- Media launch hosted by National Geographic Channel on 18 March
- The London Transport Museum was venue for screening and media interviews
- 1962 Healey Sprite racer at the launch featured in special episode of new series
Car S.O.S. presenter Fuzz Townshend announced the new series (Season 3) of the popular TV programme at the international media launch hosted by the National Geographic Channel at the London Transport Museum. The new series will be shown from April 9, at 8pm, on Thursdays.
The show, which is owned and broadcast worldwide in more than 100 countries by the National Geographic Channel, is now in its third series; rights to the first and second series have recently been bought by UK terrestrial channel Channel 4 and the programme is also shown on More4.
Dozens of media representatives from around the world gathered at the London Transport Museum to interview Fuzz and co-presenter Tim Shaw. With thirty cars (ten episodes per series) now reconditioned and given back to extremely grateful and deserving owners, and thousands of work hours spent on them, Fuzz Townshend and co-presenter Tim Shaw have become familiar faces on the small screen, fronting a programme whose mission statement is: “rebuilding cars and lives.”
“I am really excited to announce the latest season of Car S.O.S.,” said Fuzz. “Each car we find and choose to recondition holds a story. Barn finds (as so many of the cars we have worked on are) hold promises we are keen to unravel: even the glovebox may store some surprise.”
The launch also featured another star: an Austin Healey Sprite Sebring, one of four cars built by Healey to enter the 1962 Sebring 12-Hour Florida International GP of Endurance (in the Sebring 3 Hours, GT category, <1-litre engines). Lighter than the standard model, with race-tuned engine, upgraded suspension and brakes and a racing box, it is the only surviving one of the four, driven by Sir Stirling Moss, Pedro Rodriguez, Innes Ireland and Steve McQueen (all for BMC).
Moss led the race for most of the time, ran out of fuel and ended up third overall against a brace of very quick Abarths.
True to the spirit of the Car S.O.S. series, work on the car was carried out by Fuzz’s team in secret at Fuzz’s own garage, Westgate Classics, trying to preserve as much as possible of the original specs.
The Sprite Sebring took pride of place at the London Transport Museum; it had been presented to Sir Stirling after work was completed, a few weeks ago, at the Gaydon Heritage Motor Centre.
“It is always a buzz to unveil a car which has been restored by the Car S.O.S. team and Westgate workshop,” said Fuzz. “However, when the recipient is Sir Stirling Moss, the stress to complete the job to the best of our abilities is increased tenfold. It was great to see one of the most famous racing drivers of all times drive away in a car he had not seen for over fifty years.”
Some of Car S.O.S.’s useful numbers:
30 the number of cars reconditioned across the three series filmed so far
100+ the number of countries where the show is broadcast
500/1,000 the number of man-hours spent on each of the projects
24 the number of weeks spent to do ten cars (per series)
500k the number of regular viewers in the UK