• Short Summary

    Documentary about the manufacture and export of British motor cars. c. 1962

  • Description

    British Motor Corporation presentation. Aerial shot of large city. Voiceover speaks of the idea of making the British car "master of its own roads" and a challenge to foreign rivals. Two biggest British motor car manufacturers have joined together to form the British Motor Corporation. Moving overhead shot of a factory floor. Large machines with workers operating them. High angle shots of the factory. C/U of pressing machines, iron bars being pounded by a machine. Worker smokes as he operates a press. Bust of Sir Herbert Austin and still photograph of William Morris - Viscount Nuffield L/S of car showroom with people looking at Minis, Austin Cambridge, Austin Healey and Frog Eyed Sprite. Woman sits in the driving seat of a Mini Traveller in the showroom. C/U of a Austin Riley (?) Small metal models of Austin 7, Bullnosed Morris, Austin Tourer, Morris 10, Morris Minor, Mini. Map of Great Britain showing the locations of Longbridge and Cowley. Other factories are marked on the map. The set up of the conglomeration is described focusing on co-operation. Moving aerial shot of Oxford. High angle pan of the city. University and industry work together. Shots of Nuffield College. Car transporter drives towards, and past camera with Mini bodies on board. Factory floor. Cars reaching completion stage - lots of different models being worked on, not all same car. C/U of various processes. Bonnets and doors being attached. Radiator grill being attached etc. Long production line of white Minis. C/U of winching mechanisms.
    Sounds of factory on soundtrack. Man cutting leather. Woman at sewing machine stitching leather. Carpeting and upholstery department. Many women at sewing machines. Various shots of upholstery being sewn, cut, placed around blocks etc. Quantities of materials required are described. Body of a Mini goes through rotor-dip plant for protection against rust. We see car bodies being turned through steam. Minis are then primed and painted. Men apply manual touches - they wear face masks and overalls. Lid of a box is opened to show several headlights. Camera pans across boxes of various parts - cables, rubber brake pedal covers, door handles, batteries etc. Voiceover speaks of how the demand for parts leads to more jobs in other factories. Oil furnaces, boiler room of factory. Description of how much oil, coal and electricity used by B.M.C. Men working on car engines. L/S and C/U. Man sits in front of large control board.

    Shot from interior of car as it travels down the drive of the Longbridge plant in Birmingham. L/S of the car arriving. Low angle shot of the entrance with grand sign Austin of England and B.M.C. over doorway. High angle shot of multi story garage with finished cars lined up outside. Cars are driven into the garage. Car transporters leave the factory with Minis on board. Painted on the side: "More Exports for Austin." Camera follows the trucks. Graphic map of England with a B.M.C. rosette stuck on. Animated lines point out the world markets for B.M.C. products. Australia, Europe, Africa, North and South America, India and South East Asia. Car transporter drives through factory grounds. Tractor on a winch seen from a low angle. High angle shot of large number of tractors lined outside factory. Power station chimneys in the background. Pan across many tractors. Bathgate (?) in Scotland - BMC Commercial Vehicles Plant. Lorries are driven out of the factory gates. L/S of cargo liner by the quayside. Car transporters line up and cars are driven towards quayside. Back of a car transporter is lowered for cars to be driven off. Name on the transporter is of an Oxford company - S. (?) Henry Ltd. A supervisor in white coat and beret talks to the driver. Man gets into a white open topped sports car and drives it off the transporter. MGs and Austin Healeys are mentioned. Cars are seen driving along the quayside towards the cargo ship. Bonneville Salt Flats - speed records are discussed. Streamlined car speeds along past the camera. Sports car (Sprite?) is pushed on to a winch by several men. It is then lifted aboard the cargo ship. Two men check it off on their paperwork in C/U. High angle shot of men pushing the car off winch onto ship. Other sporty models are lowered onto the deck. High angle shot of the spares stores. C/U of man taking part off the shelf. BMC Service Limited provides huge reserve of spares. Shots of storemen finding parts, pushing trolleys, checking parts off on paperwork etc. Loads of spares are prepared for export. Packing case with "Nuffield Exports" stamp. Other packing cases are seen with various destinations: Arica Chile, Booth Dublin, Sydney, Auckland, Vera Cruz, Capetown, Calcutta. Forklift truck moves cases. C/U of BMC rosette stapled to a packing case. Loads are taken off a truck and moved by forklift towards an aircraft. Small boxes are lifted aboard the aircraft while a foreman checks them off on paperwork.

    Morning spares air-lift from Heathrow Airport. Aircraft takes off. Graphic map of the world with arrows and rosettes showing how BMC spreads around the world. Moving aerial shot of a motorway. Couple in early 1900s dress walk towards a 1913 Bullnosed Morris. Man starts engine with a crank and the couple climb into the car - the car is parked on a mud road by a river where horses are grazing nearby. Man drives the car towards the camera. C/U of front of Morris and of an Austin 7. Pan up to show couple in 1930s (?) outfits driving along country road - shot from another car. High angle shots of many men at work on a production line. C/Us of workers using drills and putting screws in place. The engine shops of BMC are "a production engineers paradise" as automatic machinery does the work of 100 men "setting them free for other work." C/U of man working an automatic nut tightner, this is contrasted with a man using a torque wrench to tighten a nut by hand. Skilled human checking. C/U of man concentrating on checking a differential. Man at a "Churchill" machine checking parts. Voiceover talks of the automatic machinery that has kept car prices down at a time of inflation. Various C/Us of mechanised processes and men operating machines. BMC described as: "A fellowship of ordinary men and women." The investors are mentioned. 82,000 employees - BMC is Britains largest individual exporter. Various C/Us of workers' faces. Shot of a line of women working at machines. Engines are moved through the factory on a winch system. Man checks engine as it comes close to him. Mini moving high over the camera on pulley system. An Austin Cambridge (?) is lowered on to chassis. Completed car is driving on to a testing block - C/U of the wheels turning. "Nearly half the cars on the roads of Britain are made in the factories of BMC." C/U of man testing car sitting in the driver's seat. Car driven off the assembly line. L/S of exterior of Cowley (?) works - Route traveller bus at a standstill in front of the factory. Car transporters cross in front of factory. Men leaving work at the end of the day. They walk towards the camera. "Every week 82,000 men and women earn a million pound." Aerial shots of both of the car plants. Note: excellent promotional film with lots of great shots of car manufacture and ecstatic voiceover about the greatness of BMC and its exports. Print has pink cast due to colour fading - also tape.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:09:15:00 / 01:29:38:00

Comments (1)

  1. Unknown user says

    "C/U of a Austin Riley (?)" - it's a Vanden Plas Princess 3-litre.

    "Streamlined car speeds along" - that's the MG EX181.

    "Pan up to show couple in 1930s (?) outfits driving along country road - shot from another car" - that's an Austin 7 Tourer, Reg. No. YA 7103. (It's been preserved and is still running as of 2012).

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