The Secret Life of Machines

Technically minded British TV viewers were provided a rare treat back in 1988, in the form of the wonderful series created by Tim Hunkin, “The Secret Life of Machines”. The first series delved into the theory and working of a variety of everyday household appliances, but car nuts had to wait until series two, shown in 1991, when they were treated to not only a program on the car itself, but another on the internal combustion engine. Tim Hunkin, aided by Rex Garrod explain, through a series of brilliant home made experiments and hand drawn cartoons, the inner workings of the motor car, in a manner which is not only understandable by the novice, but is equally entertaining for the hands on enthusiast.

The episode about the car, mainly looks at the construction, design and structure of the car body shell. In the video above, Rex shows how to reinforce a Datsun 100A Cherry in preparation for a great DIY stunt. Health and safety would be all over this these days and I doubt it’d be allowed!

In all, over the three series, there were eighteen episodes, covering everything from vacuum cleaners to fax machines. You can read more about the series at and Tim Hunkin at his own site, Also, you can actually download the entire programs from

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