Skip to main content


Snapshot, 1957: A kiss for luck on the Mille Miglia

It’s May 1957, and Peter Collins spends the last few moments prior to the start of the Mille Miglia to share a laugh with his new wife Louise — even stealing a kiss in full racing regalia. Is that steam we see filling up those goggles?

Whether this little peck will have a positive or negative effect is yet to be determined. But after a good hop off the start line just moments later, Collins — along with his navigation partner, photographer Louis Klemenstaski — would make the best of the kiss’s powers, keeping with the front of the pack over the next five hours, and even leading for a while. Unfortunately, the kiss’s luck would not last the entirety of the race, as Collins and Klementaski’s 335 S would break down by the side of the road just before Rovigo. But, with Alfonso De Portago’s tragic fatal crash just miles ahead, maybe the smooch was actually luckier than originally thought? 

Photo: Emilio Ronchini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images