ANTIQUE ROADSTERS RACE FROM SAN FRANCISCO NOB HILL – THE 2008 SAN FRANCISCO MILLE

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A 1940 Cadillac La Salle rests easy during the 2008 California Mille Antique Car
Show, as owner Karol Hosking luxuriates on a picture perfect San Francisco Sunday
with a glass of champagne atop Nob Hill

Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

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Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

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BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2008

Sunday climbers half-way to the stars found the destination replete with shining antique carriage chrome, buffed and pampered by the most perfect San Francisco weather of 2008.

Antique car owners participating in the 2008 San Francisco Mille Antique Car Show beamed the pride of a first-time parent to all comers — tourists, other owners, and San Franciscans knowing just where to go.

The California Mille (pronounced: MILL-ay), saluting Italy’s famed Mille Miglia (thousand mile) race that ran from Brescia to Rome to Brescia from 1927-1957, was held atop Nob Hill outside the Fairmont Hotel and within Huntington Park, lined along Mason, California and Sacramento Streets.

The event also served as a fundraiser for improvement of Huntington Park and upkeep, with indefatigable 93-year-old fundraiser Bella Farrow chairing the 2008 California Mille.

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Irrepressible Bella Farrow, chair of the 2008 California Mille fundraiser, with
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic Seán Martinfield, left, and John Rosin

Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

“Today is a beautiful day for our California Mille where we will have all of the antique racing cars from all over the world and the drivers,” Farrow told the Sentinel.

“I understand we have 77 drivers, more than we have ever had before, and it’s an interesting afternoon to see them coming in from all over the United States.

“The actual race itself of the antique racing cars will be held tomorrow morning, Monday, and it will take off from Nob Hill.”

Raffle tickets were sold for luxury accomodations at Fairmont Hotels worldwide.

“We’re having a raffle for all of the different Fairmont Hotels from all over the world and tickets are $5 each or three for $10, and they are for the Fairmont every place, you name it, you can stay at these hotels.

“It’s a fundraising event for our beautiful park across the street and to keep this part of Nob Hill clean and pristine for people to visit when they visit San Francisco.”

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Bob Weir checks out the cars within Huntington Park across from Grace Cathedral
Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

This year’s cars include some 15 Jaguars, 11 Alfa Romeos, 9 Mercedes-Benz as well as such rarely seen and exotic makes as Talbot-Lago, Nash Healey, Allard, Aceca-Bristol, Hudson Hornet, Kurtis, Cisitalia, Cunningham, and Delahaye.

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1935 Packard 1201 Coupe Roadster complete with red leather rumble seat wins the
heart at the 2008 Mille Antique Car Show atop San Francisco Nob Hill April April 27,
2008. Bob Weir at left, with Pat Murphy in longing. Lucky Everett Price of
San Francisco is the owner.

Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

Participants came from 15 U.S. states and six nations, Australia, Colombia, Switzerland, the U.K., Canada and the U.S.

Three 2008 Mille entries completed last year’s Peking-to-Paris marathon.

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Alexia and Luther Gentry enjoy the scene. They brought their 1925 Pierce-Arrow to
the show.

Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

Today, the Mille cars will line up on Mason Street, with the oldest vehicle, a 1926 Bentley 6.5 litre from Switzerland, nearest the departure arch.

At exactly 9:00 a.m. a giant Blancpain clock will strike the hour and the green, white and red Italian flag will wave the California Mille through the arch.

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The 1957 black Premier Convertable Lincoln was originally purchased during the
summer of ’57 at Van Etta Motors on Van Ness Avenue. Now, David Stauffer is the
second owner of the automobile and has only 78,837 miles on it.

Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

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David Stauffer shows original purchase documents to fellow aficionado
Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

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Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

The 1000-mile route will take the Mille west on California Street, into the Presidio, and across the Golden Gate Bridge, then northeast to Rio Vista, Walnut Grove and a lunch stop in Lodi, the heart of California’s wine industry.

The tour continues on Day 1 on Highway 88 through Jackson to Lake Tahoe and Incline Village for the night.

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Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

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Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

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Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

Day 2 will see the Mille passing through historic Grass Valley and Nevada City, then on to Yuba City and a lunch stop at Williams.

That afternoon, the group will follow Highway 20 to Nice, Lucerne, Ukiah with dinner at the Little River Inn in Mendocino.

On Day 3, the Mille will depart at 9:00 a.m. for Fort Bragg and Westport, through the Avenue of the Giants to Honeydew and lunch at Curley’s restaurant in Victorian Ferndale.

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Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

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Husband and wife duo Caryl Ritter and Roland Petersen stroll and enjoy the scenery. Earlier in the day Ms. Ritter photographed the automobiles with a fisheye lens.
Photo by Jason Steinberg © 2008

In the afternoon, the California Mille will drive to Rio Dell, onto Highway 101 to Leggett and a return to Mendocino for dinner and overnight with half the Mille group staying at the Little River Inn and the other half at the Mendocino Hotel.

Day 4 will conclude the thousand-mile adventure with a surprise.

After departing the Little River Inn, the Mille will take Highway 101 to Pt. Arena, Gualala, Valley Ford, Pt. Reyes Station, with lunch scheduled at Rancho Nicasio.

At 2:15 p.m., the Mille cars will take a loose parade formation for “the best road of the entire tour” — a drive along Ridgecrest Boulevard with the Pacific Ocean on one side and Mt. Tamalpais on the other.

After a group photo atop “Tam”, the California Mille will drive toward Mill Valley and their ultimate and secret destination.

According to organizer Martin Swig, “We’ll be the first guests at the most spectacular new lodge in the area…one that combines California history, stunning views and world class accommodations.”

That evening awards will be presented and special guests introduced at at a deluxe dinner at the new lodge.

The California Mille, a not-for-profit event presented by Amici americani della Mille Miglia, is one of series of motoring tours under the direction of Martin Swig, including The Anti-Football Drive on New Year’s Day (for car enthusiasts would would rather drive than watch football on TV) and The Mille Autunno, a fall drive from Los Angeles to Sausalito — on non-freeway roads only.

The Mille is sponsored by San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, Blancpain Watches, the Lodi Wine Growers, British Motors Jaguar, KSFO 560 AM Radio, Symbolic Motor Car Company, the Nob Hill Gazette and UBS Switzerland.

The Cars of the 2008 California Mille

1926 Bentley 6.5/8 litre LeMans
1927 Bentley 3 litre
1928 Bentley 6.5 litre
1935 Ford Zephyr
1936 Delahaye 135 S
1938 BMW 328
1939 Jaguar SS-100
1940 Buick Roadmaster
1947 Cisitalia 202
1949 Jaguar XK-120
1949 Talbot-Lago T-26
1951 Siata Gran Sport
1952 Jaguar XK-120 fhc
1952 Cunningham C-3
1952 Jaguar XKC-type
1952 Aston Martin DB2 Roadster
1952 Siata Daina Gran Sport
1952 Hudson Hornet
1953 Allard K3
1953 Kurtis 500S
1953 Bristol 401
1953 Fiat 1100
1953 Jaguar XK-120
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900
1953 Studebaker
1954 Fiat 8V
1954 Fiat Nash Healey
1954 Jaguar XK-120 OTS
1954 Jaguar XK-120SE ots
1954 Porsche 356
1954 Jaguar XK-140 SE
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1955 Maserati 300S
1955 Ferrari 225S
1955 Porsche Speedster Carrera GT
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1955 Jaguar XK-D
1955 Jaguar XK-SS
1955 MG Magnette
1955 Austin-Healey 100M
1955 Jaguar XK-140MC
1955 Lancia Aurelia GT
1956 Jaguar XK 140MC
1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
1956 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS
1957 Alfa Romeo 1900
1957 Lancia B20 Convertible
1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
1957 AC Bristol
1957 AC Bristol
1957 Alfa Romeo 1900
1957 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
1957 Maserati
1957 Porsche Speedster
1957 Porsche 356
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1957 Jaguar XK-140
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1958 Alfa Romeo Guiletta Sprint
1958 Alfa Romeo Guiletta Spider
1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1958 Lancia B24 Aurelia Spider
1959 Porsche 356
1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
1959 Lancia Appia
1960 Mercedes-Benz 220SE
1960 Ferrari 250GTE
1960 Porsche Carrera

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