The Italian Job Lamborghini Miura comes to Cheshire
- Credit: Archant
Chester classic car dealer Iain Tyrrell is the proud owner of the Lamborghini Miura featured in the film The Italian Job. What will he do with this automotive icon, asks Howard Bradbury
It is the motoring equivalent of a Rembrandt turning up in someone’s loft. The Lamborghini Miura of Italian Job fame seemed, for 46 years, to exist only on celluloid. Classic car aficionados had no idea of its fate. Even the car’s various owners over the years seem to have been unaware they had a genuine movie star in the garage.
Now the car has a new home in Cheshire, having been bought by Iain Tyrrell, founder and managing director of Cheshire Classic Cars, of Chester, and his friend Keith Ashworth, a classic car collector from Shrewsbury.
‘It’s the ultimate. I consider it the coup of my career,’ says Iain.
Although we were supposed to believe that the car had been wrecked in the filming of The Italian Job, two Lamborghinis were used on set. One wrecked car was bulldozed off the road, smashing into a deep ravine; the unscathed Miura survived to be enjoyed by several very careful owners.
‘It’s had about five owners in Italy, all of whom have been discerning wealthy collectors with extensive private collections, with the accent on private,’ says Iain, who believes these collectors had no idea of the car’s movie provenance.
Several months ago, the car was seen in Paris, and a classic car aficionado remarked upon its resemblance to the car in The Italian Job. Only three cars came out of the Lamborghini factory in 1968 with orange paint and white leather interior. Detective work by French classic car specialist Eric Broutin and Olivier Nameche, president of the Lamborghini Club of Belgium, proved this was indeed the car from The Italian Job, and, hearing about this find on the classic car grapevine, Iain did his own homework and hotfooted it to Paris to see the car in an underground car park.
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‘Having viewed the car, a deal was struck almost on the spot,’ he says.
How much does one pay for a very desirable car which is also a gleaming relic of popular culture?
Iain will not say. But he does say the car is worth ‘substantially more’ than the £1m guesstimate some motoring pundits have put on it, and that the movie provenance increases the car’s value ‘to the power of three or four’.
‘The plan is not to rush into advertising and selling it, bearing in mind it’s been completely off the radar for 46 years,’ says Iain, aged 51, who lives just outside Chester, and has been involved with cars since training as a Rolls-Royce and Bentley mechanic aged 19.
‘My desire it to see it displayed at very prominent exhibitions around the world and for the public to be able to see it.’
Even without its starring role in one of the most beloved British films ever, this Miura is a bit special. For a start, it has done only 12,000 miles - an average of little more 260 miles per year.
‘I’ve spent over 30 years working on Lamborghinis and this is the most original Miura I’ve ever seen,’ says Iain. ‘The car is largely unrestored but beautiful, which is a very unusual combination.’
And how does it drive?
‘It’s sensational,’ he says. ‘The tyre technology is 1960s, the suspension technology is 1960s, the brakes...the whole thing is of a piece. Whereas in a modern Lamborghini you have to drive 150mph before the thing starts to come to life, this actually has real world handling and braking and all the rest of it. So it’s actually more of a challenge to drive than a modern one, and that’s very rewarding. This car is every bit as capable as it was when it was new. It’s in tip-top mechanical condition.’