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.