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Two car designers, one classic BMW, and one of the most infamous road races in the world—sounds ripe for a buddy comedy from the 80s, but it was actually the 2011 Mille Miglia: featuring BMW designer Adrian van Hooydonk, Swiss industrial designer Alfredo Häberli, and a classic 1930s BMW 328.
What do a bunch of turtleneck wearers know about auto racing, scorpion bites, and bribing Carabinieri? Actually, van Hooydonk took part in last year’s race, and this year the BMW team set out from Brescia on the 12th, reached the staging posts in Bologna and Rome, and made it back to Brescia by the 15th, without ending up in jail or any Weekend-At-Bernies-type shenanigans.
The BMW 328 was chosen as this year is its 75th anniversary—it debuted in 1936, and is one of BMW’s most famous prewar cars. ”For me the race was a first,” said Häberli. “I was particularly delighted to be driving in the Mille Miglia with Adrian van Hooydonk. Plus, it was a tremendous opportunity to get a close-up look at the many classics taking part. They all combine emotion with functionality – two criteria on which I also place great value.”
BMW sought fit to commemorate the designers’ triumph by designing (get it?) an expensive leather jacket for the occasion, which they donned during the race to increase their street cred (and to attract the ragazza davvero bella). The two presumably survived without incident, and will be sure to enter next year with typical Germanic focus, dedication, and charm.
How do you celebrate a very special anniversary? Well, if you’re Chopard and Alfa Romeo, you commission a very special line of timepieces.
To mark their birthdays – 2010 sees Chopard celebrating 150 years and 100 years for Alfa Romeo – the two decided to join forces and to launch three new classic sport watches. And the two brands have an intertwined history together. For more than two decades, Chopard has had a strong presence in the World of Classic Racing, serving both as a sponsor and Official Timekeeper for the Mille Miglia race. It also turns out the Alfa Romeo’s cars have the honor of bringing in the most wins in this particular race, with a grand total of 11.
The anniversary line includes the GT XL Chrono Alfa Romeo and the Gran Turismo XL Alfa Romeo. The GT XL comes in stainless steel or black DLC-coated steel, while the Gran Turismo features a black dial with red hands and indexes as well as the logo of both brands. Both come equipped with COSC-certified in-house automatic movements, 46-hour power reserve, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, 44mm cases and Chopard’s signature vintage Dunlop-inspired rubber straps. Like any special occasion, these timepieces won’t last long. Only 500 of each of the three watches will be offered, along with a table clock in PVD-coated steel and a black leather, red-stitched case, and an additional travel alarm clock.
BMW has announced that it will build just 99 special edition Z4 sDrive35is Mille Miglia models in celebration of the 70h anniversary of the BMW 328′s impressive performance at the historic race. The 328, we’ll remind you, took not only first place, but third, fifth and sixth.
As an sDrive 35is model, this Z4 gets 340-hp from a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and BMW’s impressive 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Outside this Mille Miglia limited edition model is easily distinguishable due to its matte Polaris Metallic paint job and black front grille. It also gets an M aero kit and 19-inch Dark Chrome wheels. And because it’s a drop-top, BMW didn’t skimp on the interior, coating the seats in a dark gray Alcantara with red diamond stitching that would get a nod of approval from the folks at Lamborghini. Finally, there are the obligatory Mille Miglia badges.
GALLERY: BMW Z4 sDrive35is Mille Miglia
Mercedes-McLaren to unveil yet another special-edition SLR… when will the madness end?
It seems as though the Mercedes-McLaren partnership releases a new special edition version of the SLR every week. This week it’s the SLR Stirling Moss edition, a topless version of the SLR designed to celebrate Moss’s many Mille Miglia victories during the 1950s.
Ironically, Mercedes actually says the car that is not intended for the racetrack – hardly a fitting homage to Stirling Moss.
Power is still served up in massive doses, however, with the standard supercharged V-8 pumping out 650hp.
And while the supercar sans-windshield looks like something out of a Marvel Comic (or out of the Ambiguously Gay Duo’s garage), it does evoke a certain nostalgic resemblance to open-top autos from days gone by.
The design is undeniably unique and it’s hard not to love the front bumper redesign.
Located in the trunk are two body panels that can be placed over the open cockpit, transforming the sleek machine into a genuine automotive piece of sculpture.
The SLR Stirling Moss edition will also be priced like a piece of fine art at 750,00 Euros ($1.5 million). Only 75 units will be made.
Mercedes describes the Stirling Moss edition SLR as the “crowning glory” to the SLR family. One can only hope that means McLaren will now stop beating this dead horse.
Official press release after the jump: