A Word from Martin Swig on the California Mille 2012
For the 22nd year, anti-car San Franciscans will be reminded that historic cars are significant, as we gather on Nob Hill on the last Sunday in April, prior to our four-day, 1,000 mile adventure on the back roads of California.
The usual Alfa Romeos, Porsches, and Ferraris will be joined by a pair of 1954 Talbot Lago T-26 Gran Sports, a ’40 Buick and other uncommon cars. The Mille is neither a race nor a rally; we are simply people who love to exercise our old cars on the varied topography offered in Northern California.
You might wonder what is the attraction of driving an old, potentially unreliable car long distances. We find it a challenge, enjoying the non-freeway roads and coping with the eccentricities of a 50+ year-old car.
It’s also an adventure each time you buy gas. The locals are usually anxious to talk, so you meet people you never would if you pulled up in your newish car.
The old car makes you very aware of its mechanisms, unlike a new one where everything is hushed and easy.
In 2012, we’ll drive from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, then on a second day, around the lake and into Nevada. Our third day will take us across California to Calistoga. A final day will run out to the coast and back for a final dinner celebration.
Chubb is an important sponsor – most memorable because the two Chubb drivers also help with mechanical problems en route – something no sponsor has ever done before. Very much appreciated by participants.
* Mandatory field.