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A new ‘Classic Friendly’ member: Great Escape Cars

fuzz at great escape 2FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21 April 2015

 

Fuzz Townshend makes Great Escape Cars ‘Classic Friendly’

  • Classic car hire company Great Escape joins Fuzz’s Classic Friendly
  • Network of garages who specialise in classic cars was launched a year ago
  • Fuzz is guest of honour at Great Escape’s Open Day

 

TV personality and classic car expert Fuzz Townshend welcomed classic car hire firm Great Escape Cars, as the newest Member of his ‘Classic Friendly’ network, at Great Escape Cars’ Open Day on Sunday, 19 April.

Created by Fuzz in partnership with Lee Reynolds, owner of Longmynd Service Station in Shropshire, Classic Friendly is a nationwide network of garages chosen on the basis of their ability to offer classic vehicle safety inspections, as well as brand-appropriate maintenance, servicing, and restoration services.

Classic Friendly garages are selected and endorsed as Members operating within a framework to provide classic car owners with the reassurance that their vehicles are safe and roadworthy. Inspections are backed by leading insurance brokers and tailored to suit classic and/or vintage vehicles.

“Great Escape is not only a business revolving around a large fleet of iconic classic cars,” says Fuzz, “but also boasts its own workshop, set up to service the needs of vehicles which are in constant use, being hired both by private individuals and TV production companies. This company’s high standards, expertise and perception of the classic car industry make it the ideal garage to keep classics on the road safely. Classic Friendly shares the same spirit.”

In light of the government’s proposal to extend MoT exemption to all cars older than 30 years, Classic Friendly Members aim to offer a standardised, consistent service across the network to assess classic cars’ condition and ensure they are safe to drive.

“I feel very strongly that the MOT exemption for older cars is bad news for both owners and road safety,” explains Graham Eason of Great Escape Cars. “The solution to the problem may not be to exempt older cars from compulsory testing, though this seems now inevitable. The Classic Friendly inspections, which are advisory reports with no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ results, are the only alternative to the MOT that we have found and with which we are happy.”

 

 

Great Escape Cars was founded in 2006 by Graham and Janine Eason, to make renting a vintage car simple, easy and enjoyable.

Today Great Escape Cars is the UK’s largest classic car hire company operating from its base in the Midlands; both the business and its fleet have grown as private classic car hire has been joined by corporate and TV production demand for classic and vintage vehicles. More information is available at www.greatescapecars.co.uk or by calling 01527 893733.

 

Record ratings for National Geographic Channel’s Car S.O.S.

GTiMK1 FUZZ TIM STIRLING

ALDRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM- Tim Shaw and Fuzz Townshend driving a pristine Jaguar E-Type. (Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Jon Scorer)

ALDRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM- Tim Shaw and Fuzz Townshend driving a pristine Jaguar E-Type.
(Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Jon Scorer)

fuzz and tim against panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 April 2015

Record ratings (again) for second episode of Fuzz Townshend’s Car S.O.S.

  • Car S.O.S. records highest ratings among all factual programmes on satellite channels
  • Troublesome E-Type returned to tip-top condition with much effort and determination
  • Third episode of Car S.O.S. third season aired tomorrow, featuring MkI Golf GTI

 

TV presenter Fuzz Townshend’s Car S.O.S.’s new, third season, tops the ratings again: the series’s second episode, featuring Fuzz’s gruesome odyssey to return a Jaguar E-type to its original splendour, wins first position in the factual programme charts on satellite channels for the second time in two weeks.

 

“Car S.O.S.’s top position for the first episode of the current series was already a record,” said Fuzz, “but the position seems to have consolidated now, with similar amazing reception from audiences all over the world.”

 

Car S.O.S. is in its third series; owned by the National Geographic Channel, the brand new season is broadcast in the UK on Thursdays at 8.00pm. Channel 4 and More4 have already bought the broadcasting rights to the first and second series.

 

The third episode of Car S.O.S., “Golf GTi Obsession”, is broadcast tomorrow, 23 April, on National Geographic Channel, at 8.00pm. A 1982 MkI Golf GTi, belonging to a man who’s been suffering from debilitating headaches for a decade, needs Fuzz and co-presenter Tim to come to the rescue. The ultimate Eighties’ hot-hatch is in a bad state, but giving it a new lease of life is not as difficult as reconciling Fuzz and Tim’s completely different ideas about how the GTi should look, when completed.

