In 26 editions, a total of 19 models from various makes won the rally - in many cases, just as they did in the great speed races of their time.
If there is something that stands out in classic sports car rallies is the variety and uniqueness of the models making up the caravans. Throughout 26 editions, the 1000 Millas Sport of the Republic of Argentina has had the privilege of having unique pieces, some especially sent from the Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Alfa Romeo or Audi museums; others brought with much pride by their owner-collectors.
Not only for what they stood for industrially or commercially, but also from a strictly sporting point of view, the vehicles that have won the most important regularity rally of Argentina and South America bear a rich and valuable history.
1- The 1965 Mustang, the most successful model since the Ford A (more than one million units sold), was the first winner of the 1000 Millas in 1989. With this sports coupé, top executives at Ford wanted to compete directly with their rivals on a professional circuit. The "fastback" version (third type of body of the model) was the basis on which the Shelby GT350 was created.
2- The Alfa Romeo Montreal, introduced as a concept car in 1967 in the Canadian city by the same name, became an automobile dominated by its engine. Apart from the T33, no other model of the Milanese make shares its 200-hp V8. Both its body, semi-handmade by Bertone, and its engine, made the Montreal a car as or more expensive than a Jaguar E or a Porsche 911. Although its mechanics is fit for competition, this Alfa never triumphed in speed racing, although it did in 1990 and 1994, in the 1000 Millas with Lorenzo "Lory" Barra behind the wheel.
3 - Of Maserati Mistral, which replaced the 3500GT, between 1964 and 1970, 830 Mistral coupés and 125 Mistral Spyder were manufactured. "Lory" triumphed with this one in the 1000 Millas as well, in 1991. This model is considered Frua's most beautiful design, and the model is recognized as the most outstanding player of the time.
4 - The Porsche 356 was the first sports car manufactured by the German make between 1948 and 1965 with multiple successes in rallies, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1000 kilometers of Buenos Aires, the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio and Carrera Panamericana, and many other competitions. While Fernando Sánchez Zinny in 1992 gained the first of his four victories, the Italian Giuliano Cané, with the 1958 Speedster version, became the first foreigner to win the 1997 edition.
5 - It was also the European specialist in skill and regularity tests who, representing the BMW museum, was able to repeat victory in the following year, but on board a 328 Roadster. This is a typical example of a car that was born for racing because, before mass production (with a total of 464 units), a prototype driven by Ernst Henne won the Eiffel race in 1936. Then came the successes in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this time covered by a Touring coupé body.
6 - The Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was included in the range of sports cars with engines of under 12 cylinders (equipped with a V8) and was designed to compete against the Porsche 911. With 3.0 liters and 225 hp, it was Bertone who faced the design challenge. The GT4 was the only Ferarri 2 + 2 to have ever competed without factory support, but gave the Prancing Horse a spot in the Gold Album of the 1000 Millas with a triumph in 1993 by "Pepe" Eliçabe.
7 - The Roadster Triumph TR-3 was designed with the idea to market an English sports car that was not too expensive, while maintaining all the class and the benefits expected from a high-end car. The RT-3A version is launched in 1957 where the original design suffered some modifications. Then in 1962, the TR-3B is launched targeting the American market, with changes in the engine and the addition of a box of 4 synchronized gears. These cars won three times the 1000 Millas: 1995 and 1996 with Sánchez Zinny behind the wheel and in 2011 with Daniel Erejomovich.
8 - Luciano Viaro was the second Italian to join the list of winners and two of the three times he won (1999 and 2001), it was with a Giulietta Sprint Veloce. A car that Alfa Romeo manufactured in different versions with a quick success in sales and sporting results: in 1957 it won the Rally of Corsica.
9 - As a result of the handicap in favor of vehicles built before the war (until 1945), since 2002 to this date, only once (2011) did a F1 category car win (manufactured between 01/01/1961 and 31/12/1965). However, in 2000, Martín Sucari with a Maserati 4CS 1100 was the first to start this supremacy. This Maserati, which debuted at the 1931 Mille Miglia (and later won four times in its class) in 1934 under the command of Piero Taruffi, achieved the fifth place in the overall positions, beating more powerful vehicles.
10 - Another prominent Alfa Romeo in the 1000 Millas (2002, 2005 and 2008) was the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS. Its history indicates that it was especially designed for competitions: Tazio Nuvolari led it to victory in the IV Coppa delle Mille Miglia and Giuseppe Campari repeated the feat in 1931. Other victories included the 24 Hours of Spa, and the Tourist Trophy. Of the 1750, six series were manufactured, and about 2,500 units.
11 - The Buga-Tina team in 2003 achieved the double feat: winning the historical Mille Miglia (first Argentine duo to do so) and the 1000 Millas, on board a 1929 Bentley Type. A car and a make highly regarded at the time, both for the quality as well as the sporting successes achieved: record speeds and endurance, participations in Indianapolis, Isle of Man, Brooklands and Le Mans, where they won five times (1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930) but in the 1929 edition, they ranked amongst the first four.
12 - In 2004, the first of its three wins in the 1000 Millas, Claudio Scalise achieved it on an Aston Martin Le Mans. A car that stands out for its magnesium and aluminum alloy rods, which increased compression to 7.5:1 and reached 70 CV. This sports car re-launched the brand: Aston Martin sold 129 units in the early years and also harvested great victories in the English races and also in continental competitions.
13 - The Bugatti Type 35 is considered as the most successful racing model in history. The numbers testify to this: countless victories, World Champion in the 1926 Grand Prix and winner of the Targa Florio from 1926 to 1929 and the Monaco Grand Prix in 1929. It all started in the Lyon Grand Prix of 1924 when Bugatti introduced a new model with new features never seen before: an attractive aerodynamic design, a 2-liter V8 engine, aluminum wheels with built-in brake drums among other features. The Bugatti Type 35A was also built, which already cruised the streets and allowed many amateurs to participate in less demanding races. With this car, the team Buga-Tina won in 2006 and with a 1927 Bugatti Type 40, Juan Tonconogy in 2010.
14 - Fangio, five times F1 world champion, achieved his other four successes aboard the 1936 Riley Sprite. A car that stood out in Le Mans in 1934, finishing second, third, fifth and sixth, winning the Rudge-Whitworth Cup, the Team Award, two class awards, and the Ladies Award. It also stood out in the Ulster TT, in Brooklands and in smaller events. The engineer and conductor, Freddie Dixon was responsible for major improvements to the engine and chassis tuning, creating a series of "specials" further exploiting the basic design of the Riley, which contributed to a great extent to its success on the track. Mike Hawthorn managed to succeed with the Sprite before venturing into the F1 and becoming world champion.
Considering all this history, the following is the opinion of the President of the Club de Automóviles Sport, Diego Gutiérrez Eguía, on sports cars and the 1000 Millas:
“The 1000 Millas Sport of the Republic of Argentina is one of the historical sports vehicle trials that values the originality of participating cars.
Over time, sports cars have been divided into sports competition cars, sports tourism cars, and dual-purpose sports cars: tourism and competition.
The historic sports car usually does not have many luxury items or comfort, but the pleasure of driving it as it was envisioned by its manufacturer, is what prevails.
The historic sports car must remain as the manufacturer originally placed it on the tracks and/or roads. It should not be modified to improve comfort or performance. It should not receive power steering if the designer did not want it, or a gear box other than the original, for easier driving.
This is the spirit of the sports car and this is the spirit of the 67-year-old Club de Automóviles Sport of the Republic of Argentina.”