THEY’RE forsaking their normal routine on the M62 to recreate a film classic.

Highways Agency officers Martin Free and Mike Merry spend most days driving up and down one of the country’s busiest motorways, helping motorists cope with problems.

But later this month the pair are to do their bit for charity and tackle The Italian Job – a 3,500-mile trip to Turin and back inspired by the classic Michael Caine film.

Not that they plan to get away with a haul of gold bullion. But they do hope to raise thousands of pounds for Kids Out, a children’s charity.

It helps children with physical, health, social or learning difficulties along with youngsters who come from turbulent or financially deprived backgrounds.

Martin, 36, of Dalton, and Mike, 46, of Cleckheaton, make up Team 91 and like many other competitors, they will be in a Mini.

The pair will attempt the adventure in Martin’s Mark 7 Mini Cooper S which he bought from John Cooper Garages – the spot for Mini enthusiasts in the past.

On October 17 the pair will join around 100 other like-minded classic car enthusiasts in recreating some of the scenes from the 1960 film by taking part in an event that has raised more than £2m for children’s charities since 1990.

The film is famous for its crazy car chases through Turin and although there will be no chasing, there will be plenty of driving.

Martin said: “To take part in the event you need to have a type of vehicle that appeared in the original film.

“Having checked our garages for an E-type Jaguar, Maserati or Jensen, we have had to make do with my Mini!

“The event will cover approximately 3,500 miles and ends back in the UK after winding through Italy, Switzerland and France.

“This year’s run is the 20th anniversary of the event and the 50th anniversary of first production of the Mini so we are really pleased to be taking part.”

The pair are funding the cost themselves but are looking to raise at least £1,500 for Kids Out through sponsorship. They’ve already got backing from local firms including FMG Support, Stoneywood Ltd and JC Bates & Sons Ltd.

Martin said: “We travel over to Calais from Dover and drive through France to Chamonix. Then it’s on to Turin for the real Italian job, with runs to Florence and to Rome. We then head into Northern Italy and the Alps, and we will be stopping off at many of the film locations.

“It’s a favourite film of mine and I can watch it time and time again, but I also love the remake. “It will make a big change for our work on the motorways of West Yorkshire.”

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