Monday November 13, 2017
The Pathe archives reflect the heritage of so many great car marques – not least MG. Enjoy!
The footage here is absolutely priceless, not just for the shots of MGs racing at West Palm Beach in Florida but also for the scenes of Abingdon in its heyday; note the Riley RMD being finished in the background.
The famed rally driver and Olympic ski competitor Ian Appleyard drives his new TD from Oxfordshire, through an unrecognisable almost traffic free London, to Dover for the ferry.
The sight of the MG battling with Citroen Traction Avants along the Champs-Élysées is magnifique and the spectacle of various skiers being towed by a TD at Val d'Isère is one of the glories of the Pathe catalogue.
British Car's Great Feat!
A newsreel that needs no introduction to any MG aficionado; Phil Hill reaching speeds of 254.53mph as the EX181 ‘Roaring Raindrop’ sped across the Utah Salt Plains.
The Sports Car of the Year
Any promotional newsreel that commences with the EX182 prototype competing in Le Mans in 1955 must be unmissable.
If that were not reason enough to view, there are shots of the MGA competing in the 1956 Alpine Rally and Stirling Moss, as the EX181 – the marque’s last Land Speed Record car – is being developed.
The film concludes with the sublime Twin Cam version being taken through its paces.
In the words of the genial, if faintly patronising narrator - ‘Whether a man – or come to that, a woman – drives for business, for fun, or for prizes or for all three he will find in the MGA Twin Cam an aristocrat of sports cars’.
Speedpack – Car by Air
The MGA is the undoubted star of this vibrantly Technicolor epic in which Eammon Andrews (who is in a distinctly jaunty form here) tells us of how cars may be transported by passenger TWA aircraft via an under-fuselage container.
Speedpacks were first seen in the late 1940s on Lockheed L049 Constellations although enthusiasts of four-wheeled transport will probably be more fascinated with the shots of ‘London Airport’ of six decades ago, with its Bedford CA service vehicles.
A trade film to promote all Nuffield Products as reliable, durable, respectable and, all in all, the car of choice for all decent-minded people.
Anyone seeing the TDs compete in the 1960d Alpine Rally at their local ABC picture house would immediately rush out to their nearest MG dealer to have their name put on the waiting list.
A colour mini-epic that is clearly aimed at US customers as we see our hero “Bob”, a clean-cut young chap demonstrating the wonder of the ‘MG 1100 Sedan’ to a visiting American couple.
The ADO16 here is in two-door LHD export form, with rather fetching whitewall tyres, and the commentary understandably places great emphasis on the ‘float on fluid’ suspension.
Best of all, there is a jaunt to Goodwood to meet Graham Hill.
The great racing driver wants to try out their holiday car, this fabulous MG 1100 with its sport gear changes and light, precise, steering for himself’ intone the announcer in possibly the greatest hard sell in cinema history.
And next, we see how a woman driver negotiates country town streets - ‘she’ll never park it in a space like that!’ claims our narrator but, by Jove, the lady manages to manoeuvre the 1100 between two Morris Oxford Travellers.
Magic Carpet is both a wonderful tribute to a prime MG saloon – and a remainder of the popularity of Brylcreem and twin-sets in the early 1960s.