Film ID: NEFA 22110 DRIVING TESTS 1959 Visitor TabsDescription An amateur film made by Raymond James Paiton begins with a number of vehicles driving carefully along a snow covered road and a snow plough clearing the route. This is followed by members of the Northumbrian Motor Club participating in their annual driving tests beginning at Wallsend Dene with cars attempting to drive up a steep muddy incline followed by them taking part in a series of against the clock driving test including a skid track taking place at Gosforth Park in Newcastle. The film opens on a soft-top red Austin Healey sports car driving carefully along a snow covered country road. The film cuts to show a caterpillar tracked snow plough as it clears the road with two children playing nearby. A number of other vehicles drive past carefully, including a Ford Consul, a Standard Vanguard, an Austin Healey Sprite,a Morris Minor Traveller, a Vauxhall Victor estate car and a Riley 1.5 the first car skidding on the icy surface. The film cuts to a country road in summer and a group of people standing over the bonnet of a car, a Volvo parked next to it, looking at a map. Around them other stand chatting waiting for events to begin. A Fiat 600 followed by an Austin A40 Farina attempt to drive up a steep muddy incline. Neither make it. The Austin makes a second attempt which is more successful followed by other cars including a Volvo, a Mini Cooper a Morris Minor convertible, another Mini, a Fiat 600, an Austin Healey Sprite, another Fiat 600, two Mini Minors, an Austin A35 van, and a Hillman Minx estate car. Very few cars make it to the top, most become bogged down in the mud about halfway up. A yellow Westland Whirlwind rescue helicopter flies overhead and comes in low past the camera. The film cuts to a phantom car ride of a car attempting to make the incline. The film cuts to show cars parked along a tarmac track, including a Riley 1.5, an Austin Healey 'Frogeye' Sprite, a Standard Vanguard, a Hillman Husky van, a Mini, and a Ford Anglia. General views show spectators and officials at the starting line and a red open topped sports car, possibly a Lotus Seven, waiting to begin it’s run. The sports car speeds off along the track before reversing into a marked space and speeding away. This is followed by runs from a Triumph TR3, then an Austin Healey Sprite, another Triumph TR3 (later model), a Riley 1.5, a Hillman Minx Estate, and an MG MGA. Again, a phantom car ride is featured in a vehicle taking part in the course. At another part of the course a sign resting on a bollard with the letter ‘C’ painted on it. A number of cars drive up at speed, a Hillman Husky van takes on the driving task, followed by more vehicles including a Mini Cooper, an MG MGA, the Riley 1.5, and a Ford Anglia. The test includes weaving in out of a set of bollards. On a slick surface a series of cars comes in at speed, stops, reverses and drives off again at speed. Water pours from the back of a lorry to moisten the road surface for the next car. A man brushes the water evenly over the road, the film cuts to a Fiat 600 driving across the slick road to complete the test seen previously. More vehicles, including those seen earlier follow next, and a view follows from inside one of the cars as it completes the test. Filmed from both inside the car as well as alongside on the track, a Mini Minor swerves in and out around a set of bollards. The Mini dives onto the slick section of road followed by a number of other vehicles. The film ends on two open-topped sports cars driving onto the slick track.