News : Classics to get a new TV show

Car SOS (1)

A new classic car show is about to hit TV screens in the UK. It will show the restoration of neglected classics, charting their return to former glory. It’s called Car SOS, and is exclusive to National Geographic Channel.

Presenter  Tim Shaw, (above left familiar from Fifth Gear) teams up with mechanic/musician Fuzz Townshend, (above right, The Wonder Stuff, The Beat and Pop Will Eat Itself, Practical Classics). Together they retrieve, renovate and re-unite charismatic cars with their owners in an entertaining and emotional new TV show.

The formula is to find a cherished car that has seen better days, add an owner in need a of a helping hand, then secretly whisk the wheels away to a well-equipped workshop, work on it for 3 weeks, then return to the surprise and delight of the unsuspecting owner.

The Fiat Fiasco: Thursday 7 February at 8.00pm

When his wife’s tragic death was followed by a near-fatal car accident, which broke his back, former mechanic Jeremy, from Dunstable, was left in great emotional and physical pain – and unable to restore his rare sky-blue FIAT 850 Spider (above). Nominated by his girlfriend Debs, Fuzz and Tim are called in to end Jeremy’s run of bad luck and give his pride and joy the makeover it deserves. It should be fairly straightforward but spares are rare and hard to find.

Phoenix Jeep on Thursday 14 February at 8.00pm

After surviving active service in the Second World War, 84-year-old Dick Masters’ beloved Ford MB Army Jeep has been on permanent sick leave since it was all but destroyed in an arson attack six years ago. Dick loved his Jeep so much that during the fire he tried to save his Jeep instead of his house and had to be physically restrained by firemen. Claiming they need it for a film prop, Fuzz and Tim retrieve the Jeep from under Dick’s nose and embark on a rapid-fire renovation.

Keith Adams


  1. Oh no not the tea cosy wearing drummer! LOL And why the frick is it on yet another bloody Sky channel?? Come on lads, get on one of the freeview channels please!

  2. From watching the ad’s on TV for the new show it looks rubbish. Like a ‘sexed up’ Wheeler Dealers for idiots. They feel the need to kick the windscreen out of a car for some reason.

  3. Groan, not another reality TV car show – thankfully it’s on a channel that I can’t receive. Even Mrs E was stunned at how much I panned the channel 5 effort with the two idiots, commenting that it was above and beyond even my normal level of sarcasm. From the adverts this will be no better.

  4. Fuzz is the nicest “car” chap you’ll meet – I trust he will push this in a honest direction

  5. I am looking forward to watching this. Sounds a bit like the Samaritans meet Wheeler Dealers with a sprinkling of Cilla Black’s Surprise Surprise emotions thrown in at the end. And some rather individual classics too, rather than the usual suspects.

  6. I am looking forward to this show,i have always enjoyed Fuzz Townsend in Practical classics,i take it this is why he left the magazine?

  7. Oh great, another resto show rushing to get a car restored in an unnecessarily tight timescale and probably bodging it in the process and/or missing important items.

  8. I have known Fuzz since I was a kid. He trade is actually a bus mechanic as he is a bus enthusiast too and is currently restoring a Daimler Fleetline. Top bloke.

  9. Given the expertise being brought to this production by well-known “car (and bus) people” for a change, this series sounds promising. So – give it a chance! It may go some way to redress the balance given the truly awful Channel 5 series referred to by earlier posters. I’m still recovering from that one.

    Mentioning truly awful programmes…does anyone recall another forgotten epic called “The Motor Show” that was made by Granada in the early 1990s although I am not sure if it was aired nationally. “Presenter” Eamonn O’Neal (now with BBC Radio Manchester I think) was the anchor man trying to become another Clarkson. Truly bad TV and must rank as possibly the worst motoring show ever.

  10. Expertise ?? What expertise ?? The format sounds even worse than the quite execrable Channel 5 series . These moronic programmes do an enormous disservice to the very many people who genuinely restore old cars – over rather a longer time scale than 3 weeks – to a good standard

  11. @ Ian Robinson:

    I do recall it as some episodes were eventually shown on other regional stations. From memory I think it also featured Michelle Newman.

    Surely it wasn’t as bad as Granada Men & Motors ‘Motorweek’ programme presented in its final era by Ian Royale?

  12. @16
    3 weeks is enough time to build it buy hand from scratch to a great standard if thats all you are doing. I can only think the reason some ‘profesionals’ take so long is to get the labour rates up. Even a modern car takes less than a day to build form a kit of parts, painting takes less than a day in the factory.. I rebuilt the shell of my very rotten midget in a week (sills inner and outer, floors, rear arches and no botchy weld plate over teh holes, all let in and butt weleded) I think I did take my time painting it about 4 days most of which was waiting for the paint to harden. mind you thats just the time spent working on it.. the resotoration actually took 16 years!

  13. If the windscreen was buggered, it is the easiest way to get it out by sitting on the seat and using your feel to ‘persuade ‘ it out.

    And Fuzz owns his own vehicle restoration business, so knows a thing or two. He is a time served mechanic with nigh on 30 years of expertise behind him, not some pratty little sweary cockney bodger

  14. I’m a bit disappointed that so many people are writing this off as “rubbish” without a single episode being aired! Give the bloomin’ show a chance, and if it’s rubbish, *then* have a pop at it.

    My Sky+ has been set and I look forwards to seeing what this new show is like.

  15. Bit like every man is a football referee – the usual experts having a go, and we know the definition of an expert
    ex – has been
    sper – a drip under pressure

  16. Well, after that shoeing, shall we take a look at the show?

    And I’ll tell you what, that screen was a right nightmare.

    All the best,


  17. Keith – In the words of the great Britney Spears “Oops I did it again”
    I hate bonded screens 🙁

  18. As you were, judging by the first episode it’s actually quite good – reasonable “non-shouty” blokes who seem to know what they’re doing.

  19. Just got around to watching the first episode and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! I had a feeling it was going to be good as I was a big Practical Classics fan back in the day when Fuzz and AROnline’s very own Keith were contributing and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I liked the fact that the technical aspects were shown and explained rather than being glossed over or completely ignored (like the engine oil mastic gunk in the sump and the water galleries) so that car people were entertained and non-car people could learn something new.

    I thought that Fuzz and Tim came across really well and the finished car looked truly superb. The graphics used in the programme were nicely done and appropriate and it actually felt like a television version of a classic car restoration magazine, which was a pleasant surprise. Plus deserving enthusiasts got their classic cars restored, which can only be a good thing.

    Keep up the good work guys and don’t let the telly people change anything!

  20. I posted earlier (#20) about being disappointed about people slagging off a show they were yet to see. I for one am really glad that I ignored the negative comments and let the show speak for itself. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it so far (four episodes in) – entertaining, and the presenters clearly know their stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.