SALVAGE HUNTERS: CLASSIC CARS

SALVAGE HUNTERS: CLASSIC CARS

Posted by Matt Bell on 10th January 2019

We find out more about a return for Quest’s successful series from co-host Paul Cowland.

We’ve already been spoilt for fresh classic car TV this year, with the first in a mammoth new season of wheel dealers shown on Monday (January 7). But there’s more, for the new season of Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars returns to Quest next Wednesday (January 16).  The brand new series will once again see salvage superemo Drew Pitchard and experienced car dealer Paul Cowland  join forces to source, restore and sell on a wide variety of classic motors for a profit.

The show will maintain a similar format to the first series, with two cars per episode, but there have been changes. We caught up with co-host Paul to find our more.

So Paul, what’s special about the new shows?

“With this series we’re  trying to make it less about us as presenters and more about the people we go and see –  the amazing people that do steering wheel repairs, vehicle wrapping, wheel refurbishing, rechroming – all that kind of stuff. We thought long and hard about how we could make the show different from every other show out there. Programmes like Wheeler Dealers do mechanical rebuilds so well – you’re never going to beat Ant Anstead’s description of how to rebuild a gearbox, and there’s no point in even trying.  So we decided to make it more about the people and the processes – a kind of a post-Brexit salute really. We are still a country that makes, engineers and fabricates better than anybody else in the world. The cars are obviously the glue that holds it all together and are a big important part of show, but it’s as much about the people that do things for cars as it is about the cars themselves.”

What can viewers learn from the episodes?

The shows will also feature lots of archive footage covering the history and social history behind each car. We’re trying to make it educational, but not preachy. And as well as shining a light on these incredibly talented people around the country, we’re also trying to encourage the youth into the industry. Wouldn’t it be great if some of them saw this and though ‘I want to hand-build wire wheels’ or become the world’s greatest refinisher. We want to inspire.

What cars will you restore?

We’ve got some really nice stuff. In the first episode we’ve got a lovely Mk3 Ford Capri 2.0 S and a rust free Lancia Delta Integrale. Other cars include a Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback, a Maserati Ghibli, and Alfa Romeo Spider, a Jenson Interceptor, a Rover P6, a Jaguar XJ-S, a Morris Minor Traveller – it’s a real kind of mish-mash. We’ve tried to do something for every budget, so we’ve got cars that are £30k-plus, including a really beautiful MGC GT that we just went mad on with a full concours-level rebuild, while at the other end of the market we’ve got a real cool patinated Renault 4, which was an import from Spain. It had so much character by itself that, apart from an interior tidy up, it didn’t need much. That’s for sale for £4000, and we’ve got loads of stuff in-between.

Which is your favourite car?

It’s really hard to say as I love them all, but there are two that stand out. We did a really cool 1971 Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback. My second car was a 1971 Squareback in the same colour, so that was really special as it took me back to being 17. But also the Maserati Ghibli GT we did, just because of the fact it was so insanely clean and we all wanted to buy it. Out of all the cars I’ve ever bought, it has the most amazing history.

What roles do you and Drew play in the programme?

Drew is the visionary. Don’t get me wrong, he is a certified petrolhead, especially when it comes to anything old and air-cooled, but because his background is design, architecture and antiques, he comes at everything from an aesthetics point of view first. He’s very good at identifying what people like. My background is in car sales, so I’m thinking about how I can turn something over easily and make it profitable, and how can I win a customer that I can keep for years.

Does that cause arguments?

Occasionally we come at things from very different angles, but there’s a place in the middle – usually – where we both get a bit of what we want. It’s not forced and there’s no shouting for TV, even if we really don’t agree on something!

Where do all the builds take place?

Discovery {which operates Quest] has leased an old MOD lorry depot in Banbury, and that’s our base camp. We’ve got three full-time lads there who are TV veterans, and they’re just unbelievable.  When the cameras are off, they are the guys working ridiculous hours getting these cars done. You might think that the cars are only done to a TV standard, but because Car SOS for me has set the bar so high, we thought it would be nice to do our full restorations to at least that standard if not better. Some of the cars we put out are trophy baggers, without a doubt.

How many episodes can we look forward to?

We’ve got four seasons of five episodes, with two cars per episode. We will be filming pretty much every week for the next two years. And hopefully, all being well, it will just carry on…