Which to Watch?
Fess up! When you aren’t working on classic cars, you’re probably watching shows about them on television or online, yes? With so many programs about classic cars, how-to restorations and who knows what else, it could be difficult to narrow down which to watch. To help cut through all of that reality show drama, rushed restorations and gearhead bull out there, we’ve singled out a few shows to watch where a real passion for cars comes through.
The Biggest Motoring Telly Show in History
Top Gear has been a top pick with car enthusiasts around the world since it dÃ©buted in 2002. Quirky, irreverent, and fun – this show had something for gearheads and non gearheads alike. The entire concept of the program is about going fast. Incredible stunts and race sequences pit all sorts of exotic cars against each other. Recently, the BBC canceled the perennial ratings juggernaut, leaving the three hosts looking for work. Cheerio though- Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are set to host a new car show on Amazon Prime starting next year. Meanwhile, the BBC is revamping Top Gear UK with a whole new format and new hosts.
Top Gear USA Pushes the Limits
Top Gear USA, the Americanized version of the British show, is structured much the same, with the hosts partaking in wild challenges to test their car skills. From trekking across Death Valley in 4x4s to trying to “drift” a transit bus, the show pushes cars to their limits. Fans of the show are eagerly awaiting a decision from History Channel on whether it will be renewed for the fall season.
Hosts Who Give Back
If crazy car stunts aren’t your thing then check out Overhaulin’ on Velocity, brought to you from the folks at Discovery Channel. This show picks a deserving individual and secretly restores their classic car. Chip Foose, one of the car industry’s premiere custom classic car designers, puts his touches on the restoration. The program doesn’t rebuild a car just to make a profit. It focuses on bringing joy to an owner who can’t afford to do the restoration. Overhaulin’, the show with a heart, is set to return for the fall 2015 season. You can also watch full episodes online.
Tracking Down Rare Classic Cars
If you want to see some of the most sought after classic cars around, tune into Chasing Classic Cars, also on Velocity. Wayne Carini, co-owner of F-40 Motorsports, has over 40 years in the business, which gives him an all-access pass to some very exclusive garages. His mission is to track down rare cars, restore and flip them. This show is an insider’s look into the world of high priced classic cars.
Rescuing America’s Greatest Rides
Say you’re looking for a cross between American Pickers and a car restoration program. History Channel’s Lost in Transmission might be more your speed. Rutledge Wood of Top Gear USA fame and his buddy George Flanigen are both “automotive aficionados” traveling the backroads of Georgia looking for obscure, one-of-a-kind reclamation projects. Their restoration budgets are fairly low end so they do what they can: just two friends who love cars and enjoy helping people out.
Live Auction Love
Classic car collectors are always on the lookout for their next car. That may be the reason the live broadcasts of Barrett-Jackson auctions are so popular. For example, the 3rd Annual Hot August Nights Auction is happening right now in Reno Tahoe, NV (August 6-8); you can watch it on Velocity and Discovery. It is the classic car equivalent of “window shopping” from your recliner. Many a marital feud is said to have started while watching this program, so do so at your own risk.
Real Work Under the Hood Would be Good
Reality car shows that highlight garage dramas and profit-making are passÃ©. We love the shows where the cars are the stars, where the hosts are not only knowledgeable, you’d want them working on your own car baby. Where the DIY inspiration comes alive. The thrill of buying and selling autos is indeed pure driving drama – yet most of us collect for the sheer love of the cars. Programs that share in that passion will be the ones we set the DVR for, or seek out online to computer-watch. Gearheads are happiest when working on their cars, talking about their cars, dreaming about them –you get the picture. Let’s root for the programs that get back to showing some real work under the hood.
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