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Classic and Sportscar Magazine article "The Italian Job"

 

 

 

In September 2009 Classic and Sportscar Wikipedia - Classic and Sportscar Link - Classic and Sportscar magazine penned an article titled "The Italian Job" , by Mark Walsh

Walsh and Simon Kidston Link - www.kidston.com took two Lamborghini Miura SV from Geneva over to the locations in which the original Lamborghini Miura P400 where shot during filming of The Italian Job (1969).

Simon Kidston's research at the Lamborghini factory revealed that the Miura P400 used in the motion picture was on loan from the factory. It's license plate was BO 296. It was delivered from the factory for three days of filming by the sales director. Simon Kidston found the receipts that the sales director had submitted for three days of fuel.

The Miura P400 bulldozed over the cliff at La Thuile was an engine-less chassis which had been returned to the factory after the fatal crash of the Arab owner.

 

    Story has it that the orange P400 used in the action scenes, registered BO 296 (Prova plates from the Bologna region), was a pre-delivery car provided by the factory and and driven to the Alps by a sales director. "During my book research, we discovered fuel receipts for the three days' filming submitted to get the tax back," says Kidston. "The first owner had no idea that this new Mirua had been thrased around the mountains."

 

The two Miura SV used on the trip were:

Chassis number 4878 ex industrialist Jacques Dembiermont license plate SOV 7 with body color gold.

Simon Kidston's black Miura SV license plate APP 462 J with body color burgundy

After a lukewarm reception by the villagers of La Thuile, Mark Walsh writes:

Collinson's movie was hardly promoted in Italy, which is not surprising considering its clichéd depiction of Latin life, so none of the villagers seemed to appreciate our visit.

Awareness of The Italian Job (1969) in Italy, even in the Val d'Aosta is non-existent. Even in places like Courmayeur. The only Italians I have ever met who knew of the motion picture were the ones who actually witnessed the filming.

 

And where better to stay than the Hotel Albergo Italia, right by the part-frozen lake at the peak of the pass ? Owner Luca Brunod was 10 when the film crew arrived and vividly recalls loaning his air rifle to Raf Vallone, who plays the sinister Mafia chief. "He was a useless shot and, for such a famous actor, I was very disappointed," says Brunod.

In the above paragraph, Luca Brunod appears to mention actor Raf Vallone, who played the Mafia boss, rather than Rossano Brazzi, who played Roger Beckerman, the driver of the Lamborghini Miura. It seems likely that only Rossano Brazzi would have been on the call sheets for that shoot, and that Raf Vallone would have been on the call sheets for the "Mafia Welcome" scene, which was shot on the other side of the valley at Cogne. These are the only two Alpine scenes which feature the respective Mafia Bosses. Furthermore, Raf Vallone might have been a better shot that Rossano Brazzi because he was a partisan during the war.

The 385bhp SV feels sure and flat at speed, with no trace of the early P400's often criticized nose lift.

 

"Only the brakes fail to inspire. The pedal feels dead, with little bite even when you press hard. The big Girling discs work well enough - with no hint of fade, even after repeated downward hairpins - yet they never convey confidence."

This is most likely because the brake pads are high-temperature compound, which gives a dead feel when they cold. There are various different compounds just for cast iron discs, all of which have different characteristics. Mostly, when using pad compound normally used for racing, where the brakes remain at high temperature, the method used to warm up the brakes is to to keep your left foot on the brake pedal for a minute or so after you have left the driveway.

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Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009

 

Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009
The two Lamborghinis on the U-bend at La Heite 1730m which marks the acsent of the pass proper.

 

Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009
Note the mention of the Mitteleuropa website on page 101, column 3, paragraph 1

 

Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009

 

Lamborghini Miura SV ascend the Grand St Bernard Pass
The two Lamborghinis come through the "Miura Hairpin".

The Lamborghini Miura climbs a continuous sixty seconds of the Grand St Bernard
In the above satellite photograph, the section of the Grand St Bernard pass over which the Miura travels in a continuous sixty seconds of film, starting at and ending just below the last stone Shepherd's hut on the Italian side.

LDS Grand St Bernard pass topographic map

LDS 1:25,000 topographic map of Grand St Bernard showing the locations used in the opening scene

IGC topographic map of Courmayeur and Monte Bianco showing the locations for "The Italian Job" (1969)
The above topographic map from IGC showing Monte Bianco and the valley of Courmayeur.

The map data is from 1989 and so it shows the tunnel at La Thuile in its original condition (wish I had taken a photograph then) and the proposed route of the now constructed Autostrada to Aosta. The large white area above the tunnel entrance is the Mont Blanc massif and on the far side of it in France is Chamonix.

 

Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009

 

Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009

Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009
The Miura SVJ ex Shah of Iran chassis number 678 Link - Shah of Iran Miura SVJ returns to Lamborghini factory joins the pair at the Gstaad Palace Hôtel. The family Scherz have owned and run the Gstaad Palace since 1938.

The SVJ had been ordered with several extra items, including a dashboard mount of a pair of Heuer Monte Carlo race chronographs.

The Shah of Iran also owned a Ferrari 400 which he used to transfer from this palace in the Tehran to his home in the plush suburbs of North Tehran every evening. When this Ferrari came up at auction it had been stored in less then ideal conditions and the interior had been all but destroyed.

 

 

Classic and Sportscar magazine article "The Italian Job" September 2009
Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch and clock set fitted to the Shah of Iran's SVJ

Heuer Rally Timers
A pair of Heuer Monte Carlo chronographs.

 

Heuer Chronographs Triumverate
A magnificent triple mounting of Heuer Chronographs and clock.

 

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+ SEE ALSO

- The Italian Job (1969)

 

+ EXTERNAL LINKS

- Simon Kidston's Italian Job - The fortieth anniversary of the Lamborghini Miura Link - Kidston - 40th Anniversay Lamborghini Miura

- 2015-MAR-24 The Lamborghini Miura used in The Italian Job (1969) may have been found Link - Daily Telegraph - Lamborghini Miura from The Italian Job (1969) may have been found

- Link - Miura Register http://www.themiuraregister.com/

- Wikipedia - Classic and Sportscar Link - Classic and Sportscar Classic and Sportscar magazine

 

+ BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

+ MAPS

 

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