Missing for over 50 years, Lamborghini Miura from The Italian Job is found
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Remember the iconic opening scene from the 1969 film The Italian Job?
You know the one - with thief Roger Beckermann (actor Rossano Brazzi) driving the Great St Bernard Pass, between Switzerland and Italy, in a stunning Lamborghini Miura before crashing into a digger and being shunted down the side of the mountain by the Mafia.
The car used for those glorious driving shots has been found having gone missing for five decades.
Lamborghini themselves have certified it as the Miura driven in the film, effectively doubling its value.
Lamborghini's Polo Storico heritage department has ratified the Miura P400 - chassis number 3586 0 - as the original car used in the Paramount Pictures film.
Those who have watched the film (shame on you if you haven't) will notice that this car is orange - or 'Arancio Miura', according to the Lamborghini spec sheet - rather than red - the colour of the vehicle seen tumbling down the mountain side.
However, that's because Paramount used two different models for the footage - one brand new version loaned by the Italian supercar-maker for the in-car driving shots and another wrecked one that it gave to the production company to roll off the edge of a cliff.
This is - fortunately - the one used in the driving shots and, having been missing for five decades, remains in incredible, and original, condition.
Not that it was actually lost.
At the end of filming in 1968, the Miura in question was returned to the factory to be prepared for delivery to its first owner, an Italian from Rome.
However, it was then passed through private collections rather than public auctions, driven rarely and never showcased at major events.
That resulted in Lamborghini itself struggling to identify the owner of the genuine vehicle for almost 50 years.
The Italian factory announced on Monday that this is the one they've been looking for.
Currently part of The Kaiser Collection of Vaduz (Liechtenstein), the owner decided to consult Lamborghini Polo Storico, where it was certified as the genuine article by experts.
One of the individuals who identified the Miura as the one used in The Italian Job is former employee Enzo Moruzzi, who not only delivered the car to the set but also drove it in all the shots for the film.
He said: 'There was a Miura P400 almost ready on the production line, in the right color, left-hand drive and with white leather interior.
'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.'
This led to one of the telltale signs of the vehicle's famed background.
'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,' Moruzzi explained.
'In the film, you can see the original white headrests.'
The Lamborghini Miura was the first vehicle coined as a 'supercar'.
Today's values are fairly staggering, with good examples being offered at vintage car auctions for prices in the region of £2million.
Given that this is the genuine car from The Italian Job, expect it to be worth quite a bit more than that if it was to be offered for sale - not that the owner has expressed any intention of making it available.
- Daily Mail