Lights, camera, action! Eagle eyed fans of the National Geographic TV show Car SOS may be aware of our handiwork on a few of the show’s projects – and our MD Dave’s occasional appearances!
Join us as we run through some of the transformations we’ve had the pleasure of working on for the show.
If you’re a fan of classic auto restoration, chances are you’ve heard of the National Geographic show Car SOS. In each episode, Fuzz Townshend and Tim Shaw breathe new life into classic cars of all kinds; but did you know that the team here at Soda Blasting Ltd sometimes help out with the show’s transformations? Our MD Dave has even appeared on the show more than once!
So let’s take a look at our involvement with Car SOS and some of the projects we’ve played a part in…
Where it All Began
So how did we come to be involved with the show? Rather boringly, it started with a humble Google search. The show’s producers were looking for a reliable company to strip paint from a car during their second series and searched online. They asked us if we’d be interested in appearing in series 3, and the rest is history!
The SBL team have appeared on 3 episodes of Car SOS so far, and we’ve also done work for the show away from the camera for numerous transformations too. Our first on-screen debut (or rather that of our MD Dave) was on the final episode of series three “Vive le Citroën” where we carried out a full shell and panel strip on a beautiful 1954 Citroen Avant.
Soda Blasting SOS!
However the most memorable series for us was series 4, where we worked on a Datsun 240z and a beautiful AC Aceca.
The Datsun job was incredibly tricky. We were tasked with cleaning out the engine bay, even though the engine and running gear were still in place. We were able to cover all of the operational components but fitting our equipment in around everything – and ensuring a thorough clean – was a real challenge. We do normally insist that engines are removed before we set to work. Though we’ve never damaged any components before, the risk that soda dust or blast media could get sucked into or settle within engine components is too high for our liking. There’s such a high potential risk for damage that we ask that operational components be removed wherever possible.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Clean!
The most fascinating job we carried out for the show was an exterior body and panel clean on an AC Aceca. These babies are “hen’s teeth” level rare and it was a real treat to get to work on one. None of us had ever seen an Aceca in the flesh before – let alone worked on one! It’s a beautiful 1950s-1960s coupe, hailed as the “greatest British sports car that no-one’s ever heard of” by the show. Only 328 ever saw the light of day, so you can imagine how few are still around 50 years later! It was fascinating to work on and looked incredible when finished. It was a real honour to be a part in bringing it back to its former glory.
Though we were behind the scenes for series 4’s Volvo P1800 (we cleaned the suspension components), we did have the pleasure of being present for the final reveal. Though we only had a small part to play, it was great to see the owner’s delighted reaction after Tim, Fuzz, and the Car SOS team had done her up!
Shattering the TV Magic!
One thing that fans of the show generally ask us is “do the Car SOS team really turn up unannounced!?” We don’t want to spoil the magic of TV for anyone, but unfortunately (well, fortunately for us) everything is booked in advance. We do look forward to Tim Shaw’s bizarre “experiments” though (which are kept a secret until the day)!
One unusual thing about Car SOS projects is the lightning-fast turnaround times stipulated by the production team. For normal projects, we generally keep vehicles for around a week depending on our waiting list at the time. However, Car SOS have very strict production deadlines for each vehicle/episode – 3 weeks from start to finish. So they generally need vehicles back within 12 hours (!) or less (!!).
Behind the Scenes
We have helped out on numerous productions where we don’t appear in front of the camera. We stripped the external shells of series 4’s Mini Cooper, series 5’s Sunbeam Alpine and Fiat Dino, and worked on miscellaneous components for the BMW2002 Turbo featured in series 4.
We also had a hand in restoring some smaller components for series 3’s Golf GTI, Corvette Stingray, and Nissan Skyline too. In fact, the production team used to regularly turn up with boxes of undisclosed bits and bobs; some of which we believe belonged to the Astra GTE and Mercedes 230SL – amongst countless others!
All in all, it’s a great show to be involved with the Car SOS team, the other companies that help the show always do a splendid job, and it’s great to be a part of it.
Get in Touch Today!
If it’s good enough for Tim, Fuzz and the gang, it’s good enough for your next project! We’re an approachable and responsible provider of blast cleaning services of all kinds. We specialise in motor vehicles and components, but also work on boats, planes, and buildings. So call our friendly team on 0800 774 7632 for a free quote!