Unlike other consumer goods, automobiles have the ability to tug at one’s emotions, inspire unfailing loyalty and connect people together. This is the story of Matt Holt, a filmmaker, who falls in love and turns the object of his affection, the Morris Minor, into his leading lady. Car enthusiasts categorize people by their fondness for certain cars or marques : he’s a Cobra guy, they are Porsche people, he’s a Ferrari guy, a Mini gal, etc. Matt by his own words is not or was not a “car aficionado” but when he got rid of his Vespa last year during a cold January he walked by a garage where his life changed. Cue the twinkle in the eye, he spied a soft top, minimal curves and a cheeky smile. After a quick test drive Matt removed the the cash from his wallet, still fresh from the Vespa sale, and brought home the dazzling Morris Minor. Matt had fallen in love.
As his daily driver he was amazed at the attention this little car attracted. “Wherever I went, especially if the top was down, people would just come over and chat about the car.” Matt credits the car with making him “approachable” which he turned into a filmmaking opportunity.
“It got me thinking about interviewing other owners who used the car daily and I managed to meet a group of young drivers who had not long passed their test and had the Morris as their first car. I became a little obsessed with the Morris and I read it’s Biography by Martin Wainwright. I approached him and he was more than happy to be in the film, that also led me to Charles Wares Morris center est in 1976. Once it got out that I was collecting the interviews I was approached by a lot of different characters who wanted to be in it.
Being a Madness fan I remembered Driving in My Car was written about the Morris, I sent a section of the film to the writer Mike on Twitter and he came back to me almost immediately with a resounding yes.
I worked on the film in my spare time for a year and I could have carried on but I wanted to get it out there. Everyone I met who had a Morris had some quirky or creative side, and all were very approachable.”
What is it about the Morris Minor you want to get across to the car loving world?
“That the car is still relevant even though its old, that maybe we have become a bit removed from our cars and there is a case for working with your hands and becoming involved in it’s up keep. It’s not for everyone, I think most people who would like the film Need For Speed may not like this, I could be wrong…but I think the Morris is amazing that it is still here. There is an affection for it and it is very English, it has flaws but it has a lot of character and a touch of magic which you don’t seem to see in cars these days.” What is your favorite car you’ve owned and favorite dream car?
“You never forget your first car, mine was a J reg Polo (Volkswagen) which I drove from 17 to 27, a lot of great memories…dream car as a film fan either Aston Martin DB4 but I’m more likely to be able to afford a Sunbeam Alpine!”
Sit back and enjoy. As you watch his short documentary, you’ll see the evolution of a man falling in love as he drives and interviews people about this minor little car, the Morris Minor. Much more famous cars with well established pedigrees bring untold millions at auction, but it is these little cars which are part of the fabric of one’s geographic history or nostalgia which really capture people’s hearts and make them very much a star.
Thank you Matt for making this charming film. For more about Matt and his creations check out his website.
Photos other than Aston Martin, provided by MGL Media.