To celebrate the 60th birthday of the Mini and the golden anniversary of 1969'sThe Italian Job—the movie that made the Mini a star—Hagerty’s UK office produced a new short film, Blowing the Doors Off: Hagerty's Italian Job, which premiered a few days ago at the Stowe School. The movie is part of Hagerty’s “Never Stop Driving” campaign for car enthusiasts.
The Stowe School is a private institution in Buckinghamshire, UK, adjacent to the famed Silverstone race track. For the past 10 years it has held a car show on its grounds in connection with Stowe’s end-of-school-year Speech Day.
Hagerty, the world’s leading provider of specialty insurance for collectible and special interest cars, has held its “Festival of the Unexceptional” car show for vintage but mundane automobiles on the school's estate since 2017.
The Italian Job's producer, Michael Deeley, has a relationship with Stowe, having attended the school in his youth, and Deeley was the guest speaker at Stowe's 2019 Speech Day, providing the perfect opportunity for screening the short film.
The creation of the new movie was the result of a student science project at Stowe. Last year, students at the school contacted Hagerty's UK subsidiary for advice on rebuilding a classic car. Growing out of those discussions, Hagerty located a classic Mini for Stowe to purchase so its students could restore it, which they did to a high level, finishing the restoration off with a paint job in the school’s official colors.
With Deeley scheduled to speak at his alma mater, Hagerty UK decided to honor him, the school, and the restored Mini with its own version of The Italian Job, with the school's cooperation. The plot revolves around students trying to escape after breaking into the school to steal exam questions. The school's estate is rather large, with a network of private roads, allowing the filmmakers to shoot the Stowe Mini and its two companion Minis at full boil as they are being chased by a police officer driving an Alfa Romeo Giulia TI.
The filming was done during a school vacation, so when the short premiered at Stowe's Speech Day, it was a complete surprise for both the students and Deeley, who also produced film classics The Deer Hunter and Blade Runner.
In conjunction with the premiere, the OS Classic Car Display had 100 classic cars on the school grounds, including cars used in the filming of the original The Italian Job, and 50 Minis, curated and sourced by Hagerty UK.
Marcus Atkinson, Hagerty UK’s marketing director, was gracious for the unique opportunity to pull everything together.
“We would like to thank the team at Stowe for their permission to do this, to Michael Deeley for creating the wonderful original film that inspired us, and to all the owners and enthusiasts who have allowed their classic cars to be displayed as an additional spectacle on the day,” Atkinson said. “More importantly, our thanks to the science department at Stowe, whose desire to encourage young drivers to enjoy classics is matched only by our own.”