The 1000 Mile Hell


Two Italians Had An Idea

The story has it that in 1926, two Italians had the idea to hold a motor sport event in and around their hometown of Brescia, Italy.

They decided to organize an endurance race of about 1500 km (1000 Roman miles) trough Italy. The strangulated oval course was to be held on open roads, starting from Brescia in the North, to Rome and back again. It was called the “Mille Miglia.”

The First Race

The first Mille Miglia was held on March 26 in 1927 with 77 cars participating.

For the 1955 event, an astonishing total of 661 cars of all classes were entered for this 22nd race but for various reasons, only 534 actually started. Mercedes had entered seven cars – all 300 SLRs
One of the entrants was car #722, driven by the British racer, Stirling Moss and his navigator, motoring journalist, Denis Jenkinson. The number denoted their April 30th starting time – 7.22am.

The Race Heats Up

Hounded by Castelotti in his Ferrari, they hit straw bales at various parts of the circuit and at one point ending up in a ditch from which they mercifully extracted themselves, after 10+ hours, nearly 1000 miles and at an average speed of just under 100 mph of the pair bought home their battered car in 1st place.

Also driving a 300 SLR – a vast 32 minutes later, Juan Manuel Fangio crossed the line in second place.
Moss and Jenkinson went down in racing history as achieving an unrivaled performance.

Camera… Action!

Cinematography has ventured into many movies on motor racing. They have ranged from the sublime to quite the opposite. In my mind – and many others – my previously imaged “Grand Prix Homage” paid respect to what must be considered as THE most definitive motor racing movie ever – “Grand Prix” – even if the story line was predictable.

However – what no artist has ever done, is to depict an event – much publicized or not – and to design a fictitious movie poster for it.

I have taken the liberty in assigning myself the director’s role.

A Different Poster Point of View

In The 1000 Mile Hell my challenge was to lessen the outright and crude ‘splatter-effect’ which movie posters of that genre are known to convey, and encapsulate it into a image which would not rely on the usual artists’ rendition, but portray a high level of visceral excitement.

The yellow skies portraying mystery, speed and great urgency. I was careful to use the font type as so many of the great adventure film publicity posters of those days did, coming to a fairly minimalist – yet effusive, colorful and coherent result.