Competitive Car Building on telly with Take That star Howard Donald and motor racing legend Dario Franchitti. Now there’s a wonderful thing. The winners are the team who are fastest to rebuild a car from a pile of parts and they get to keep it. We talk to the judge, Engineer Ralph Hosier, about why we should all be watching.

According to Ralph, “The premise of the show is for two teams to assemble classic cars as quickly as possible, the team who gets all the parts fitted on the car and starts the engine first wins the car! It’s an amazing idea, and for one lucky team in each episode they get to keep a wonderful classic car, although once they get their new pride and joy home they might want to take it apart and rebuild it again with a bit less haste…

“Now, if you have ever worked on classic cars you know that something as simple as a seized bolt can take half a day to fix, so we had to think about this carefully.
“The challenge was to make it possible for two teams to assemble two very different classic cars in a very short time and make it fair.

Before the show my mechanics spent two weeks on each car carefully taking them apart and fixing every perished hose, stripped thread and corroded part so that the teams would have no difficulties on the day. To check it we reassembled the cars at my workshop before the big day and made sure they still ran.

“To make it fair, we timed how long this took us, then disassembled them to an extent that would ensure it would take the same time to re-assemble each car. In some cases this meant taking the axle off one car but not the other, or removing more tricky trim to even up the task difficulty.

“This show was hugely fun to work on, the cars were great and the contestants a real joy. On the day of shooting the excitement as they neared the finish was just amazing. Dario and Howard are wonderful to work with, genuinely decent people with a real passion for cars and a competitive edge that helped them drive the teams forward.”