This film is part of Free

Making a Motor Car Bumper

A peek behind the scenes at the Hillman motor car factory near Coventry.

1951 9 mins Silent


The distinctive voice of BBC newsreader Frank Phillips narrates this journey from steel sheet to contoured bumpers. Despite the low budget, this industrial process film is beautifully shot, skilfully edited and free of cumbersome music or effects. It's an informative 10-minute tour behind the scenes at the Hillman factory, giving us an insight into the impact protection system of the 1950s motor car.

Cheaply produced for mass markets, the Hillman Minx was a huge success in the 1950s and would to be revamped and upgraded many times over. The brand eventually fell victim in 1967 to the Chrysler takeover of the Rootes group of motor manufacturers. Today the Hillman name belongs to Peugeot; the plant at Ryton-on-Dunsmore near Coventry closed in 2007. Rust was a key problem in this generation of motor cars and unsurprisingly, Hillman KLH844 has dropped off the DVLA register.