The Mini in the Movies
THE MINI IN THE MOVIES – THE ICONIC MINI COOPER S
If someone asked you to name a movie that featured a Mini Cooper (or three) hopefully the first one to spring to mind would be the original 1969 version of ‘The Italian Job’ with it’s Italian roof top car chase. Was this the first time we had seen ‘The Mini in the Movies’? or was there a forerunner?
Did you know that prior to the Italian Job a Mini Cooper also made an appearance in the 1964 film ‘A Shot in the Dark’ – a part of the Pink Panther film series. Actor Peter Sellers owned a custom 1963 Hooper-bodied Mini, with its non standard interior and exterior it is credited as being the first coach-built mini. Peter arranged for a ‘clone’ of his car to be built for use in the Pink Panther film, and not only is the car memorable for its unique look and styling, but also because the Inspector Clouseau character drives it naked through the streets of Paris.
Maybe not as ruthless as Michael Caine, or as suave as Peter Sellers we couldn’t write an article on Mini’s in the Movies without a nod to the talented comedy actor Rowan Atkinson and his character ‘Mr Bean’. Sadly, the original orange 1969 Mini used in the TV series ‘Mr Bean’ was damaged beyond repair during filming and was replaced with a lime green 1976 Mini 1000 MK11 that has gone on to star in the TV shows and films.
CELEBRITY 60’S MINI COOPER S OWNERS
The mini was chosen for the Italian Job as it was a British Icon of the 60’s. With many celebs of the time owning and customising them it’s status increased and is undoubtedly one of the greatest cars of the time.
• George Harrison (The Beatles) – originally metallic black the car was painted psychedelic red and gold and went on to feature in the film ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
• Steve McQueen (Actor) – A 67 Cooper S, originally in Green with a white top it was later painted metallic brown with a beige top.
• Enzo Ferrari (Racing Driver/Entrepreneur) – it was no secret that Enzo was a Mini Cooper fan and he privately used his mini copper through the 60s
DRIVE A MINI COOPER S AT HEYFORD PARK OR BICESTER HERITAGE
U Drive Cars are proud to have a Mini cooper S in our Classic fleet – we don’t have any roof top drives available so we can’t give you a full Italian Job experience (see video below), however, our qualified instructors will encourage you to push your limits and to get the most out of your driving experience.
For those who will never forget it and for those that may never have seen it the Youtube video below shows the whole 10 minute 23 second ‘The Italian Job’ car chase through the streets of Turin.