The Mille Miglia (1000 miles in Italian) was staged for the first time in 1927. This open-road endurance race was held a total of 24 times until 1957 when two drivers were killed in crashes. It was revived in 1977 and is now exclusively limited to cars and models registered in the original events that took place from 1927 to 1957. The event also draws some celebrities, as now retired, Jay Leno participated in the race.
This year's event featured over 400 entries, though only 358 finished. (Full Results).
The Mille Miglia is a race but it is not about flat out speed. Drivers are penalized for arriving at check points too early as the race is more about maintaining an average speed. Even though the modern Mille Miglia is about safety it doesn't prevent crashes as this year saw the destruction of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing estimated to be worth $1.1 million. The Mercedes was struck head-on by a BMW 1 series. Both drivers are ok, though we imagine that whoever gets the bill will wish they had died.
For some footage of what it is like, we suggest checking out the video below as Chris Harris of Drive took part in the race last year.