The 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...