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THE ITALIAN JOB

The Magnificent Mini
The smallest car on American roads today, MINI is truly one of the stars of "The Italian Job." Taking the automotive world by storm, with over 30,000 sold in the United States alone since its re-launch in the spring of 2002, the tiny car with a big personality was introduced in England during the late 1950s as a new type of car designed to combat the Suez fuel crisis. With over 5 million sold in the UK, the car became a cultural icon around the world, driven by everyone from The Beatles to British royalty. The classic version was sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1967 and still enjoys a cult following to this day.

Though audiences will see only three MINIs one red, one white and one blue filming the getaway with the gold during the height of rush-hour traffic in Los Angeles took 32 MINIs. Because of the elaborate stunts in the sequences, some of the cars were rigged for jumps and others were fitted to withstand numerous bullet hits, while the "hero" cars stayed pristine throughout.

Executive producer James R. Dyer jokes, "Those 32 MINIs that we got from the BMW group were treated pretty harshly — flying over, crashing or bumping into all sorts of things. They might've given us 32 cars, but we could've used 132!"

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