Buttle UK

Italian Job

Italian Job

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Russ Swift and Team 21

Russ Swift and Team 21

Russ Swift and Italian Job Team 21 at the Isle of Man TT Centenary 2007

Knowing of Team 21’s Italian Job trip in October 2007, Peter Duke of Duke Video asked Ian and Mike if they would get involved with the TT Centenary celebration in the form of an Italian Job type display featuring the well known “Precision Driver” Russ Swift www.russswift.com/ who holds enough world records to fill a Mini!

Ian and Mike obviously jumped at the chance of taking part in the 100th year celebrations of the Isle of Man TT, in so doing giving them the opportunity to promote the Italian Job and give their supporters a great promotional exposure opportunity on the newly decaled Mini.

It all first took the format of practicing on the disused airfield at Jurby in the north of the island on Friday of TT Practice week.  This is where Russ could have a test drive of Team 21ís Mini and put it through its paces up and down the ramp of Duke Videoís articulated wagon promotion rig.  After many successful entries and exits with “J” turns, handbrake turns, etc completed (a great opportunity for Mike to get lots of photos very close up inside the car with Russ) Russ was very happy with all the technical arrangements by Duke Video and Team 21’s Mini.  He then progressed onto his two very new BMW Minis, a gold one and a blue one; these we understand are the latest revised models from Mini, which were on their first event with Russ.  They are the very latest spec stock BMW Mini cars, only the gold two-wheeler being altered with welded up differential, and nearside driveshaft removed.  The practices went fine and everyone involved at the practice session got a turn at being a passenger in the two wheeler, this was really strange as just as you think heís got it all wrong and the car is for sure going on its side, “Hey Presto” the vehicle is going along on two wheels (Ian says he is determined to perfect this stunt with one of his Minis!!!! – hhmmmmnn!).

All practising done, it was time for the real entertainment; first night was that same evening, Friday of practice week where Russ gave his usual precision performance with his Minis dancing around to music, handbrake turns, “J” turns, parking manoeuvres and two wheeling stunts, after which he performed in the Mitsubishi EVO doing his world record stunt at 10 doughnuts in less than 15 seconds, smoke pouring from the tyres and a total dizzying experience (Ian knows first hand, as he sat in one night).  Also performing was local man Steve Colley, many stunt bike riders, acrobats and the Dutch “Scarry” Jet Quad Bike “Pyromaniac” which poured out clouds of flames, there was so much going on every night on the closed roads of Douglas promenade, it just couldn’t be missed. On Saturday evening, Russ took Team 21’s Mini out and was involved at the opening of the show coming out of the artic wagon chucking the Mini around the promenade, ìJî turns, handbrake turns, etc along with world famous Steve Colley riding his Gas Gas trial bike bobbing in and out of the artic performing his own unique stunts.  After three or four hours of none stop TT promenade entertainment, all the participants came out for the grand finale where Team 21ís Mini was put through its paces again coming out of the artic this time flanked by a Red and a Blue Mini, belonging to Ian, for the real Italian Job effect.

Similar shows were performed on Sunday and Monday nights with varied other entertainment, and the last night, Tuesday, was rather special for Russ Swiftís two wheeling stunt, where he unofficially broke the current world record for two wheeling a vehicle through a narrow gap.  Also on Tuesday night, Team 21’s Minis were out again performing a similar routine to Saturday evening.  That evening was also further enhanced by the presence of the inimitable Mike Brewer of various motoring programmes who commentated on Russís world record-breaking attempt and also gave great interviews with Russ with the minis present.

We had a great time and hopefully promoted the Italian Job 2007, but also it was fantastic to have such an opportunity to give our generous supporters brilliant and extensive exposure to a vast captive audience with our Classic Mini, out there all decaled up and presenting herself magnificently.  With top driver Russ Swift putting her through her paces she never missed a beat and once again a little Mini did us proud (let’s hope she behaves as well on the “Job” in October!).  In addition to the live captive audience, all of the events were, of course, captured on film by Duke Video and several clips are now featured on the extremely popular YouTube website amongst others, plus the DVD that will be published by Duke Video in the next few months.

It was a great privilege to meet and spend some time with the brilliantly talented Russ Swift and our grateful thanks go to both Russ and his partner, Christine, for a great Centenary TT and allowing us to promote our Team 21 Mini so spectacularly!  Did we have fun!!!