50 years after filming, long-sought opening-scene Lambo is part of Kaiser Collection in Liechtenstein
Lamborghini Polo Storico, the Italian sports car manufacturer’s in-house vintage vehicle specialist, has certified that Miura P400 (chassis 3586) is the one used by Paramount Pictures in 1969 in the filming of the original The Italian Job movie. The announcement coincides with the movie’s 50th anniversary.
“The orange Miura P400 (technically ‘Arancio Miura’) with white/black leather interior has been the most pursued Miura in recent decades,” Polo Storico said in its news release. “It appears at the start of the film, driven by the actor Rossano Brazzi on the Great St Bernard Pass. In the movie plot the car is destroyed, but nobody would have really ruined what was the most desired car of the moment. In reality, Paramount also depicted an identical, crashed Miura.”
Once it was confirmed that the Miura had not been destroyed, “a hunt began to find the opening-scene Miura,” the announcement continues.
“Over the following five decades, enthusiasts and collectors from around the world searched and amassed numerous and sometimes conflicting clues.”
Among those believing they had the real deal was the Kaiser Collection of Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
“The car was sent to Lamborghini’s specialist historic department at its Sant’ Agata Bolognese headquarters, where Polo Storico’s reconstruction started from documentation in the company archives and from examining the car. The results were then supplemented with testimonies from enthusiasts and former employees, such as Enzo Moruzzi, who delivered the car to the set and drove it in all the shots as a stunt double.
“By doing this, Polo Storico was able to find the missing evidence and certify that the Miura P400, chassis #3586, was exactly the one used to shoot The Italian Job. This recognition comes at the same time as the 50th anniversary celebrations of the film, released in June 1969.”
According to Automobili Lamborghini, Paramount Pictures went to Sant’Agata Bolognese for a car to use in the film. They found a orange-colored Miuri that already had been damaged and therefore could be used in the crash scene.
“At the same time, Lamborghini provided a second car of the same color for the shoot,” the automaker said. “It was Enzo Moruzzi who took the car to the set; in those days, he often delivered cars to the most important clients or onto film sets.
“There was a Miura P400 almost ready on the production line, in the right color, left-hand drive and with white leather interior,” Moruzzi is quoted in the announcement. “It was aesthetically identical to the damaged one and we decided to use it for the film.
“The only thing worrying us was the elegant white leather seats, given that car had to get back to Sant’Agata in perfect condition. So, I asked for them to be taken out, replacing them with a set of black leather seats that we used for testing.
“The giveaway was the headrests, which 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.”
After filming, the movie car was returned to Lamborghini and sold to its first owner, who was living in Rome. Since then, it had had several owners around the world. It was purchased in 2018 by Fritz Kaiser, founder of The Classic Car Trust.