engines

16 engines

Time and again, the sounds of certain different engines are suggested to me as important links to Oxfordshire’s aural heritage. The ones that come up again and again are the Morris Minor, the MG and the Mini, and so I have been tracking down examples of these to record.  Both the Mini and the Morris were made in Cowley, whilst the MG was manufactured in Abingdon.  At their peak the factories employed many thousands of local people, making many cars and contributing enormously to the history of car production.  (The Mini is still made at Cowley).

The engines make for interesting listening, as one can really hear the sound of technical improvement for the cars of different ages.  More interesting, perhaps, is the sonic personality of the different engine makes, which seem to fit perfectly with the car’s visual image – from the non-assuming changeable rhythms of the Morris Minor to the confident purr of the MGB, the latter’s sound relying as much on the bass frequencies from the coming from exhaust as from the engine itself.

Other engine sounds that have been recommended are the sound of the F1 Racing Cars at Grove and, at the other end of the spectrum, the calm chugging of a canal narrow boat.

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