How the Italian Job Tours started

Cast your mind back to the late 1960s, (those of you old enough to remember the 60s that is!), when petrol was less then (ten bob) 50 pence a gallon, beer was less then (six shillings) 30p, a pint and the Mini was the car to seen in.

A 13-year-old lad lived in Keresley End, a little mining village near Coventry, a city in the heart of the Midlands where everything smelt of cars. There was Jaguar, Triumph and Austin as well as 100s of small engineering firms making parts to fit to them. Most of his relatives worked in the industry, his own father worked at Banner Lane, spraying tractors at Massey Ferguson. At weekends when the relations got together, the talk was always about one subject, CARS.

This young lad, Steve was his name had an older brother who was a car fanatic, he would have heated debates with his mates about the virtues of front wheel drive and left foot braking, and the Minis on the Monte Carlo Rally, and something about the French being awful losers.

One Saturday in August 1969, Steve went to the pictures with his older brother and sister, he remembers it for two reasons, he was nearly run over and he saw a film that stuck with him for the rest of his life. Steve got off the bus in Broadgate, opposite the big departmental store, Owen and Owen and walked past the Lady Godiva statue. In his haste to see the film, he stepped off the kerb, before looking where he was going, he suddenly realized and stopped, just as a Mini brushed past him, The Mini was that close that the door handle went into his trouser pocket and tore the material, close call or what!

He later found out that he was lucky, a young boy from Solihull in the West Midlands was not, the door handle caught him under the rib cage and he was killed. Mini door handles were fitted with a safety boss in January 1966 because of this.

Watching the film the youngster was struck by the beauty of the scenery, the huge snow covered mountains, the Alps and the biggest of them all Mount Blanc. Steve was also taken by the fact that the film was about 'them and us', he did not fully appreciate the fact until he was a older when everybody was talking about the common market

But most of all he was impressed with the driving skills, over roof tops, down steps and over all manner of obstacles, even down sewers (filmed not 10 miles from where he lived)! Those cheeky cars became a much admired and longed for thing, with their beauty and grace, when he grew up and passed his driving test he knew what car he wanted

Afterwards he looked for as much information as he could about his favourite film and its location, but until recently with the re-release there was very little around, now you can buy books and even DVDs.

It took him over 30 years to fulfil one of his childhood dreams...

Fast forward to 2002.

Steve knew that his dream was coming true when the plane he was travelling on, landed at Turin Airport..............