The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart is bringing to life the Mille Miglia, the legendary Italian 1,000-mile road race.

The special exhibition, “Mille Miglia – Passion and Rivalry”, which will run from 10 October 2012 to 6 January 2013, presents fascinating racing sports cars from Mercedes-Benz and competitor vehicles built by prestigious Italian manufacturers. A total of nine vehicles are on display.

“As perhaps the toughest road race in the world, the Mille Miglia typifies the passion and rivalry of the sport like almost no other event”, says Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. “With the special exhibition, a piece of German-Italian racing history is coming to the Mercedes-Benz Museum. In particular, I’m looking forward to what will be a genuine premiere: for the first time, we will be exhibiting our racing cars with vehicles from our competitors.”

Since the legendary “Mille” successes of Mercedes-Benz, the history of the brand and that of the Mille Miglia have been inseparably linked. On two occasions, Mercedes-Benz crossed the finish line as winners at the end of the 1,000 miles: in 1931 (Rudolf Caracciola in the SSKL model), and in 1955 (Stirling Moss in the 300 SLR). A further highlight was the second-place finish by Karl Kling in 1952, when the 300 SL (W 194) racing car was used for the first time.

The special exhibition, “Mille Miglia – Passion and Rivalry”, which has been organised in cooperation with the Museo Mille Miglia in Brescia, focuses on this fascinating chapter in racing history. For example, memories of 1931, the year of the Caracciola triumph, are evoked by a Mercedes-Benz SSK, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS and an OM 655 Superba. From the year 1952, there are the Ferrari 225 S, Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and Lancia Aurelia B20. The legendary one-two victory by Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955 is documented with a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, a Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti and a Maserati A6 GCS. The special exhibition in the Collection 5 room will be supplemented by photographs and stories about the drivers in this celebrated Italian long-distance event.

The name Mille Miglia stands for what is probably the most famous road race in the world. Each of the 24 times the race was held between 1927 and 1957 was characterised by a fierce level of competition and a supreme challenge for men and machines, in which legendary rivalries marked the racing encounters. The focus of competition was frequently between racing cars from Mercedes-Benz and vehicles from Italian brands such as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati and OM. Additional excitement was provided by the test of strength between the often audacious race drivers. The Mille Miglia was raced without any breaks or other interruptions over a route of 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from Brescia to Rome and back. Today, it survives as an endurance race.