MINI has celebrated two landmark anniversaries in the history of the world-famous badge with a special event at its Oxford plant.
Sixty years ago this year the first Mini rolled off the production line in Oxford and 50 years ago this month The Italian Job, in which the world-famous British car played a starring role, premiered in London.
To mark both occasions, MINI staged a special screening of the film at its current Oxford facility for 300 workers, classic Mini owners and members of the film’s crew.
The film’s legendary chase sequence saw three Minis being pursued through the streets, shopping malls and even sewers of Turin by Italian police and the Mafia and is regularly voted among the best car chases in movie history.
In celebration of this, the Paul Swift stunt team recreated sections of the film for the guests ahead of the screening using replicas of the original cars.
The event also featured three of the actual supercars used in the film. A Jaguar E Type, Aston Martin DB4 Convertible and Lamborghini Miura were all be on display together. The Lamborghini is of particular note as it was presumed lost for decades, before being recently rediscovered and meticulously restored.
The screening of the film was also preceded by a special message from its star Michael Caine, who revealed that he learned to drive on set of the film.
He told guests: “I didn’t have a licence and I couldn’t drive. But we had such big areas for the Minis to move, you didn’t need a licence because they were closed to ordinary traffic. So for me it was incredible because I learned to drive on the movie.”
Among the guests at the event, which raised money for the Alzheimer’s Society The Italian Job Charity, were Oscar-winning producer Michael Deeley, actor Robert Powell and David Salamone, who was responsible for sourcing the cars for the film and also ended up on camera as Sir Michael Caine’s driver.