The first Italian Grand Prix was held in 1921 in a circuit near the town of Brescia, a location that had seen auto races since the early 1900s and was considered to be the birthplace of Italian motorsport.
However soon afterward, a new circuit was built near Monza that became the site of the Italian Grand Prix in 1922. And as a result, miffed residents of Brescia started plotting to bring racing glory back the town.
It was decided that the cars would drive entirely on public roads from Brescia to Rome and back to Brescia when one of the brains behind the race exclaimed “That’s a thousand miles” giving the race it’s name - Mille Miglia.
This #349 Porsche 550 RS aka Porsche 550 Spyder was a class winner (and 5th overall) at the last edition of the Mille Milgia in 1957 with Umberto Maglioli in the saddle.
Low slung and rather aerodynamic, the Porsche 550 RS was perhaps the first Porsche built specifically for racing and was an immediate success, winning at Nurgburgring in 1953 and finishing 1-2 at Le Mans a few months later.
Only 90 were built by Porsche between 1953-56, but the 550 has since become one of the most commonly replicated cars, not just because of its racing heritage, but also because of James Dean and his “Little Bastard”, the 1955 550 RS that he was driving when he crashed en route to a race.