In late April 2013 we got a call to say we'd won the contract to supply the cara for the third series of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. We've been supply cars to the programme since 2008 but this would be different - we'd be supplying all 40 cars for the series including all transport logistics.
This project, it has to be said, is no small undertaking. Here's the story behind the cars that you can see on screen from Monday 4th November.
The inevitably tight filming schedule - 10 weeks from May to July 2013 - and almost immediate start meant we had to gear up quickly. This involved sourcing cars from our fleet - the brief was for convertible cars of various colours. Luckily with 60 cars we only had to gire in a small handful from other companies to fulfill the brief. Next up was planning the logistics - as filming started quickly some of out cars were already hired to customers and we had several corporate events alteady planned in. We had to work around these. With a core of 5 staff delivering the cars and working on location with the crews we had to juggle plans on a daily and hourly basis. The production company had two film crews operating concurrently on locations across the UK 7 days a week so we often had to work through the night to collect and deliver cars to each new location. The demands on the celebrities' time often had less than 24 hrs notice of what cars and locations would be required next.
The locations of our main sites in Yorkshire, Devon and Midlands made the logistics a little easier, as did our investment in additional transport resources including two trucks and two Jeep and trailer combinations.
In these demanding circumstances it is difficult to plan effectively and we were very reliant on the flexibility, commitment and professionalism of our staff, including Julian, Andrew and Bob, who managed to get cars to locations despite often cery tight deadlines.
Of course, the best laid plans can often lie in ruins where classic cars are concerned. We had won the contract based on the reliability of our fleet - you may recall that previous Celebrity Antiques Road Trip programmes have been marred by recalcitrant classics. We aimed to avoid this by using our own fleet rather than hired-in classics from owners. This approach was the key to the project's success as we suffered only 3 problems with cars on shoots, out of a total of 40 cars. None of these delayed on cancelled filming, which made the camera crews' jobs much easier. And they all involved cars from partner hire companies that we do not maintain. Given the variety of different drivers for each car and the tight deadlines this is a testament to the vehicle preparation by our own workshop, run by Julian.
The programme saw us travel all over England from Yorkshire to Cornwall and Kent. We met a lot of celebrities - all, it must be said, very nice - and stayed in a lot of hotels. Despite the programme's prime-time TV slot the demands of budget and deadlines means that each episode is shot in a very short time, so days are long.
The production company was very pleased with our input, praising our efficiency and professionalism.
The programme runs for 20 episodes during November on BBC2 from Monday 4th at 7pm. Enjoy the combination of British scenery, antiques and great classic cars. You can relive the vibe by hiring one of our TV star fleet. Prices start at £95 for 24 hrs. For more information visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk