The Miura that got away

Riley Riley

A Lamborghini that appears in the opening scenes of the 1960’s movie The Italian Job has been found.

The Miura is one of the most collectable Lambos in the world and the orange Miura P400 used in the iconic film is the Holy Grail.

In the movie it is shown crashing and burning, but in reality two cars were used for the scene — one of them a car already badly damaged.

If you look closely at the Miura you’ll see that it has black seats with white headrests.

For the movie, the seats were changed for black ones in case the white leather got dirty, but they were unable to replace the headrests in time so the originals remained.

It was Enzo Moruzzi who drove the car to the set.

In those days, he often delivered cars to important clients or to film sets.

“There was a Miura P400 almost ready on the production line, in the right color, left-hand drive and with white leather interior,” he said.

“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.

“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.

In the film, you can see the original white headrests.”

At the end of filming, the Miura was prepared for delivery to its first owner, an Italian from Rome.

Years later, once it had been established the car used in filming was not destroyed, a hunt began to find the Miura driven by actor Rossano Brazzi who died in 1994.

Over the following five decades, enthusiasts and collectors from around the world searched and amassed numerous and sometimes conflicting clues.

The Miura has passed through the hands of many enthusiasts, both Italian and international, before being acquired by its current owner, Liechtenstein collector, Fritz Kaiser, in 2018.

Kaiser decided to settle the matter once and for all and contacted Lamborghini Polo Storico in an attempt to establish whether his car was the one used in the movie.

What followed was more like a forensic murder investigation.

The car was sent to Lamborghini’s specialist historic department at Sant’ Agata Bolognese, where reconstruction started from documentation in the archives and from examining the car.

The results were supplemented with testimonies from enthusiasts and former employees, one of whom was Enzo Moruzzi who delivered the car to the set and drove it in all the shots as a stunt double.

By doing this, Lamborghini was able to find the missing evidence and certify that the Miura P400, chassis #3586, was in fact the one used to shoot “The Italian Job”.

Recognition comes at the same time as The Italian Job is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

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