 

 

 

Useful links:

Fuzz Townshend’s Facebook page: Fuzz Townshend FB page

Twitter: @fuzztownshend

Car SOS series: www.channel4.com/programmes/car-sos and natgeotv.com/uk/car-sos/about

 

 

Car S.O.S. in numbers:

 

30                    the number of cars reconditioned across the three series filmed so far

 

100+                the number of countries where the show is broadcast

 

500/1,000        the number of man-hours spent on each of the projects

 

24                    the number of weeks spent to do ten cars (per series)

 

500k                the number of regular viewers in the UK

    

Note to Editors:

Richard Townshend, renamed ‘Fuzz’ in junior school because of his Afro hair, has been fond of old motor cars (and buses!), as well as music, since his childhood. He served a full diesel motor vehicle engineer apprenticeship and worked at a bus garage on Daimler and Leyland buses. From staff writer to Technical Editor at Practical Classics, and currently the owner of a classic car restoration business, Westgate Classics, Fuzz Townshend’s effort to diversify and grow resulted in a successful screen test for a new National Geographical Channel show, ‘Car SOS’. The production company also selected the workshop as the main location for the series, and the place where restoration projects are carried out.

Fuzz’s latest venture, Classic Friendly Ltd, (www.classicfriendly.co.uk) is a network of classic-friendly garages which give classic cars the once-over in the post ‘no-MOT’ era, as well as standardised servicing. He is still a mean drummer.

 

Fuzz Townshend launches TIGOSE’s Apprenticeship Programme

For immediate release

8 December 2014

The International Guild of Specialist Engineers’ Classic Car Restoration Apprenticeship launched by classic car world celebrity Fuzz Townshend

  • TV presenter, classic car restoration business owner and Classic Friendly founder Fuzz Townshend launches TIGOSE Programme at Emtec Colleges workshops, Nottingham
  • The first and only specialised course of its kind in the UK

The first historic and classic vehicle restoration Apprenticeship Programme in the UK – conceived by TIGOSE founder Michael Scott – was launched by TV personality Fuzz Townshend today.

A new partnership between dedicated automotive centre Emtec Colleges (part of Central College, Nottingham) and TIGOSE (The International Guild of Specialist Engineers), the Programme is structured around the IMI’s Classic Vehicle Restoration Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas and regularly monitored by an IMI Lead External Verifier.

Motoring journalist and classic car expert Fuzz Townshend was at hand to welcome the first apprentices and visiting students on the first day of the programme. “I appreciated the opportunities offered by my own apprenticeship, gained many years ago,” said Fuzz. “As a college lecturer, journalist, hands-on restorer and founder of Classic Friendly (a network of classic car garages), I also know that apprenticeships have moved on significantly since I started out, and so has the business of car restoration. Once achieved the fundamental skills, you can focus on specific marques, or building classic race engines. I’ve worked around the world, on cars ranging from just hundreds of pounds to half a million and more, learning all the time. It’s an exciting and emotive business: people love their cars and will expect the highest level of workmanship from you, but it’s immensely rewarding if you have the skills and share that enthusiasm. A dedicated apprenticeship programme is exactly what is needed to bring new talent and young people into a thriving business.”

Fuzz also added, about The International Guild of Specialist Engineers: “TIGOSE is bringing the excellence in this sector forward, raising standards all the time. The classic car restoration business has been perceived to be a little ‘backyard’ in the past but now the specialist skills needed to bring some of these luxury and rare vehicles back to their former glory is being recognised and appreciated.”

TIGOSE, in conjunction with Emtec Colleges, has devised an extensive programme with modules covering Paint, Panel, Trim, Customer Service, Parts and Machine Shop Engineering. Vehicles Restoration Apprentices acquire specific knowledge and competencies that can be put into direct action back in their workshops upon their return from the Academy.

“Our partnership with associations such as TIGOSE, the IMI and local companies such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists shows us that there is a real need for the industry to develop young people to be tomorrow’s classic car restorers,” says Jon Rawson, Head of Emtec Colleges, whose own daughter is embarking in an automotive engineering course at the company’s Nottingham premises.

TIGOSE founder Michael Scott, whose brainchild the Apprenticeship Programme is, was delighted: “it is a real comfort to see The International Guild of Specialist Engineers’ project take off as the first of its kind in the UK. I consider our programme the Rolls-Royce of all other similar, but not as all-encompassing, initiatives. Well-known celebrity Fuzz Townshend is an inspiration for all young people with a passion for classic cars, so we were delighted to have him launch our Apprenticeship Programme today.”

