What are the odds of Lamborghini tracking down the original Miura P400 that starred in the original “The Italian Job” movie exactly fifty years after the film’s release?
Rather slim, we’d say, and yet that’s exactly what happened as Lamborghini Polo Storico has just announced it has certified chassis #3586 as the original car used in the Paramount Pictures movie that premiered in June 1969.
That’s a remarkable event in the classic car world since the orange Miura P400 with a white/black leather interior has been the most sought-after Miura in recent decades. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, the “Arancio Miura” appears at the start of the film as actor Rossano Brazzi drives it on the Great St Bernard Pass.
The original car was only “destroyed” in the movie plot, not in real life
The car is destroyed in the movie but the actual vehicle was not wrecked — no one would have done that to a Miura, one of the hottest exotics of the era. In reality, Paramount used an identical Miura that was already crashed to shoot the scenes showing the aftermath of the accident.
So what happened to the original car? It vanished into thin air, apparently. Only a few years after the film’s release, when collectors learned that the car used in filming was not the one destroyed in the on-screen accident, a hunt began to find the opening-scene Miura.
Enthusiasts and collectors from around the world continued the search for the orange Miura P400 for five decades, without success. There have been collectors who claimed they had the original vehicle but the mystery was finally solved when the current owner of the car decided to have it certified by Lamborghini Polo Storico.
Owner Fritz Kaiser sent the “Arancio Miura” to Lamborghini to have it certified
“The Kaiser Collection of Vaduz” in Liechtenstein shipped the orange Miura to Sant’ Agata Bolognese where Lamborghini’s specialist historic department started examining the car and comparing it with documentation from the company archives.
Lamborghini Polo Storico also corroborated the information with testimonies from enthusiasts and former employees, such as Enzo Moruzzi, the man who delivered the car to the movie set and drove it in all the shots as a stunt double. This way, Lamborghini was able to find the missing evidence and conclude that the Miura P400 chassis #3586 was exactly the one used in “The Italian Job.”
“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,” Moruzzi recalls.
At the end of filming, he drove the orange Miura P400 back to the factory and the car was later delivered to its first owner, an Italian from Rome. The legendary Lambo subsequently had multiple Italian and international owners and in 2018 was bought by current owner Fritz Kaiser, a renowned collector from Liechtenstein. He must be a happier man now as having chassis #3586 certified by Lamborghini as the original movie car must have done wonders to the car’s market value.