MTC team take Minis across Italy for charity

MTC team take Minis across Italy for charity

Date: Friday 24 October 2014

News MTC team take Minis across Italy for charity

MTC team take Minis across Italy for charity

A team of graduates and apprentices from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry are recreating scenes from the classic Michael Caine film “The Italian Job” after restoring three classic Minis and taking them across Italy.

The team took on the daunting task of restoring three original Minis - one of which is a 1965 vintage - and making them sufficiently roadworthy to get to and from Italy. The Minis, christened Mike, Tango and Charlie (M,T and C) are driving from Turin to Trento, taking in the testing mountain roads of Piedmont and Trentino, and a drive on the famous Monza circuit.

They were flagged on their way at a special send-off from the MTC, having paid a special visit to Rugby Borough Council – one of the team sponsors. The trek is to celebrate the 25th year of The Italian Job Mini Car Rally, in which hundreds of Minis are making the drive across Italy, recreating the famous 1969 film. The rally is raising money for Variety, the children’s charity which aims to raise the quality of life of deprived children.

The eight-strong MTC team have renovated and repaired all three cars themselves to get them roadworthy. They are being sponsored by MTC members Sandvik Coromant, DMG MORI, Blaser, IMechE, Hexagon Metrology and Siemens. Rugby Borough Council provided the team with their initial sponsorship.

MTC chief executive Dr Clive Hickman said the trainees had taken on a big challenge but were more than capable of rising to it.

“This is a great experience for the trainees, and is also developing valuable skills in engineering, problem-solving and fundraising. I am very proud of them,” he said.

The MTC is building an £18 million Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre at its Ansty Park headquarters, and work is well underway. The new centre will be a flagship facility for an advanced apprenticeship and graduate trainee programme and trainees will learn the latest technology in areas such as intelligent automation, additive layer manufacture, laser machining and welding. They will be able to test and develop their skills in sponsored placements, including the opportunity to get involved in international projects.

The MTC’s work with apprentices has been praised by Prime Minister David Cameron who applauded the work the MTC was doing to produce the engineers of the future.

The MTC opened in 2010 and was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers and a number of SMEs.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.


Being involved in a team with diverse skills and working on far-reaching projects gives me enthusiasm to come to work and surpass my own personal expectations.

Keith Lorenz
Research Engineer, Net Shape Manufacturing