Fuzz Townshend judges MotoFest’s Young Innovators competition

Coventry motorfest logo 2014

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

17 December 2014

TV star Fuzz Townshend judges MotoFest’s Young Innovators competition

  • Brand ambassador and ‘Influencer’ Fuzz Townshend on panel to choose winner
  • Coventry MotoFest launched competition for school children last month
  • Young Innovators to design Pace Car for May 2015 event

TV presenter and journalist Fuzz Townshend is on the judging panel at Coventry MotoFest’s headquarters tonight, to choose the winner of the “Young Innovators” competition launched by MotoFest.

Coventry-based secondary schools were invited to submit their entries for ‘Best Design’ of the Pace Car built for next year’s event (29/31 May).

A vociferous and passionate spokesperson supporting all initiatives stimulating creativity and growth in the car industry, Fuzz was invited by MotoFest organisers to help decide which entry will be converted into CAD (by Coventry University) before Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations turn it into reality.

“I did my apprenticeship at the local bus company, and believe that it is our job to encourage future generations to keep the automotive industry alive and fresh with ideas,” says Fuzz, who has recently launched The International Guild of Specialist Engineers’ Apprenticeship Programme at automotive training provider Emtec Colleges. “I am delighted to have been asked to be on the judging panel for an initiative which involves young children’s creativity and turns it into styling, engineering and manufacturing processes.”

MotoFest organiser Ralph Hosier echoes the feeling: “Our competition calls for budding engineers and designers to have an active role in next year’s event planning. We asked Fuzz to help us as a recognised opinion leader in the industry, and for his active campaigning to attract new talent and skills to the motor industry.”

The overall winner, two runners-up and a prize for “Most Inventive” will be announced by the weekend.

Fuzz Townshend’s Car S.O.S. first episode smashes records

 

15 April 2015

 

  • Brand new episode of TV presenter’s Car S.O.S. tops ratings
  • 1962 Healey Sprite racer and Sir Stirling Moss featured
  • Second episode of Car S.O.S. third season aired tomorrow, featuring E-Type

 

TV presenter Fuzz Townshend celebrates top ratings for the first episode of Car S.O.S.’s new series (Season 3): owned by and aired on National Geographic Channel, Thursday 9 April, and featuring Sir Stirling Moss, the programme earned first place in the top five factual programmes on satellite channels.

“We are all extremely pleased to see how popular the new series of Car S.O.S. is already proving to be,” said Fuzz. “We could not have hoped for a better start, both in the UK and in the other 100+ countries where the series is broadcast.”

The new series follows a successful format, with ten cars (one per episode) being reconditioned and given back to their unsuspecting owners, as Fuzz Townshend and his co-presenter Tim Shaw work hard to fulfill the series’ purpose of “rebuilding cars and lives.”

The second episode of Car S.O.S., “E-Type Emergency”, is broadcast tomorrow night, 16 April, on National Geographic Channel, at 8.00pm. Fuzz, with co-presenter Tim, responds to a plea for help from the family of a school caretaker who, plagued by osteoporosis, has a much loved E-Type rotting away in his garage, as he is unable to restore it. Fuzz and his team have only three weeks to return the E-Type to the way it was in 1966, when brand new.

Will the rust, which has taken hold of the car, dampen Fuzz’s enthusiasm?

Watch the programme to find out the outcome of those three weeks’ of intense work and high emotions.

 

Useful links:

Fuzz Townshend’s Facebook page: Fuzz Townshend FB page

Twitter: @fuzztownshend

Car SOS series: www.channel4.com/programmes/car-sos and natgeotv.com/uk/car-sos/about

 

Car S.O.S. in numbers:

 

30                    the number of cars reconditioned across the three series filmed so far

 

100+                the number of countries where the show is broadcast

 

500/1,000        the number of man-hours spent on each of the projects

 

24                    the number of weeks spent to do ten cars (per series)

 

500k                the number of regular viewers in the UK

                       

Note to Editors:

Richard Townshend, renamed ‘Fuzz’ in junior school because of his Afro hair, has been fond of old motor cars (and buses!), as well as music, since his childhood. He served a full diesel motor vehicle engineer apprenticeship and worked at a bus garage on Daimler and Leyland buses. From staff writer to Technical Editor at Practical Classics, and currently the owner of a classic car restoration business, Westgate Classics, Fuzz Townshend’s effort to diversify and grow resulted in a successful screen test for a new National Geographical Channel show, ‘Car SOS’. The production company also selected the workshop as the main location for the series, and the place where restoration projects are carried out.

Fuzz’s latest venture, Classic Friendly Ltd, (www.classicfriendly.co.uk) is a network of classic-friendly garages which give classic cars the once-over in the post ‘no-MOT’ era, as well as standardised servicing. He is still a mean drummer.

