La Festa Mille Miglia 2006
[Motivation for the event]

In 1997, on the 70th anniversary of the Italian Mille Miglia event, La Festa Mille Miglia was inaugurated in Japan. And now we have reached the 10th anniversary of this event thanks to the enthusiasm of the many people who support it.

Prior to the first La Festa Mille Miglia in 1997, we engaged in extensive preparations over a period of three years. This involved repeated public explanations of the purpose, significance and actual details of the event to the residents of the various places the rally passes through and the related official organizations. This required us to explain the classic car culture of the Italian Mille Miglia as it is recreated in Japan. Eventually, after nearly a decade of efforts, we were able to convince those concerned of the true motivation and purpose of La Festa Mille Miglia, which should not be perceived as just a motor sports event.

To date, La Festa Mille Miglia has visited places of historic interest and scenic beauty located in about 200 cities and towns and 12 prefectures nationwide, and our rally cars have been warmly received by over a million spectators along the route. From the first year onwards, we have engaged in fund raising activities for orphans resulting from traffic accidents and for environmental preservation.
As we prepare for the 10th event, we feel that many people are now aware that La Festa Mille Miglia is an annual classic car event held over a 1,000-mile route.

Of all the 9 events so far, the 5th event, held in 2001, is the one that has left me with the deepest impression. One reason is that His Imperial Highness Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, who graciously shows understanding for the fundamental concepts of this event, has acted as Honorary President since the 5th La Festa Mille Miglia. Another reason is this year, 2002, was designated as “Italy Year in Japan” and La Festa Mille Miglia was recognized as an official event by the Italian Government. To mark these two honors, we changed the goal point from Hakone to Odaiba Seaside Park, a new popular venue in Tokyo. Participants included the famous racing driver Sir Stirling Moss and his wife and ten cars from overseas. The opening event was held in the presence of His Imperial Highness Prince Tomohito of Mikasa.

From the 2002 event onward, La Festa Mille Miglia has been officially recognized by FIVA (Federation internationale des vehicules anciens - International Classic Car Association located in Paris), and this is the only international rally in Asia to be recognized with this honor. From that year onward, La Festa Mille Miglia became an international annual event and FIVA adjudicators have attended the event. To mark La Festa Mille Miglia becoming an international event, from 2002 we formed a planning committee and decided that from 2004 the goal point should be located in Motomachi, a suburb of Yokohama, one of Japan’s great international cities. This is especially fitting, as in 2009 Yokohama, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the port to international trade.

Last year, “Il Museo della Mille Miglia” was completed in Brescia, in the north of Italy, also the home of the Mille Miglia event. This splendid museum shows the history and traditions of Mille Miglia from 1927 to the present time. In one part of the museum there is a La Festa Mille Miglia display, and we are very honored by this.

The three fundamental concepts underlying the spirit of this event have not changed since its inception. And we intend to maintain these principles intact as long as the event is held.

“Maintaining the spirit of revering the ancient”
“Demonstrating that mature generations still keep the flame of youthful enthusiasm in their hearts”
“Linking the participants in a circle of friendship”

We feel that this 10th La Festa Mille Miglia event is just one more step forward, and a point of passage on the way to realizing our ultimate dreams.

By holding La Festa Mille Miglia event, we hope that we will be able to show the world many of the places of historic interest and scenic beauty of Japan, expand the circle of friendship we have created, demonstrate the vitality and enthusiasm of the more mature generations, and reinforce the spirit of preserving things of worth. We feel this will transform La Festa Mille Miglia from a temporary event to an element in the culture of Japan. These are our true ultimate objectives.

We believe that “Strength lies in Continuity” … In fact, we have in no way lost our enthusiasm, and we are committed to sustained progress to realize our dreams.

Organizing Committee - La Festa Mille Miglia 2006