A Non Standard Mini Adventure

26. September 2011

Jeff Ruggles, Features Editor at Mini Magazine, dreamed up the latest plan to catch the eye of Performance Direct’s Non Standard Awards judges:

Stylish Italy and a traditional British icon like the Mini might seem at odds with each other, but thanks to a certain film they enjoy a rather special relationship.

That film is of course the Italian Job, a classic movie that sees Michael Caine and co steal a consignment of gold from under the noses of the Italian Mafia, before making their getaway through the streets of Turin in three Mini Coopers.

Turin is now a pilgrimage for many a classic Mini owner, but Jeff wanted to do it differently.

Rather than make his way to Italy in a British car, he decided to actually buy the Mini in Italy before taking it to Turin and visiting all the famous film locations. The Italian Minis are not like the British ones – made under licence in Milan by Innocenti from 1965 until the mid ‘70s, they’re a sharp Italian-suited version – the same basic looks, but with an added dose of style. And a cigarette lighter as standard. More...

Mini Cooper S - A Modest Classic Film Star

7. June 2011

Mini Cooper S from The Italian JobThe Italian Job came out in 1969, the epitome of cool clothes, snappy attitudes and even cooler cars, now translates into sixties chic for our modern times. In a decade which saw the first heart transplant, Vietnam and the cult of Charles Manson, the film now sits nicely alongside such iconic films as Performance and Blow Up as a snapshot into trendy sixties and early seventies culture.

You can't think of James Bond without thinking of the Aston Martin DB5, and equally, The Italian Job inspires vivid thoughts blowing the doors off an anonymous van – or the Mini car chase.

As a small boy we didn't have fireworks, they were expensive and didn't last long, they went up in a puff of smoke, literally. So each Bonfire Night, I used to get to choose a toy. It saved my parents money of course, but they put a classic spin on things by telling me – quite rightly – that it would last longer. Indeed, I still have my Mini Cooper Rally bought from the local post office (which I also still have, I'm pleased to say) which was inspired not only by World of Sport (remember Dickie Davies?) but also that iconic film.

Seeing the remake the other night left me wondering, what exactly were those cars that raced through the streets in The Italian Job? So I looked into it a little. More...