History of the Michigan Mille

Michgan Mille started in 2006 with humble beginnnings. What started as a couple of people wanting to get their cars out for some back road exercise has turned into a premier rally for sports and classic cars.  The first year we had nine cars and twelve people join us in 10 cars and one very fast chase truck.  The trip was a circumnavigation of the lower  peninsula of Michigan with stops at many of the lighthouses that dot the shoreline of this wonderful state. We also had a boat cruise on Mullet Lake. The following pictures will remind those that attended of the great time we all had on the very first Michigan Mille.

A view of the cars from the top on one of the many lighthouses around Michigan

Winding our way through the Sleeping Bear National Shoreline.







In 2007 we headed to Indiana for a tour of car museums. First on the list was the world renowned Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners Michigan. We had  few more cars that year.  We went over Labor Day weekend to catch the famous ACD event in Auburn Indiana. First stop on the trip was the world famous Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners Michigan. Without a doubt one of the finest car museums and certainly one of the nicest settings for any museum.

I know where the route-book says we should be.

A brief stop along the way to seek directional advice

Uncustomairly we did get off course and had to stop at a local campgrounds for directions. The problem is that the people there did not know where we were either, forcing us to figure it out on our own.



We had some wonderful meals and what meal would be complete without and after-dinner cigar.

Good food followed by good friends enjoying great cigars.

Everybody say “mille”






We did find out way to South Bend, the home of Studebaker and the museum there celebrating that now defunct car company. All in all a great rally with exciting auto related stops and lots of nice roads in between.




The following year it was back to our traditional Father’s Day weekend timing and for our third year we headed to Cayahuga Falls Ohio and the roads around the Amish country. This year was our first year staying in one hotel for the entire trip. This
“cloverleaf” idea called for a different route each day and we certainly found a lot of nice roads to explore in eastern Ohio. We did experience a few minor mechanical problems on this trip.

A flat tire sidelined this hot rod with no spare.


Some of the more memorable aspects of MMIII were being joined by Kurt once again but not as a navigator but with his 1930 8 litre Bentley. Our growth continued this year. We had 15 cars. We visited the Packard museum in Warren Ohio, Summit Racing had their open house in one of our very few days of rain in all of the Mille’s and on Sunday before heading home a quick stop at the Antique, Classic and Collector Car Show at Stan Hywet Mansion, home to the founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

1930 8 litre Bentley





Did I mention that we had a couple of technical difficulties this year.


A participant inspecting the carburetors on a Bentley.

A couple of actual people working with a lot of supervisory support.







Michigan Mille IV took us across the state to Ludington Michigan. The next morning we boarded the coal fired ferry that has been plying the waters of Lake Michigan for almost 100 years. Once we landed in Wisconsin we headed north thru the Door Peninsula and eventually found our way to St Ignace in the upper peninsula of Michigan.



Our timing coincided with the annual St Ignace car show which was in full bloom when we arrived.

Boarding the SS Badger for our Lake Michigan crossing.

Enjoying sunrise on deck of the SS Badger














The next year, 2009 for the fifth running we again went back to the northwest corner of the state to relive some of the great times and experience some of the finer roads we found in our inaugural outing. We based in Traverse City and explored both the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas as well as a tour of a private car collection. Haggerty insurance, based in Traverse City hosted us to a dinner and showed us many of the vehicles of their  collection.

A spectacular private car collection on the Leelanau peninsula.

2010 found us heading back to Ohio and the Columbus area to explore the wonderful roads in and around Hocking Hills State Park. Our numbers had swollen to about 30 participants, and clearly the highlight was the fabulous roads we discovered. We did have a failed attempt to take a paddle wheeler ride for lunch one day in Zanesville, but while the caterer showed up with lunch the captain was nowhere to  be found.

Our lunch stop in Bowling Green was at Snooks Dream Cars










7 thoughts on “History of the Michigan Mille

  1. I’m interested in taking part in your rally in 2014. I have a 1981 Mercedes 380SL. Can you let me know what the dates and routes are when you have them ready. Thanks


  2. Will you be posting your 2014 route plan? I’m interested but would like to know the plan.


  3. Chris,
    We do not post our route, but I can tell you we are heading to the Dayton area in Ohio the first night, On to Indy the second day and Auburn the third day and then back home on day four. Unfortunately we are full up this year. However I will add your name to our list of interested parties next year so that you will receive early notifications about the event in plenty of time to enroll if your schedule allows.

    Steve Shugg
    Michigan Mille

  4. Sounds like quite a bit of fun. My father spoke fondly of the “Michigan Miglia” he organized for the Chicago Region SCCA for several years beginning c. 1952 which was a two day event circling Lake Michigan, all before expressways or Mackinac Bridges. Have a blast.

  5. Hi,
    I have a 1966 chevell convertible & 1987 monte carlo ss.
    live Ontario Canada.
    hows it work enter.
    are the back roads dirt?
    how much?
    do we get discounts for hote & food?

  6. Eddie,
    As we have just finished our 2015 event, we are adding your name to our list of interested participants for our 2016 event. In answer to your questions, all of the roads we take are paved. The hotel rooms are discounted to our group rate and the meal charge covers all of the expense for meals and beverages. If you are interested when you get the first communication for our 2016 event we can answer more of your questions at that time.
    Michigan Mille

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