HANG on a minute lads, aren't you meant to blow the bloody doors off?

Oxford's Mini plant could have been mistaken for Italy yesterday as boiler-suit clad criminals re-staged a scene from The Italian Job to celebrate the film's 50th birthday.

See the stunts in the video below 

Performing daring stunts in tiny Mini classics, the thieves made off with crates of gold, much to the delight of the film's producer Michael Deeley who was watching on.

Mr Deeley, now 86, was visiting the Cowley plant for the first time to celebrate the dual anniversaries of his film and the car that starred in it, which turns 60 this year.

Oxford Mail:

He said: "It's still my favourite film and the Minis are the stars, no question.

"They offered us as many fiats as we wanted but it had to be a British car.

"It was when all the debates about Europe were rumbling on the first time.

READ MORE: Drive it day brings first ever Mini back to Cowley Plant

"We wanted to be cheeky and make it a bit 'us v them' and the Mini was perfect.

"It's so quick and nimble and moves beautifully. We could never have done it with a Bentley."

Oxford Mail:

A selection of invited guests including Mr Deeley and David Salamone, a stunt co-ordinator, attended a screening of the film yesterday evening and heard a specially recorded message from Michael Caine.

The event also helped launch 'The Self Preservation Society', a new book about the film by author Michael Field.

Graham Biggs, corporate communications director of BMW, said the history of the film and car would inevitably be always intertwined.

He said: "When the Mini first launched in 1959, people weren't really sure what to make of it.

"Then John Cooper discovered it was a fantastic racing car,

"Suddenly you've got what was intended to be a city car winning rallies.

READ MORE: Petrolheads toast Minis and Maxis at Cowley Drive it Day

"It started to get a reputation as something that was a bit cool and different, even The Beatles had one.

"There's no question the film played a huge part in its fame and success.

"I can't think of any other film where the cars are the stars in quite the same way."

Yesterday's stunts were performed by Paul Swift and his team of drivers.

Oxford Mail:

The 39-year-old Yorkshireman is the son of Russ Swift, who once held the world record for the tightest parallel park.

The younger Swift has worked with Top Gear and now runs his own driving experience company.

He said: "I started doing this sort of stuff from the age of seven.

"It's all in the practice, you have to do it over and over again to get it right.

"We walk the routes before we drive them and if we don't bump into each other while walking, we're usually alright in the cars.

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"But you are still always a bit nervous and they are my cars so I'd have to pay if something went wrong.

"I've always been a huge fan of the film and I'd love to be part of it if they ever made another one.

"The reception has been fantastic. Everybody has been cheering and waving. We took the a car onto the production line and everyone wanted to see it."