Our Video of the Week for the last week of January (wow, 2017 is roaring by!) is a sponsored documentary showing the manufacture of MG cars at Abingdon. This video comes by way of folks at British Pathé. One of the interesting thing to me about this video is that it is from 1931 – long before the MGB or even the MGA, entered the picture. The cars being made here are the ones that really laid the groundwork of the legend that would be MG.
The film begins with a large MG logo. M/S of a woman sitting in a living room reading a magazine. Intertitle reads: “Hurrah, our M.G. Magna is ready!” A man comes into the living room and shows his wife a letter. They leave the house together.
Longshot of a building with a sign on the outside: “The MG Car Co.” – A car drives past the building towards the camera. Interior of the building. The couple comes in and is greeted by the salesman. He speaks into a stick style telephone and another man comes in and shakes the hands of the husband and wife. “On our way to get the car let us go round the factory.
The Assembly Lines – High angle shot of the factory floor with MGs under construction. Various high angle shots of cars being assembled. C/U of two men working together on part of the car. Screws are tightened, axles are attached, wheels are affixed etc. The radiator is lowered onto the front of the car, the bodywork is attached, the steering wheel is put in place etc. We see the car taking shape through dissolves. Panning shot of the factory floor as men work on the assembly lines. Cars are moved along as each stage is completed. High angle shot of a long line of assembled cars without bodywork.
Where chassis frames are built up – A different part of the factory is featured. Two men work together building up a chassis. Various shots of men at work.
The Test Department, where the chassis receive final adjustments – High angle shot of men at work testing the cars. Brakes are tested on a machine. M/S of the car running on a testing machine. C/U of wheel turning in place. Wheels are tested for alignment. A man drives one of the cars onto the machine. Closeup of wheel alignment gauge. The car is driven backwards and forwards to test the alignment.
With a temporary body fitted the car now goes for its road test – Longshot of the temporary body being fitted. A number plate is screwed onto the front of the car. A machine called “The Comparator” is used to ascertain the maximum speed of the car in various gears. A man climbs into a car and puts it through its paces. C/U of the special speedometer. Another man stands by the car with a clipboard. He makes notes on various speeds.
All speedometers are tested for accuracy on this machine – Closeup of a man checking speedometers on the machine.
The Power Unit Shop, where engine subassemblies are carried out – M/S at men assembling engines. Various shots of the men at work. Panning shot of men testing engines. We then see footage of the Machine Shop. Chassis frame side members are drilled and small components are manufactured. Panning shot of the factory floor.
Sheet metal blanks are cut to shape by Oxyacetylene plant – Closeup of metal being cut then hammered through the sheet.
In the Paint Shop, where workshop gray is changed to cheery colors – Longshot of man painting MG with a spray gun. Closeup of the spray gun. Various shots of bodywork being sprayed. Bodies are prepared for mounting in the Body Shop. Panning shots of men at work. We then see the body finishing lines.
One of the famous Montlhery Midgets – M/S of two men checking the finishing of the car upholstery. Wing mirrors and the boot are checked.
Service. The reception department, the factory consulting room – A woman driver and her female passenger arrive in the servicing department. A man opens the bonnet of the car, looks inside and makes some notes. High angle shot of the Service Repair Bay and the Dispatch Department. The husband and wife seen earlier are taken to their new car. They climb in. Intertitle reads: “Goodbye, and many happy “Safety Fast” miles. Salesman shakes hands with the couple. The couple
Intertitle reads: “Goodbye, and many happy “Safety Fast” miles. Salesman shakes hands with the couple. The couple drives off, and we see them moving out of the factory from behind.
Film ends with company logo title.