Video: The 1966 London Motor Show at Earl’s Court

Filmed in bright, beautiful Technicolor and wonderfully preserved, this could be the best historical coverage of the London Motor Show we’ve found yet. See the latest cars from Britain for 1966 in this six-minute feature.



In 1966 the British Labour government of Harold Wilson was engaged in a major push to promote and increase exports—hence the title of this British Pathé news feature, The Big Drive. Sales of big-ticket items like automobiles, especially in overseas markets, were seen as critical to pulling the British economy into the black.

At six minutes, the film is considerably longer than the typical theatrical newsreel item, and as an added bonus, it’s produced in glorious Technicolor and beautifully preserved. As regular readers know here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, we enjoy presenting these old auto show features—they’re wonderful history lessons—and this may be the best one we’ve found yet. Here are just a few of the vehicles of note:

+   From the Rootes Group, the new Hillman Hunter, which replaced the Super Minx and is billed here as “the complete family car.”

+   The Triumph GT6 coupe, based on the Spitfire but with all-weather comfort and six-cylinder power. Here it’s proudly noted that the first six months’ production was reserved for U.S. export.

+   The Rover P6 2000 receives special attention, especially its elegant and very British cabin and its 2.0-liter OHC engine.

Enjoy the video.


3 thoughts on “Video: The 1966 London Motor Show at Earl’s Court

  1. Some lemons in that clip,, Hillman Hunter. A car that ended up in scrap when the thermostat housing needed replacing and HB Viva ditto except it was the gearbox. That in the 70s. And in Oz we never got those until 68/69
    And the twin carb Rover,,, with a single carb.

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