La Festa Mille Miglia 2010:
A Thousand-Mile Celebration
La Festa Mille Miglia, which began in 1997, has been the only international classic car tour in Asia since 2002 that meets the international standards recognized by the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA). The spirit of the festival, which promotes respect for our traditions, staying young at heart, and friendship among participants, has remained unchanged in its fourteen years of operation.
In the first ten years of the twenty-first century, we have seen the construction of better and faster freeways and bullet trains and a mind-blowing development in technology such as GPS, computers, and mobile phones. Anyone can travel to anywhere in the country quickly and effortlessly. Life is completely different from what it used to be half a century ago.
The classic cars that participate in this tour were built over fifty years ago—they are not equipped with computers or automotive navigation systems. They are obstinate machines that can only be tamed with the driver’s physical strength and acute senses. Profound knowledge and technical experience working with classic vehicles, weather, luck, one’s partner’s advice, preparations prior to the event, and various other elements play a part in successfully finishing the thousand-mile tour. The sight of a classic car clipping by is certainly elegant, but to achieve this elegance, the participants pour their untiring efforts into the preparation of this event, much like a graceful swan that propels its legs restlessly underwater.
Nowadays, playing music is as easy as selecting a CD and pushing a button. But just a few decades ago, listening to music involved a meticulous ritual of slipping the LP out of its jacket and lifting the tone arm to gently place the needle in the groove. Regardless of the trouble it took, the soothing effect that the music had on us was well worth the effort and the occasional crackle and pop. We find this process similar to the thousand-mile challenge. The participant may encounter difficulties along the way, but the event reawakens the adventurer within the participant and provides a valuable opportunity to spend some quality time with one’s vehicle.
Much like the famed Stradivarius or a masterpiece of art, the majority of the participating vehicles were built by hand, and hence the soul of the creator makes up for the lack of an on-board computer. It is perhaps the unique quality of these historic cars that fascinates enthusiasts. As the Confucian proverb goes, we learn new things by studying the past. La Festa Mille Miglia will continue to preserve and pass down the tradition and precious cultural assets—historic vehicles—to the future generations.
The Organizing Committee of La Festa Mille Miglia 2010