The Italian Job
Touring Event Charity Run
money for children in a fun way
This is one of the more impressively eccentric
events on the European calendar. Inspired
by 1969 film The Italian Job, a sponsored
Mini Cooper rally heads across the Alps
to Italy's Emilia Romagna region, picks
up a load of the local wine and then heads
back to the UK to auction the booty -
with the proceeds going to a range of
The Noel Coward behind
this particular caper is Freddie St
George, the Brighton-based Mini nut,
film fan and ace PR man who first came
up with the idea in 1990. It was supposed
to be a one-off event, but such was
the response from the Mini-driving community
that the Italian Job has now become
an annual fixture.
the years, the event has attracted participants
from Europe, America, New Zealand and
even Japan; and the intrepid men in
their motoring machines have raised
more than £1 million for children's
charities. Michael Caine himself is
one of the event's patrons.
a big coach for this lot!
team of drivers (usually two per car)
is required to raise £1500 for
the event's nominated charities. Minis
are the cars of choice, but any car
which featured in the 1969 film can
be used - Aston Martin DB4s, E-type
Jags and Alfa Giulia police cars have
all taken place in previous rallies.
Each team makes its own way to Italy,
where the final destination is Imola
in Emilia Romagna. Here the drivers
converge on the town and take part in
a four-day navigational rally and plenty
of celebrating, culminating in a special
lap of honour at the Imola racing circuit.
the way back the event follows a strict
itinerary, with drivers being required
to make all the necessary pit-stops.
The Italian part of the Job features
visits to Rimini and San Marino. When
passing through Turin, they stay at
the old Fiat Factory, which is now a
five-star deluxe hotel, where the test
track on the roof sees minis in circuit
just as it did in the actual movie.
Next it's on to Beaune in France for
some wine tasting, before continuing
up to Paris and finally Ashford in Kent
for a celebratory dinner.