• Short Summary

    A great documentary about the design, testing and building of the Austin 7, a forerunner of the Mini

  • Description

    Reel 2

    Men working on the production of the Austin Seven (7) (this is an early name for a version of the Mini). Parts of the engine are moved and fitted. Parts travel along the assembly line. Shots of men working on the production line. The engines are being put together. High angle shot of the engine production line. Machines do some of the work without the help of men. The engines are run electrically and checked by man (the voice over says this help to cut down on "running in"). The engine is lifted off the line and fluid drains out. Men attach the gear box and sump. This is one unit described as "real space saving brilliance". The unit is then hoisted off the line. A large number of engines are lined up in a storage area.

    Two men work at a large press which stamps out parts of the car's body from sheets of metal. Parts of the body are welded together and imperfections are sanded out with various power tools. Part of the car body is moved on an overhead crane system. More parts of the body are welded into place. It is built in sections "like a prefabricated house". The side panels are welded on and then the rear. Final welding takes place. A man runs his hands along the car body to check for imperfections. A nearly finished body shell is lifted up and moved along a track in the roof of the factory.

    As the car moves backwards along a track a large rounded pole comes through the body from back to front, a very odd image like the car is being impaled. The car is spun over and over on the pole by a workman before it goes in for a dip in the rust proofing rotor dip. Steam comes off as the cars "gripped like a chicken on a spit" move through cleaning jets. They then come out of the submersion bath and are returned to the production line.

    Men with spray guns paint the Austin Sevens (7) (they are early versions of the Mini) as they pass along the production line. The workers all wear masks and hats. Large numbers of men rub down the painted surface of the cars. This part of the process seems very labour intensive. The cars are spray painted again, this time the spraying is done by a mechanical process. Men spray on the final gloss coat of paint (the cars get six coats according to the voice over). The men look as if they are covered in paint.

    Men cutting fabric. Women working at sewing machines to cover the upholstery for the seats. On the trim line men fix on various items to the car. The badges and wires are fitted. Interior features like the clock are fitted. Headlamps are fitted also. The radiator grill is fitted. The steering column. The seats are also installed. Various checks are carried out. Large numbers of cars travel along the line. "Now the natty little body is ready to meet the subframes and engine assembly". The car is lifted up and moved along above the line. The engine is lifted up and lowered into the front subframe. Men tighten various parts of the engine with hydraulic tools.

    Note: Very similar in many respects to "Wizardry on Wheels". Paperwork contains a copy of the commentary script. Colour is faded in this print.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:28:01:00 / 01:37:50:00

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