The Home Made Car

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The Home Made Car (1963) is a short film directed by James Hill about a young man who rebuilds a vintage car and finds love. The film was nominated for an Academy Award (Short Subjects, Live Action Subjects), and won a special Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.


Filmed largely in and around Farnborough, Hampshire, and Cove Hampshire. the car was rebuilt at Blackwell Cottage, Cambridge Road West, Farnborough. The house remains, although the garage has been replaced by a detached house now number 26. The house where the little girl lived, next-door, is still there. As well as Farnborough, parts of the filming took place in Bucks Horn Oak, Hampshire and Seale, Surrey.

Cult success[edit]

The film became a cult success when regularly broadcast as a trade test colour transmission on the run up to the start of BBC2 colour transmissions.[1] Originally screened from September 1968 until August 1973, it was one of a series of short films broadcast to help television engineers set up new colour television sets. Other popular offerings were The North Sea Quest, Overhaul, Crown of Glass, Roads to Roam, The Small Propeller, The Cattle Carters, Prospect for Plastics, A Journey into the Weald of Kent, Giuseppina and Evoluon.

The Home Made Car has been made available by the BFI as an extra on either DVD or Blu-ray discs along with two more short films from the sixties also directed by James Hill called Giuseppina and Skyhook and included with the main movie called 'Lunch Hour'.

The car[edit]

The owner of the Bullnose Morris in the film, Eric Longworth, kept the car until his death in 2011. The car is now owned by Stuart Cooke of Darwen Lancashire. When the film was shot, the car had already been fully restored, so the chassis of another car which Eric was restoring at the time, a rare 1916 Perry, was used to replicate the Morris during restoration.

The featured sports car, registration VWK 929, is a white late '50s Austin-Healey 100-6 with red interior.

BP production[edit]

Production of the film was sponsored by the British Petroleum company (BP), and the Bucks Horn Oak scenes were based at a petrol filling station. BP continues to distribute the film.[2]


The music was by Ron Grainer and it includes a pastiche of the theme from Steptoe and Son when an old rag and bone man tries to steal the wheel arches from the still incomplete car.



  1. ^ Keys, Andrew (2007). "The Statistician's Guide to Trade Test Colour Films", webpage of the "Test Card Circle" website archived at WebCite from this original URL 2008-06-18.
  2. ^ "BP Video Library", webpage retrieved 2008-06-18.

External links[edit]