Volkswagen Has Entered Two Vintage Beetles In The Mille Miglia To Honor The End Of An Era
The Mille Miglia is arguably the most famous road race in the world. First run in 1927, the grueling 1000-mile event was held over three days with competitors racing From Brescia to Rome and back again. Apart from a break during WWII, the Mille Miglia was run each year and continued to be an extremely popular event until two fatal crashes marked its end in 1957. Revived as the Mille Miglia Storica in 1977, the event now caters for pre-1957 cars that once competed in the original race and remains a tough event for both cars and competitors alike.
The 2019 Mille Miglia is currently underway (running between 15 and 18 May) and Volkswagen has chosen this historic event to bid farewell to the Beetle which is ending production this year. Taking part in the event are a 1951 ‘Pretzel’ Beetle and a 1956 ‘Ovali’ Beetle, both have been modified to replicate their historical predecessors. The regulations only allow cars to take part if they can demonstrate that they were involved in the Mille Miglia between 1927 and 1957, and their parts are all in accordance with the originals. The Diamond Green Ovali Beetle is an authentic replica, built exclusively by Volkswagen Classic for its outings in 2011 and 2012, and generates a 55kW (75hp) from its rear-mounted Porsche engine. The second, Reseda Green Beetle has been modified with various Porsche parts and produces 44kW (60hp). This Beetle was assembled according to the original “Dapferle” documents and Strähle’s registration for the 1954 Mille Miglia.
Beetles from this era achieved some impressive results competing at the Mille Miglia: racer Paul-Ernst Strähle surprised many with his modified Beetle dubbed “Dapferle” back in 1954, which took overall victory in the 1300cc class and third place in the 1500cc class. The current-generation Beetle will be offered in a Final Edition trim to mark the end of its 21-year production run this summer and these two classic Beetles will be giving a worthy send-off on this challenging event.
Images courtesy of Volkswagen