‘Warm up USA’ teams gain starting berths in 1000 Miglia

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1000 Miglia
A 1959 Alfa Romeo 2000 Touring cruises past the Capitol Building on the rally route | 1000 Miglia photos

John and Julie Herlihy and their 1953 Jaguar XK 120 OTS roadster won the inaugural 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA competition and the first Coppa USA (USA Cup) as the event ended Monday in Washington, D.C. 

The rally was staged in northern Virginia and in the District of Columbia, but it ended on Italian soil, at Villa Firenze, the home of the Italian Ambassador.

John and Julie Herlhy on their way to victory in their 1953 Jaguar XK120

The Herlihys were joined on the podium by Eric Oberlander and Scott Laroque, who drove a 1956 Ferrari GT Boano coupe to second place and first in the novice class, and by Josh and David Simpson, who were third overall in a 1956 Jaguar XK 120.

Meanwhile, Randy Simon and Sharon Swart drove a 1963 Lancia Flaminia Touring Spider to victory in the Post 1000 Miglia Era class.

“Introducing the 1000 Miglia to a U.S. audience is an important step toward our goal of broadening awareness outside of Italy,” said Alberto Piantoni, chief executive of the 1000 Miglia (aka Mille Miglia).

1957 Maserati 300S on the route in northern Virginia

“Thanks to 1000 Miglia, to the passion for, and dedication to historical cars, to the love for Italy and Italian traditions, we have brought a quintessential Italian experience to the US,” added Armando Varricchio, the Italian Ambassador in the US.

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“Together we have embarked in a new adventure that is now becoming a wonderful tradition.

The event drew 22 entries. The Coppa USA winner and five additional teams were awarded guaranteed entries into the 1000 Miglia race taking place May 13-16, 2000, in Italy.

Rally ends at the residence of the Italian ambassador
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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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