Alfa Sprint crash from ‘Les Choses de la Vie’ 1970

I enjoy movies set in Europe in the 1960’s where they have real street scenes.  I watched ‘How to steal a million’ with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole the other night and the street scenes were amazing.  I was reminded I haven’t been featuring video’s in a while and it brought to mind this video.  I know, you’ve seen this before but paying close attention to the details will get you thinking.  If you’ve never seen it watch it before you read the comments after it. 

I’ve seen it a few times and the second or third time I paid extra attention to the details of the crash and it’s like trying to make sense of the famously inconsistent chase scene in Bullitt where the Mustang goes through magic portals that seem to teleport it from North Beach to Brisbane  or wherever with a tire-screeching turn.  I can excuse the out of sequence presentation of events in the crash as artistic license because when I think of a crash I’ve been in it’s not exactly a timeline sensitive reverie.   A good example of this timeline jumping is when you see the Sprint headed off the road with a smashed tail light before you see the corner of the Sprint impact the truck.  Some of the more  subtle details include the car switching back and forth from round hole Borrani’s to Fergats, the headlights going back and forth from yellow (French style) to clear and last, a 5 lug hole truck tire come bouncing out of the grass after the Sprint comes to a rest.  I have read that 8 cars were destroyed in the making of this scene, lets just say I hope that was either hyperbole or unfounded rumor.   

The broken throttle video

The Giulietta SS in the mountains video

The Giulia Super chasing a BMW video


7 thoughts on “Alfa Sprint crash from ‘Les Choses de la Vie’ 1970

    • I didn’t mention it in my write up but I had an accident when the brakes went out in my Sprint a few years ago. Nothing this serious, but scary in a ‘trying to get around stuff’ sort of way. I suppose it could have been this serious if I didn’t get lucky. When I see this I imagine a slo-mo of what I must have looked like.


  1. The car that was rolled over appears to be a Sprint Veloce. Veloce headers and sump are visible as the car is rolling over. DB

    • I was thinking the same thing, but then it doesn’t have the larger gas tank. If it’s anything like how hey do scenes like thins today they rounded up a few ‘one step from the grave’ cars, painted them all the same color and gave the stunt guys license to bust them up.


  2. Dear Matt,
    I don’t see ANY gas tank, let alone 80 lt., on the rolling car! A film sequence of food for thought, as one pushes it through the twisties… 8 less cars for anyone to save.

  3. There a couple of odd frames in the middle. Stop at 56 sec. and at 1 min & 34 sec and there single frame shots of the film crew and actors. One shot they’re standing around the back of a wrecker. So how many subliminal Coke ads I’ve seen this week?

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