Before the Mille Miglia

Ferrari, Mille Miglia, klemcollToday we offer two famous images from the 1957 Mille Miglia.

On the left is a photo over the passenger’s side of a Ferrari 335 Sport on the drive from Maranello to Brescia for the scrutineering which always took place in the Piazza Vittoria in Brescia before the start of the Mille Miglia. This Ferrari is being driven by Peter Collins along with photographer Louis Klemantaski as his passenger and navigator.

Although both Collins and Klemantaski had prior Mille Miglia experience – they had finished second in 1956 in a Ferrari 860 Monza, as well as also having participated in prior years – Klemantaski, taking a lesson from what Denis Jenkinson had done with Stirling Moss in their epic 1955 victory, had constructed a similar aluminum box with rollers inside so that he could easily follow the route with his pace notes.

Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari, Mille Miglia, Brescia, klemcoll

And here the same Ferrari has arrived at the Piazza Vittoria ready for inspection by the officials. Enzo Ferrari often came to Brescia, but did not attend the start of his entries early the next morning. This Ferrari carried the number 534 which indicated its starting time. And next to his entry is Enzo Ferrari himself, watching over the inspection process.

Inside the cockpit of the Ferrari can be seen added supports with foam rubber padding to help Collins stay positioned in his seat during cornering. Where Collins could also hold onto the steering wheel, Klemantaski had been supplied with a grab bar just visible beneath the dash area on his side.

The Collins/Klemantaski car led for much of the Mille Miglia, at a pace ahead of the Moss record of 1955, until its final drive, already very noisy since the Bologna fuel stop, broke at Parma no more than 80 miles before the finish at Brescia.

Photos by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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