 

Classic Aware: you know your car? Prove it.

  • Brand new UK campaign promotes importance of having one’s classic properly maintained
  • Response to government and EU plans for younger classic vehicles to be MoT-exempt
  • Movement backed by CAR SOS presenter Fuzz Townshend
  • Classic Car Weekly readers also inspirational to the campaign  

 

A brand new campaign, Classic Aware, is officially launched today to promote the importance of having one’s classic vehicle inspected and maintained on a regular basis.

Since November 2012, obligatory MoT tests have been scrapped for any vehicle registered prior to 1 January 1960. When the forthcoming EU Roadworthiness Directive becomes active in 2018, a larger number of vehicles may be affected as the Directive calls for 30-year-old (and older) vehicles with no substantial changes made to them, to be given some form of exemption from testing.

Whilst it may not be a legal requirement to have a current MoT on one’s classic, the burden of responsibility falls onto the individual driving the vehicle at the time of any accident and/or offence.

The new campaign intends to encourage classic vehicle owners to take charge by refusing to rely solely on home-checks, but substitute the no-longer compulsory MoT with appropriate safety checks and thorough inspections by independent specialists.

 

Classic Aware’s mission statement: Prove it.

Is your car roadworthy? Prove It.

You only do 1000 Miles A Year? Prove It.

You know your car? Prove It.

 

The new movement has the enthusiastic support of TV presenter, classic car garage owner, Classic Friendly founder and Cherished Cars insurer Carole Nash brand ambassador Fuzz Townshend, who also inspired it, as well as Bauer Media publication Classic Car Weekly and PR consultancy AV PR.

“I am but one of the many voices rising from within the classic car world,” said Fuzz. “Owner inspections might miss crucial clues that affect classic cars more deeply than modern cars (which have more automated safety systems in place); once compulsory testing is removed, there would be very little between the road and some 650,000 cars. Statistically, the government talks about classic cars only being involved in 0.03% of road accidents, but any number of lives lost is significant, and it is only a matter of time before self-regulating, occasional checks take their toll.”

CCW editor Keith Adams is equally vociferous: “we’re opposing the proposed move, in the strongest terms, and I’m hoping the wider industry will, too. Insurers, especially now, should look at the implications, and consider how they can persuade their policy holder to test their cars, regardless of age.”

Whilst there are those who do not oppose plans to make more and more classic cars MoT-exempt, it is clear from CCW readers’ comments that Classic Aware will gather momentum with the public, insurers, the UK media and garages’ support.

Classic Aware has its own dedicated website: www.classicaware.com.

Fuzz Townshend at the Restoration and Classic Car Show 2015

Interviewed on Live Stage at the Practical Classics Restoration Show (28-29 March)
Brand Ambassador for engineering and decontamination services firm, Enviro-Strip
Spokesperson for ‘Classic Aware’, the new classic car movement    

 

British TV presenter Fuzz Townshend was the voice of choice for businesses, campaigns, clubs and the classic car industry when he spent last weekend at the Practical Classics Restoration and Classic Car Show.

Appointments with the public included several interactive interviews on the ‘Ask The Experts’ stage involving the audience, joining a panel of the most popular British TV presenters in the game show “Would I Lie To You”, being a guest on the TSSC stand (as Fuzz is the Club’s honorary President) and spending time on Enviro-Strip’s stand, signing autographs and explaining the environmentally-aware stripping processes that Enviro-Strip uses, to classic car owners looking to book their vehicles for that very important first stage of restoration.

Fuzz is also a passionate supporter of “Classic Aware”, a new campaign promoting the importance of having one’s classic vehicle properly checked: in the light of forthcoming new legislation potentially scrapping MoT requirements for classic vehicles older than thirty years, Fuzz’s relentless efforts to sensitise owners to take proper care of their classic inspired much of the public-facing activities carried out by the CAR SOS star at the Restoration Show.

The third series of the hit TV show Car SOS, co-presented by Fuzz since its inception and recently launched to the media globally, starts on the National Geographic Channel next week, April 9, at 8.00pm.

Car SOS series: www.channel4.com/programmes/car-sos and natgeotv.com/uk/car-sos/about

Fuzz Townshend’s website: www.fuzztownshend.com

Classic Aware website: www.classicaware.com

Richard Townshend, renamed ‘Fuzz’ in junior school because of his Afro hair, has been fond of old motor cars (and buses!), as well as music, since his childhood. He served a full diesel motor vehicle engineer apprenticeship and worked at a bus garage on Daimler and Leyland buses. From staff writer to Technical Editor at Practical Classics, and currently the owner of a classic car restoration business, Westgate Classics, Fuzz Townshend’s effort to diversify and grow resulted in a successful screen test for a new National Geographical Channel show, ‘Car SOS’. The production company also selected the workshop as the main location for the series, and the place where restoration projects are carried out.

