in a large number of races. His navigator will once again be his wife, Stefania Biacca, who he describes without hesitation as “one of the best navigators in the world.”
An “extremely competitive team”, as they have already been defined in the vintage car world, an opinion totally shared by Mozzi and Biacca themselves and Luciano Nicolis, the Veronese businessman (owner of Lamacart, a leading Italian company dealing in waste paper collection and processing) and ardent collector and founder of Museo Nicolis, who participated directly in the 11th edition of the race and many other commemoration races.
The car, as the experts know and the spectators will see, is a dream.
Red, fiery, sleek, the car was built by the Colli body shop for the Ambrosiana Team in Milan, in an attempt to win the Mille Miglia in 1940 with Gigi Villoresi, the legendary driver that Luciano Nicolis knew personally and with whom he participated in some historical re-enactment races.
It is unique and is probably the one car that Luciano Nicolis is most fond of.
The extremely particular engine has two Aprilia cylinders. Able to reach a speed of 200 Kph, it took part in the 1949 Mille Miglia race with the Gordon and Lewis team and won several races with Cortese, Borelli and others.
Car is not only appreciated for its important technical characteristics, its performance and enormous reliability, but also for its ability to evoke incredible emotions. This is why, like all legends, it has a wonderful story to tell. It was, in fact, abandoned, sold to watch smugglers from which it was confiscated and then sold again at auction in Geneva. Luciano Nicolis saved it when it was already half demolished and, with the intuition of a real collector, brought it back to its original splendour, thus restoring a piece of history to Italian motor-racing which otherwise would have been lost forever. From a technical point of view, it is definitely the car that, more than others, can be linked to the world of sport in terms of its aerodynamic shape and its exquisite mechanical features.
Giordano Mozzi, supported by his formidable navigator, is not only the “right driver for the right car” but is also the partner that shares the same passion, culture, sense of challenge, enthusiasm and ability to relate to others as Museo Nicolis, not to mention the desire to protect the extraordinary patrimony that the Mille Miglia represents. Not to be forgotten is the fact that the Lancia Astura 1000 Miglia, Giordano Mozzi, Stefania Biacca and Nicolis have yet another thing in common: their determination to win the “most beautiful race in the world” for the second time running.