Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars

3

By Chris Pollitt

The landscape of car television has become something of a parody of itself of late. There’s too much fake drama, too much of a willingness to skip over the details and far too much in the way of ego. Plus, the whole ‘if we don’t sell this car, we’ll lose the shop’ narrative is awful – that’s a terrible business model! 

What we need is something honest, refreshing and all about the cars, and happily that’s what we have in the form of Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars. We were treated to a few episodes in 2019, but now the show is back for a second, classic car-filled series, and we’ve had a sneak peek, which we’ll get to shortly. 

If you’re not familiar with the show, let us give you breakdown. It follows the vehicular antics of Drew Pritchard and Paul Cowland. Drew you may know from Salvage Hunters, a show in which he buys far too many chairs and industrial lights. Paul you may know from being very tall, and also from the show Turbo Pickers. Together, they buy classic cars, turn them around and sell them on. Sounds like the usual formula, right? Wrong, actually. This is where this show is so refreshing. 

First of all, there are the cars. Each episode features two cars, with one normally needing a lot more work than the other. These cars are normally interesting and as such, present an opportunity for the show to educate as well as entertain. For example, the first episode features the NSU Ro80, which is a weird car that not everyone knows about. 

salvage hunters, salvage hunters classic cars, classic cars, drew pritchard, paul cowland, classic car, retro car, Quest, television, tv, car show, motoring, automotive, carandclassic, carandclassic.co.uk, project car, car restoration

Then, there is the work carried out on the cars, and this is where the show really shines. What this show does is focus on the specialists and the ‘shed at the bottom of the garden’ artisans. The man who can hand-stick a new leather steering wheel cover, detailers, the fount of knowledge Fiat 500 specialist, the self-taught, time-served signwriter, companies and individual tradespeople that live to serve the classic car world. And it’s all fascinating. There is a childlike sense of glee that comes from watching a man pinstripe a panel by hand. And there’s a sense of true wonder when you watch time-served hands re-veneer a dash. This show celebrates those people. The producers and presenters know that general mechanical work has been done to death, so instead it focuses on the specialist trades and it’s all the better for it. 

salvage hunters, salvage hunters classic cars, classic cars, drew pritchard, paul cowland, classic car, retro car, Quest, television, tv, car show, motoring, automotive, carandclassic, carandclassic.co.uk, project car, car restoration

And then, there is the joy that comes from watching the presenters themselves. Unlike every other TV car show, there is no ego. Drew and Paul are there to pull a narrative through, and they do it perfectly, and with a fair dollop of humour, too. Paul’s job, as the man in the trade, is to keep Drew’s imagination in check. It’s amusing watching Paul, sometimes in vain, trying to calm down Drew’s ideas. He wanted to put a Ducati engine in a Fiat 500, for example.

Finally, there’s the selling of the cars. The most boring and forced bit of any TV car show. Good job, then, that we don’t see it here. Yes, the cars have to be sold, but there is no awkward shot of a man who doesn’t want to be in front of a camera trying to negotiate a deal. All you get is Ralph Inneson dropping in a bit of voiceover saying that car x was sold for x pounds.

salvage hunters, salvage hunters classic cars, classic cars, drew pritchard, paul cowland, classic car, retro car, Quest, television, tv, car show, motoring, automotive, carandclassic, carandclassic.co.uk, project car, car restoration

This is refreshing, fun, interesting and well put together television. As we said, we’ve seen the first episode and we loved it. It’s so pleasing to see something that’s honest and that’s all about the cars, no forced jeopardy, no ego, no whoopin’ and hollerin’. It’s just two easy-to-watch blokes and some brilliant classic cars being given a new lease of life thanks to some skilled craftspeople. It’s perfect car TV. 

The new series of Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars airs on 8th January on Quest.

Enjoyed this article?

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest articles, news, classic cars, auctions and events every Thursday - compiled expertly by the Car & Classic team

Article's featured image

1973 Commer Camper – Classified of the Week

The staycation is hot this year, thanks to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Yeah, they might have opened up travel to some countries abroad, but really, do you want to risk it? Of course not, which is why staying on British soil is a good idea. After all, the UK is one of the […]

Article's featured image

1972 Bond Bug – Project Profile

Plastic, as they say, is fantastic. Or at least it was in the 1970s UK car market. Okay, not plastic per se, as we are of course talking about fibreglass. But whatever, we wanted to use that opening line. Anyway, we digress. Let’s get back to the car at hand, namely a 1972 Bond Bug. […]

Article's featured image

London Concours – Pursuit of Speed

The London Concours, presented by Montres Breguet, has announced its The Pursuit of Speed display; which will feature some of the biggest hitters from the automotive world. From the still magnificent Jaguar XK120 to the absolutely iconic Mercedes 300SL ‘Gullwing’ and on to the latest Bugatti Veyron and Chiron. ‘The Pursuit of Speed’ is a […]

Article's featured image

1936 Riley 15/6 Kestrel – Classified of the Week

Of all the now long passed names of the UK automotive landscape, there is one that still stirs the soul. A company known for flamboyant and exciting design, and a company that took luxury very seriously. We are of course talking about Riley. And while its bicycle-based beginnings might not be the most obvious link […]

Article's featured image

Land Rover Series 1 – Survival Tactics

Classic cars can often be thought of as being delicate and fragile. After all, these cars that were built many decades ago weren’t screwed together with machine and with modern techniques. Instead, they were assembled by people called Charles or June and while they built the cars to the best of their abilities, the vehicle’s […]