Fuzz’s latest venture, Classic Friendly Ltd, (www.classicfriendly.co.uk) is a network of classic-friendly garages which give classic cars the once-over in the post ‘no-MOT’ era, as well as standardised servicing. He also continues his career as a mean drummer, having played with such luminaries as The Wonder Stuff, The Beat, Pop Will Eat Itself, EMF, Bentley Rhythm Ace.

His solo music has been used in Sex and the City, Malcolm in the Middle, Jackass, Charmed, Spaced, National Lampoon’s and many more.

 

Classic Aware is a brand new campaign (launched this month) which intends to encourage classic vehicle owners not to rely solely on home-checks, but substitute the no-longer compulsory MoT with appropriate safety inspections by independent specialists. The campaign’s mission statement is: Prove it. The movement (inspired and encouraged by Fuzz) has the support of individuals, clubs, insurance companies and media. www.classicaware.com

 

Enviro-Strip is a British company based in Staffordshire which specialises in environmentally-friendly industrial paint stripping and decontamination services for the automotive, manufacturing and process industries. They also provide metal finishing, stillage/pallet repair and refurbishment, engineering and calibration services. www.envirostripukltd.com

Car S.O.S. new series launched to international media by Fuzz Townshend

Car S.O.S. new series launched to international media by Fuzz Townshend

  • Media launch hosted by National Geographic Channel on 18 March
  • The London Transport Museum was venue for screening and media interviews
  • 1962 Healey Sprite racer at the launch featured in special episode of new series

 

Car S.O.S. presenter Fuzz Townshend announced the new series (Season 3) of the popular TV programme at the international media launch hosted by the National Geographic Channel at the London Transport Museum. The new series will be shown from April 9, at 8pm, on Thursdays.

The show, which is owned and broadcast worldwide in more than 100 countries by the National Geographic Channel, is now in its third series; rights to the first and second series have recently been bought by UK terrestrial channel Channel 4 and the programme is also shown on More4.

Dozens of media representatives from around the world gathered at the London Transport Museum to interview Fuzz and co-presenter Tim Shaw. With thirty cars (ten episodes per series) now reconditioned and given back to extremely grateful and deserving owners, and thousands of work hours spent on them, Fuzz Townshend and co-presenter Tim Shaw have become familiar faces on the small screen, fronting a programme whose mission statement is: “rebuilding cars and lives.”

“I am really excited to announce the latest season of Car S.O.S.,” said Fuzz. “Each car we find and choose to recondition holds a story. Barn finds (as so many of the cars we have worked on are) hold promises we are keen to unravel: even the glovebox may store some surprise.”

The launch also featured another star: an Austin Healey Sprite Sebring, one of four cars built by Healey to enter the 1962 Sebring 12-Hour Florida International GP of Endurance (in the Sebring 3 Hours, GT category, <1-litre engines). Lighter than the standard model, with race-tuned engine, upgraded suspension and brakes and a racing box, it is the only surviving one of the four, driven by Sir Stirling Moss, Pedro Rodriguez, Innes Ireland and Steve McQueen (all for BMC).

Moss led the race for most of the time, ran out of fuel and ended up third overall against a brace of very quick Abarths.

True to the spirit of the Car S.O.S. series, work on the car was carried out by Fuzz’s team in secret at Fuzz’s own garage, Westgate Classics, trying to preserve as much as possible of the original specs.

The Sprite Sebring took pride of place at the London Transport Museum; it had been presented to Sir Stirling after work was completed, a few weeks ago, at the Gaydon Heritage Motor Centre.

“It is always a buzz to unveil a car which has been restored by the Car S.O.S. team and Westgate workshop,” said Fuzz. “However, when the recipient is Sir Stirling Moss, the stress to complete the job to the best of our abilities is increased tenfold. It was great to see one of the most famous racing drivers of all times drive away in a car he had not seen for over fifty years.”

Some of Car S.O.S.’s useful numbers:

30                    the number of cars reconditioned across the three series filmed so far

100+                the number of countries where the show is broadcast

500/1,000        the number of man-hours spent on each of the projects

24                    the number of weeks spent to do ten cars (per series)

500k                the number of regular viewers in the UK