Magnificent Machines: The Golden Age of the British Sports Car

Radio Times
Review by:
David Crawford

It seems someone at BBC4 is becoming increasingly nostalgic for postwar British manufacturing. After documentaries on the UK’s jet aerospace industry, now this jaunty film shines a light on the success stories of the humble sports car firms that carved a niche export market with small, exciting two-seaters.

Packed with evocative archive and men rhapsodising over the thrill of driving Healeys, Triumphs, MGs and Jaguars – “as much fun as you could have in those days with your trousers on” – the testosterone is tempered by the tale of the great rallyist Pat Moss (sister of Stirling), and by Tamsin Greig’s cheekily sardonic narration.

About this programme

A look at how iconic manufacturers such as Jaguar, Austin-Healey, MG and Triumph prospered during the austerity of the post-war years. The programme explores how Britain briefly became the home of the two-seater vehicle and features memorable motors from the era, including the MG Midget, the Sprite and the Jaguar E-Type. Narrated by Tamsin Greig, with contributions by Stirling Moss and Quentin Willson.

Cast and crew


Tamsin Greig
Stirling Moss
Quentin Willson


Andy Hall
Andy Hall

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