The ALLURE of Rallies & Tours 33 N at i o n a l T o u r s ously put up with extreme inconvenience in receiving guests). The Nob Hill residents welcomed participants despite the noise and traffic disruption. Now, the California Mille has become a city institution. Route and Car Selection The wine country, north coast, and Sierra Nevada range of California offer a combina- tion of great drivers’ roads, light traffic and charming destination hotels. We felt that we could equal Italy on hospitality, while of- fering a better driving experience because of the endless choice of scenic, challenging, traffic-free coastal and mountain roads. The key to making our event a success were two early decisions: one, to keep the event small (around 70 entries) in order to let us use charming, smaller hotels and restaurants; and two, rather than just using a map, Ken and Martin always drove every mile to get a feel for how the event would flow. This is still done today, with planning the routes with the goal being to have segments suitable for various types of cars. We always supplied souvenir photos. The late Bob Dun- smore was always the official photographer for Steve Earle’s Monterey Historics. He became our photographer and the sight of his huge form recklessly standing in the middle of some road to get the perfect shot will be recalled by all of those who witnessed him. This tradition continues but now Zach Hammer provides the photographs for our now tradi- tional souvenir photo album. The range of cars entered over 24 years is extraordinary. The strive to apply our pre-1958 rule to curate the best group of Mille Miglia era cars that we can find. Alfa Romeo Giuliettas and 1900s, Porsche 356s and Jaguar XK-120s have been popular “bread and butter” entries. Pre-War cars like an Alfa 6C/8C or Blower Bentley add breadth to the field, as do American cars such as Chrysler 300s, Carrera Panamericana Lincolns, Fords and Buicks, which would have done well, had America run a Mille Miglia. EvenastheMilleMigliaspiritspreadtoArgentina, Japan and Australia, those who are lucky enough to have done them all would likely agree that California offers the best motoring playground for our cars. The savvy participants know the most important people onourstaffarethemechanics.ConradStevensonand JereBrownhavebeenourtechnicalsupportforyears. And if they can’t fix your car, George Powning’s flat- bed will rescue you. The mechanics’ job is especially challenging. They are allotted 30 minutes to fix your car; our thinking is that the problem is usually mi- nor and can be dealt with in 30 minutes. If it can’t be fixed in 30 minutes, it’s probably a major breakdown, so we need to free up the mechanics to deal with other cars’ troubles. This event is recognized as one of, if not, The Most Significant classic car tours in the United States. California_Mille_Intro.indd 33 12/21/17 11:33 PM