Name: 1969 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk II
Year(s) Produced: 1967-1969
Class: Mini car
Body Type: 2-door fastback
Engine: 77.7 cui, BMC Austin A-series 1275
Power: 76hp @ 6000 RPM
0-60mph: 10.3 seconds
Top Speed: 98 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 120.25 in./ 55.5 in./ 53 in.
Wheelbase: 80.16 in.
Base Price: US$2,461 (NADA)
Highest Price: US$31,500 (NADA)
Now that the winners are out for the 88th Academy Award winners, with the modern gear head’s fan favorite, Mad Max: Fury Road, bringing home the most number of Oscars statuette – six of them in fact – particularly for Best Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Film Editing, and both Sound Mixing and Editing.
Now seriously (tongue in cheek), at the back of our minds we were hoping for so long that the Academy will introduce a ‘special’ award that will give due recognition to some of our favorite films that featured adrenalin-pumping, high-octane, chase scenes. I know it’s a long shot but given the popularity and awards raked by Mad Max: Fury Road, the award giving body might take a second look.
In any case, I guess I don’t need to look out for the Oscars to have my wish granted. In an independent survey carried out for JCT600,1,000 people were asked to vote on which film features the best car chase action of all-time. Described by critics as one long, explosive, bombastic car-chase, 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road was the most recent film to make it into the top-10, but was only voted 5th overall.
It was Michael Caine’s 1969 ‘The Italian Job’ that landed the top spot on having the best car chase movie in cinema history, with nearly 1 in 3 people voting for the British classic, which features three 1969 Austin Mini Coopers in an epic chase with the Italian police throughout the streets of Turin that began in a shopping mall, down pavements, down the steps of a cathedral as a wedding is taking place and then up on to the roof of a huge stadium, bamboozling one of the following squad cars.
The Minis in their car chase across the streets of idyllic Turin.
Commenting on the result, Mini Brand Director for JCT600 Ian Davies said: “It was with the release of The Italian Job that this iconic brand went from strength to strength. The film helped make the Mini part of British culture and the icon that it is today. The impressive car chase showed Mini at its best; fun, daring and exciting. With no special effects it was the Mini’s personality alone that made the scene so impressive”. Here’s a video of that iconic chase scene.
One of the Minis that was featured in the 1969 caper movie, The Italian Job bearing the plate for ‘Her Majesty’s Prison.’
In contrast to the classic British caper film, the second place earning 15% of the vote was bagged by a more recent favorite: 2013’s Fast & Furious 6. The 6th instalment in this series features some British classics of its own, namely the Ginetta G60 and the Jensen Interceptor, as well as newer luxury cars like the Mercedes SLS AMG, with plenty of crazy stunts along the way.
Letty, played by Michelle Rodriguez, hits the street in a Jensen Interceptor, a British sports car built between 1966 and 1976.
The third place was hauled in by another 1969 classic. Bullitt garnered 9% of the vote with the legendary Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang chasing a Dodge Charger around San Francisco. Bullitt won the ‘Best Film Editing’ Oscar – one of the awards that Mad Max: Fury Road also won for this year.
Steve McQueen with his legendary 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback.
The full top 10 results from the survey are shown below:
The Italian Job (1969) – 30.5%
Fast & Furious 6 (2013) – 14.8%
Bullitt (1968) – 9%
The Bourne Identity (2002) – 5.2%
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – 4.9%
Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – 4.7%
The French Connection (1971) – 4%
The Blues Brothers (1980) – 3.3%
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) – 2.7%
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) – 2.6%
What do you think of JCT600’s poll? Do you have a classic car chase that you will vie for? Share us your thoughts at the comments section below.
JCT600 Ltd is an independently owned franchise motor firm that operates primarily in England, with 50 dealerships between Boston and Newcastle. The company represents 19 car marques, and has a reported 2014 turnover of over 1.4 billion US dollars.