Few moments in cinematic history have etched themselves into the car enthusiast's memory with such assurance as the opening scenes of the 1969 caper "The Italian Job", where a Lamborghini Miura is seen negotiating a series of sun-kissed, snow-capped and wonderfully ribbony Alpine roads before meeting its premature end in a tunnel.
Some people may well remember it for the beauty of the scenery, or the mellifluous tones of Matt Monro. Most will of course remember it for the glorious lines of the Arancio Orange Miura itself, in the days the film was made just about the most stunning thing you could hope to encounter not just in the Alps but almost anywhere, then as now a twinkling jewel of a car. It was after all a 180mph mid-engined supercar that stood just 43in high, and it had been taking the world by storm since 1966. I think it's fair to say no other car could carry off Minnie Mouse-style headlights so well.
Me, I'm in thrall to its large steering wheel. I've always been slightly amused by the extraordinary driving position of the Miura too, and how the driver in this film - sunglasses on, cigarette in mouth, unknowing end just around the corner - occasionally has to shuffle the wheel around as if he were driving a Routemaster 'bus. Italian cars always used to have a driving position that favoured someone with long arms, of course, so your options were usually to sit closer to the wheel than you'd ideally like or to pass the wheel through the hands, Institute of Advanced Motorist-style.
The Miura's low-geared steering wouldn't have helped either, with 3.4 turns of that large wheel lock-to-lock and an 11m turning circle, but in fairness this car does date from 1966 and who the hell cares when it still looks so good over 50 years later? I think it's fair to have to put in a bit of work if you want to be seen in something that's still so utterly desirable, and not just for its looks. After all you've still got that magnificent four-cam 350hp 4.0-litre V12 hung out behind you amidships, transversely mounted - like a Mini turned back to front, as LJK Setright had it - and making both power and music in equal measure. It was safe to 8000rpm, too, not that many owners ventured that far, or needed to. All they needed to do was enjoy the ride and then sit back on their barstools, stroke their chins thoughtfully and let rip to their goggle-eyed audience the exotic names Dallara, Bizzarrini, Gandini, Bertone; best not to mention Giugiaro though...
This beauty we've plucked from the classifieds for salivation also has a showbiz history, having appeared in Lambo-lover Adam Carolla's 2015 film "Road Hard". It's a later S version and is even Arancio Orange, so it could almost be the surviving Miura from "The Italian Job", except it isn't: that one was tracked down and sold on some time ago.
This one's equally highly desirable, though, and looks to be in immaculate condition - it even has air-con, so no longer will the Miura driver wilt in hot weather. Alas you'll need the not inconsiderable sum of £1.35 million to buy it, which puts it out of most people's reach - unless of course you happen to have a busload of gold bullion hanging around somewhere?