Car SOS Supplied by Hobbyweld
Car SOS is a British television series which specialises in surprise restorations of classic cars from across the UK and Europe. Classic car owners, with outstanding restoration projects, are nominated by their family or friend when they are unable to complete the restoration themselves due to medical and/or financial reasons. The vehicle is secretly transported to the SOS Workshop in Oldbury, West Midlands – unbeknown to the owner – to be restored. Once the vehicle is returned back to it’s former glory, the owner is then reunited with the vehicle – much to their surprise!
Car SOS show is presented by two known faces in the classic car world – Fuzz Towshend and Tim Shaw. They are assisted by their restoration team who mainly work off camera, however are just as important throughout the restoration journey!
Hobbyweld is supplying the gas in the latest Car SOS season and as a thank you, we were invited down to the workshop for the day to see filming take place as well as take some promotional images – which you may notice in future advertising campaigns!
They were filming season 7, episode 9 at the time of our visit. We managed to have a chat with one of the workshop supervisors to find out more about the show.
What cars were restored this season?
The cars we have restored so far this season are: Lotus Elise, Peugeot 504, Triumph TR4, Toyota Celica, Ford Model A, Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, VW T4 Campervan, Lamborghini Espada as well as the Ford Escort Mexico we are currently working on. Our 10th project of the season will be a Citroen 2CV.
What is the history of the Car SOS workshop?
The show originally started in 2013 and was based at Westgate Classics, Aldridge for seasons 1 to 4. They then changed premises to To-Ta Classics Ltd, Oldbury which is where we are based now. In 2018, the directors decided to rename the site to SOS Workshop Ltd in line with the programme name.
How does the team get along? Do they enjoy working on these projects?
The team get along very well and really pull together during Car SOS especially during the rush to finish projects. There are always slight changes to staffing every year due to the vast amount of work required in a very small space of time on the show and therefore we have to employ a couple of extra hands to cope with the fast paced working environment.
One of the factors that has made the restorations such a success since the start of season 7 is the skill and organisation of the project manager, Dave Webb, who is also the workshop manager of SOS Workshop Ltd.
Does your team get to see the reveal? If so, are there any stand out moments?
It is very rare that an opportunity comes up for the workshop team to attend the reveals as each car for the show tends to overlap in order to be able to get 10 cars done in the space of 7 months. When they are carrying out the main body work in shop, they do get to see the vehicle starting to come together which I’m sure they all enjoy seeing the fruits of their labour.
How much work went into restoring the Ford Escort Mexico?
Most of the vehicles brought onto the show require vast amounts of welding, the Mexico was no exception.
What gases were used for the project?
We use Hobbyweld 5 for bodywork and chassis repairs as well as Oxygen for the oxy-propane torch to heat up seized bolts and nuts. We restore multiple vehicles at a time and we normally have 2 people welding at once to get more of the work done in a shorter space of time.
How do you feel about rent free cylinders? Can you see benefits to a rent free system?
Rent free cylinders are ideal for our set us as due to the fast pace of the workshop and the amount of welding that takes place in a short amount of time, we need a vast number of cylinders on hand as we can work through gas very quickly. Although the initial outset is higher, the cylinder deposits are refundable, if we had a large number of cylinders on site on rental, we would be paying high rental charges which we would never see any money back from. It’s a no brainer if you ask me!
Article by A | Visuals by A