Mini History Starring in The Italian Job

Mini History Starring in The Italian Job

On a daily basis, at CAI we deal with automotive history.  Our SMITHS classic gauges have been used on many iconic models of motorcar and some have even featured in the movies.

In 1969, The Italian Job was released in British cinemas.  Among the classic British cast was Michael Caine, who played a London criminal who puts together a team to steal $4 million in the city of Turin, Italy and then escape to Switzerland.

However, the real stars of the show were 3 Mk1 Austin Mini Copper S's, in British red, white and blue.  Each had 5 lights on the front of the car and sporting stripes along the bonnet.  Incredibly, as the Mini Coppers were designed for racing, they needed very little modification for the stunts racing through the streets and sewers on their getaway.

In reality, the film production team were given and bought a collection of Minis and Mini Coopers for filming, although nobody is quite sure how many were used.

The Mini Cooper was initially developed in conjunction with motor racing driver John Cooper in 1961.  The Cooper had tremendous success in rallying, winning at Monte Carlo in 1964, 65 and 67.  The Cooper S was released in 1963 and was an instant success.  How a small car became so loved and desired is one of the automotive industry's great mysteries, and today the Mini Cooper is driven by enthusiasts across the world.

SMITHS had a great history of working with the British Motoring Company (BMC) and were involved in designing the gauges for the Coopers.  Even today, John Cooper's signature is emblazoned on the clocks, fuel gauges and speedometers that are manufactured for those classic Mini Coopers.

For more information on gauges supplied for classic Minis, please contact us on:

Email:  [email protected]

Phone: 01639732200

Via the website


Posted by on

Tags: Mini, Mini Cooper, Movie Cars, SMITHS, The Italian Job

Categories: Case Histories

Related Blogs