Gullwing Frolics Through Gorgeous Italian Countryside in Mille Miglia Race

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Mercedes gives designer Magnus Walker a 1955 300SL from its ‘Classic Collection’ to conquer the famed 1,000-mile endurance.

Between 1927 and 1957, competitors from around the world placed themselves inside the finest high-performance machines known to humanity, and drove a single, 1,000-mile lap from Brescia to Rome, Italy and back. That affair would be known as the Mille Miglia, one twice conquered by Mercedes in 1931 and 1955.

Today, and since 1982, the Mille Miglia is a more sedate affair than the high-speed endurance race it was way back when. Nonetheless, it’s still an adventure, and Mercedes was only happy to provide famed designer and collector Magnus Walker with one of their own 300SL Gullwing units from their Classic Collection to take on the historic rally.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

“This is a new challenge for me, a new adventure to be driving this car,” Walker said. “What better way to experience life by driving. The freedom behind the open road, on the open road. It covers all the senses. I’m super-excited to be teaming up with Mercedes-Benz to do the Mille Miglia in the 300SL.”

Upon receiving instruction on how to start the black 300SL, along with their number, Walker and his romantic partner, Bloomberg cars editor Hannah Elliott, set off from Viale Venezia in Brescia to begin their journey in the Mercedes on the Mille Miglia.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

“That’s what’s great about classic cars: they have emotion,” Walker said. “They have soul, and they have character. It’s an experience; just getting in the car is adventure. It’s something you look forward to. Once you’re in it, the car sort of comes to you.”

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

“The torque of this car is pretty nice,” said fellow competitor and German race car driver Sophia Flörsch of her red 300SL Gullwing, also from Mercedes-Benz’s Classic Collection. “If you go up a little hill or mountain, exit off the corner, if you’re in the right gear, it actually kind of pushes. It’s super fun to drive. I really like it, and overtaking is also working. I’m happy.”

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

“True gearheads, true petrolheads, true car people just all speak the language of the car,” Walker said. “It’s just a matter of picking your poison, whether it’s the Mercedes-Benz or the Porsche or the Aston Martin or the Jaguar. The car is the vehicle that allows you to go on the journey. The people who drive the car create the memorable moments, create the history and the stories of the car. The greatest experience is being able to share the stories with other car people.”

It’s not Walker’s first time competing in a rally with a Mercedes, either; according to Robb Report, he also drove in the 2018 Silvretta Classic in Austria in the same black 1955 300SL Gullwing.

Photos: Screenshots

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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