Cars in the Film 'The Italian Job'

As soon as you fall in love with one of the cars featured in the 1969 movie "The Italian Job," it invariably comes to a terrible end. They fall victim to explosions, are destroyed in horrible crashes, and are even pushed off cliffs. It's enough to drive a car lover crazy. And yet, the original film is one of the best car-centric movies ever filmed, with Lamborghini, ​Aston Martin, Jaguar, Fiat, and, of course, the Mini Cooper all beautifully represented. It's a classic madcap caper-type movie, in which ex-con Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) comes up with an intricate plan to steal $4 million worth of gold by stashing it in three Mini Coopers. If you haven't seen the movie, just know that we include spoilers in the following list of all the cars that rumble across the screen:

Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura

The movie opens with a driver navigating an icon of the Swinging Sixties along an Alpine road: a bright-red Lamborghini Miura. With its flowing curves, distinctive headlights, bright colors, and 4-liter V-12 engine, this was the epitome of flashy driving. And of muscle, as the Miura has 370 horse power under the hood and is capable of reaching a top speed of 170 mph. No wonder it cost $20,000—that's $150,000 to you and me today. Not long after we meet the Miura, though, it goes up in a huge ball of flame and then gets bulldozed off a cliff. Thankfully, no actual Miura was hurt in the shot.

Aston Martin DB4 Convertible

Aston Martin DB4 Coupe
Aston Martin

Though there were newer, sleeker Astons available in 1969 (the Brits love their Astons), the movie's central character, Charlie Croker (played memorably by Michael Caine), chose the 3.7-liter inline 6-cylinder, 240 hp DB4 convertible with the upright, forward-facing headlights. Too bad the bad guys want to teach Charlie a lesson—by taking a front-end loader to his car. What a waste of $11,000—just a tad over the $71,000 we'd have to cough up were we to buy it now.

Jaguar XKE

Jaguar E-Type

There's a pair of Jags—one red coup and one blue convertible—that follow the Aston. The trio comprises the "fast cars" required for Coker's heist plan. Unfortunately, they meet a horrible end when the bad guys crush them and send them flying over a cliff. Ouch. Bye-bye you 3.8-liter, 265 hp beauties. And at $6,300, you were priced right for your types, too.

Fiat Dino

Fiat Dino Spider
Simon Clay (c) 2007 courtesy of RM Auctions

One of the finest close-ups in the movie comes early: one wheel and a shiny black front fender. This is our introduction to the Ferrari-powered V-6 Fiat Dino and a sign of the car porn to come. Sure, it's driven by the bad guy, but this is one of the coolest Fiats ever built, with a top speed of 125 mph and 158 horses under the hood. Unfortunately, original MSRP is unknown, but a Fiat Dino in top condition can fetch around $100,000 at auction today.

Mini Coopers

Mini Cooper at Monte Carlo
BMW Group

That the Mini Cooper is still a bestselling car today likely has a lot to do with "The Italian Job" and the 2003 remake. These are not terribly exotic cars—and they only feature a 4-cylinder, 75 hp engine with a top speed of 97 mph—but you can't talk about this movie without talking about the trio of Mini Coopers in red, white, and blue that serve as getaway cars, a bargain at just under $2,000 each in 1969 money. The stunts they perform are equally amazing and adorable, accompanied by a ridiculously fun soundtrack by Quincy Jones. It's unlikely that they could each tote more than 300 pounds of gold, but they have been souped up by guys in matching red, white, and blue jumpsuits, so...