The winner that year, Alberto Ascari, completed the thousand mile journey from Brescia through Pescara, Rome, Pisa, Florence, Bologna, Modena, Palma and back to Brescia in about 11.5 hours, having started at 6:02 in the morning. 602 would therefore have been the race number of his car. Cipella’s number is 2100, which indicates that he started at 9pm...the evening before!
Since, as if there weren’t enough hazards blocking their passage back to the finishing line, the leading contenders would also be required to negotiate their way through a seething mass of automotive dross, as they battled their way to fortune and glory. It took 22 hours for Mario to complete his personal circumnavigation. Beating three similar Isettas and two Fiat Topolinos to take a hard fought 176th place. Ascari meanwhile, despite giving the bubble-car a 9 hour head start, had already been back in Brescia for the last 1.5 hours! Best of all though, are the expressions on the faces of their adoring public. We do hope that Mario and his team mates were able to find pleasure in the simple sound of human laughter. Since they (and they can quite honestly, only blame themselves) must have heard it continually, for every single one of the longest thousand miles of their lives!