TV’s fun-loving car makeover duo open a show of some of the cars they’ve worked on over 6 series
Whilst many of us were busy deleting the last of the GDPR emails on Friday, petrol-head TV presenters Fuzz Townshend and Tim Shaw were opening a special Car S.O.S exhibition at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon.
The popular duo were joined by members of the Car S.O.S production team, garage crew, the cars’ owners and their family and friends at a private opening ceremony at the Mecca for fans of British motoring heritage just off the M40 in south Warwickshire.
Car SOS – The TV Show
Car S.O.S is the National Geographic Channel’s take on the car makeover TV show format with two presenters; one finds them and one fixes them. What differentiates Car S.O.S is the backstory of the car’s owner who has typically been nominated for some help by family due to ill health or personal tragedy. The interplay between funky but mechanically gifted Fuzz and prankster Tim who typically “stars” in a spoof event for the reveal also adds a light-hearted dimension to the show’s appeal.
Since 2013, former “Pop Will Eat Itself” drummer and mechanic Fuzz and his co-presenter Tim, who has an engineering background, have found and resurrected over 60 cars from family classics to 80’s hot hatches and elegant sports cars. Some of the cars were little more than rusty shells at the outset but many had been started on by the owner before a dramatic change in their fortunes prevented them from continuing.
Car SOS -The Cars
The display features a collection of the following cars from the 60 or so that the Car S.O.S team has brought back to life over six series. The history of each vehicle and the story of its restoration are further illustrated with informative displays of photos and clips from their respective episodes.
Here’s a flavour of what to expect.
- Austin ‘Tilly’ truck – WW2 veteran Ted used the 1940’s truck on his farm for four decades before being put away for future restoration. A busy farm and family life as well as Ted’s advancing years meant the project remained a dream.
- Lancia Delta Integrale – the distinctive yellow super-hot hatch owned by engine machinist Gary entered a full restoration but a serious heart condition made this impossible to complete and the car sat under a cover on the roadside. During the making of the programme, Gary sadly and unexpectedly passed away but with the blessing of the family the show went on.
- AC Aceca – in storage for 40 years, this sleek 50’s sports car belongs to Kenyan-born Monet who put the project aside on the birth of his son but was prevented from returning to it when he contracted cancer of the jaw bone.
- MGA – ex-soldier Billy dreamed of restoring the car with his son John but a tragedy saw John and his new wife drowned on honeymoon and suddenly the Abingdon roadster was the furthest thing from Billy’s mind.
- Volvo P1800 – owner Peter spent many years doing up cars for family and friends as an unpaid hobby, leaving his own “Saint” car on the back burner but a later stroke meant progress on it was slow. Look out for the late Sir Roger Moore’s signature on the back of the driver’s seat.
- Aston Martin DB6 – oil industry worker Steve bought the stylish GT without realising what state it was in. Caring for his parents, an enforced job change and a later spinal injury put paid to him getting the DB back on the road.
- Ford Capri RS3100 – car mad Helen and her husband bought the Capri to strip down and restore but when an accident triggered chronic arthritis, Helen was left barely able to walk and the project was put on hold.
Catch The Exhibition – “A perfect Opportunity”
The TV show’s sixth series has recently come to an end on the National Geographic Channel but much of the back catalogue can still be found on Channel 4’s outlets including the All4 catch-up app.
Stephen Taylor Woodrow, series producer of Car S.O.S, says:
“We get so many requests from viewers asking where they can see our cars so this really is a perfect opportunity. Speaking on behalf of Tim, Fuzz, the workshop crew and of course the owners who have generously lent their cars, we all know this is one exhibition Car S.O.S. fans will not want to miss!”
The British Motor Museum Car S.O.S exhibition is now open to the public and it will run until the end of February 2019. Entry is included in the museum’s day ticket prices for which you can see more than 300 cars from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust’s collections spanning veteran, vintage and classic vehicles. It also includes free re-entry for 12 months.