The Italian Job celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and is best remembered for a trio of red, white and blue Mini Coopers being used to snatch gold from under the noses of the Italian Mafia. However, they weren’t the only iconic cars to star in the 1969 Michael Caine caper – collectors have tried to identify without question the orange Lamborghini Miura used in the opening credits for the best part of five decades, and finally they have their answer.
The Miura appears at the start of the film, driven by the actor Rossano Brazzi on the Great St Bernard Pass with Matt Monroe as the soundtrack. It then appears to meet a fiery end when it rams into a bulldozer placed in a tunnel. In reality though, two Miuras were used – the car depicted after the accident had been purchased as a pre-damaged example, leaving the other one unscathed.
Once it had been established that the car used in filming was not destroyed, enthusiasts and collectors from around the world began searching for it, amassing numerous and sometimes conflicting clues. However, Lamborghini’s in-house restoration shop, Polo Storico, has certified Miura P400 chassis number 3586 as the original movie car.
Polo Storico consulted its archives and examined the car, with the results supplemented by testimonies from enthusiasts and former employees. Critical evidence came from Enzo Moruzzi, who delivered the car to the set and drove it in all the shots as a stunt double.
“There was a Miura P400 almost ready on the production line, in the right colour, left-hand drive and with a white leather interior,” explained Moruzzi. “It was aesthetically identical to the damaged one. I asked for the white seats to be replaced with black leather seats. Headrests on the Miura are attached to the dividing glass between the driver compartment and the engine compartment, which couldn’t be replaced in time. In the film, you can see the original white headrests.”
At the end of filming, and once it had returned to the factory, the Miura was prepared for delivery to its first owner in Rome. Having passed through the hands of different enthusiasts, the P400 was bought in 2018 by the current owner, Fritz Kaiser of Liechtenstein.
Two other original cars from the film, the Aston Martin DB4 Convertible and the Jaguar E-Type, appeared as part of a special display at the London Classic Car Show in February. Sadly though, the Minis are long gone…