We have series 2 of Channel 5's Classic Car Rescue on a Monday night. We have ongoing Wheeler Dealers on Discovery. Quest are repeating Chop Shop, London Garage on a Thursday and we have a new entry from Channel 4 on a Sunday namely, For The Love of Cars:
This features Philip Glenister and "internationally renowned car designer" Ant Anstead restoring classic British cars. I put that bit in quotes because that is how Channel 4 describe him - I'd never heard of him before and he does seem to be an extremely competent mechanic/car restorer - not too sure about the relevance of his design qualifications though.
Ant gets on with the actual restoration work while Phil becomes DCI Gene Hunt with ever-varying amounts of stubble and goes out to have adventures and meet people and groups with stories to tell of whichever vehicle is up for restoration that week.
Week one saw the Escort Mexico in the picture above - the best bit was the look on the face of a Liverpool Police Officer who used to drive one in the '70s. They were interviewing him for the series in a back alley somewhere on Merseyside and he suddenly heard the siren approaching of one of the cars in the fleet he used to use. He got to drive it again and meet up with a '70s car-thief too.
Week two was the Series I Land-Rover where Phil got to meet a Landie enthusiast who you wouldn't want to meet down the pub and another who you definitely would - they even named the restored Landie after him.
Next week it's the Triumph Stag - really looking forward to see what they do with my favourite classic.
Classic Car Rescue, which I did a bit about Series 1 on, has changed a little bit. There are still the silly, contrived, badly-acted arguments but I think there is a little more actual car restoration being shown. The final valuation now comes in via "classic car expert" Paul O'Neill. I put that in quotes because Paul O'Neill is an ex-Touring Car Driver who does the Twitter bits during the BTCC Coverage and is the brother of a Spice Girl. I'm a big fan of Paul (him being a Scouser helps) but I've never heard him described as a "classic car expert" before.
Bernie Fineman's previous show, Chop Shop, London Garage is probably the nearest to what I think of as the original and best show like these, American Hot-Rod which I posted about back in 2011. These two shows are more make-over than restoration but enthralling viewing to me.
According to wiki though, American Hot-Rod wasn't the first - Wheeler Dealers is older - and still going strong. I love Wheeler Dealers but it's quite rare that I get to watch it because it is on Pay-TV - this is surely a prime show for Quest to take on?
Anyway, I hope as many of these shows continue as possible for many years into the future when one day they will be restoring Nissan Jukes and Citroen DS3s.