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This Famous Lamborghini Wasn't Destroyed After All

Classic Cars / Comments

50 years later, Polo Storico identifies the Miura from “The Italian Job.”

The first road-going mid-engined supercar, the Lamborghini Miura holds a special place in the history of the automobile. And with only 764 made, it remains a highly coveted trophy for any collector. But this one is more special than most, owing to the pride of place it took in one of the most legendary motion pictures.

This orange Miura stole the screen in the opening scene of The Italian Job – the original that premiered 50 years ago (not the 2003 remake). Now half a century later, its provenance has been confirmed by the manufacturer.

Now if you're familiar with the cult-classic film, you might be thinking that the car was destroyed in the movie. And it was. But that wasn't this car.

Film historians discovered that the car that crashed, though visually identical to this one, was actually a different vehicle, which had already been damaged before filming took place. The automaker furnished Paramount Pictures with a second Miura for filming the moving scenes. Once that factoid was uncovered, collectors started searching for the survivor, and several turned up with competing claims – including this one, owned by noted collector Fritz Kaiser of Liechtenstein.

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Kaiser sent his Miura P400, chassis number 3586, to Lamborghini's Polo Storico division, which looked into its history and determined that it was indeed the one used in the film.

"There was a Miura P400 almost ready on the production line, in the right color, left-hand drive and with white leather interior," recalls Enzo Moruzzi, the actor who drove the car to the set and on film. "The only thing worrying us was the elegant white leather seats," which the factory replaced with black seats, but couldn't replace the fixed headrests in time. "In the film, you can see the original white headrests."