FROM the streets of Turin to a street in Hereford, three Mini Coopers are bringing a blast from the past in classic cinema to the city. As Sir Michael Caine might put it himself, ‘Not a lot of people know that’, but in fact a trio of Minis identical to those used in The Italian Job will be on show from now up until Christmas.

Stroll past John Wood Tyres in St Owen’s Street and be amazed at the red, white and blue cars carefully reconstructed by expert mechanic Greg Jenkins, part of long-established Hereford business N. Jenkins & Son, whose pride and joy is bringing a bit of razzamatazz to the city centre.

Bringing a touch of glamour to the showroom is not unusual at John Wood Tyres, though the Minis, exact replicas of the fleet used in the 1969 film starring Sir Michael, Noel Coward and Benny Hill among others, have shifted interest up a gear or two. Lea Wood was delighted when Greg Jenkins suggested putting the cars in their showroom in the build up to Christmas.

“They are identical to the real thing and have been seen on television in adverts such as the one with David Hasselhoff at the wheel,” says Lea. “Obviously everyone knows The Italian Job – the original with Michael Caine, I just love that film!”

Greg Jenkins, who with his father Nigel has brought 60 years’ worth of experience to the family business at Wyevale Business Park, Kings Acre, has a huge passion for Minis. In fact two years ago the county motor racing star scooped the Mighty Minis championship, and he has lovingly restored and reconstructed his three prize Minis.

That passion could be one reason why he is a “big fan” of the original film, which is remembered for its high-powered chase through Turin and the cliff-hanging sequence at the end. The line where gang leader Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) complains: “You were only meant to blow the **** doors off” has entered film history.

Though the cars used in the movie were scrapped after filming, Greg is proud to say that his cars are perfect reconstructions. “I restored the red one from scratch and I bought the white and blue ones and modified them to ‘Italian Job’ specifications.” He now hires his famous Minis out for weddings.

In 2010 Greg’s classics appeared in a World Cup advert for Ladbrokes with footballing stars Ian Wright and Chris Kamara.

As Sir Michael might have put it: “Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea…”