A team of graduates and apprentices from the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry are recreating scenes from the classic Michael Caine film “The Italian Job” after restoring three classic Minis and driving them across Italy on a 16-day trek.
A six-strong MTC driving team, plus two support staff, were involved in making the vehicles roadworthy. The team is being sponsored by MTC members Sandvik Coromant, DMG Mori-Seiki, Blaser, IMechE and Hexagon Metrology and Siemens. Rugby Borough Council provided the team with their initial sponsorship.
MTC chief executive Dr Clive Hickman said the trainees had taken on a big challenge, but were more than capable of rising to it.
“This is a great experience for the trainees, and is also developing valuable skills in engineering, problem-solving and fundraising. I am very proud of them,” he said.
The Minis, christened Mike, Tango and Charlie (M,T and C) are driving from Turin to Trento, taking in the testing mountainroads of Piedmont and Trentino, and a drive on the famous Monza circuit.
The trek is to celebrate the 25th year of The Italian Job Mini Car Rally, in which hundreds of Minis are making the drive across Italy, recreating the famous 1969 film. The rally is raising money for Variety, the children’s charity which aims to raise the quality of life of deprived children.
The MTC opened in 2010 and was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC is currently building an £18 million Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre at its Ansty Park headquarters. The new centre will be a flagship facility for an advanced apprenticeship and graduate trainee programmes in areas suchas intelligent automation, additive layer manufacture, laser machining and welding.