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CAR S.O.S Returns to National Geographic this February with Brand New Two Part Special CAR S.O.S SPECIAL: 7 DAY CHALLENGE

12 February 2019



National Geographic’s top-rated “car-shaped show about people”, Car S.O.S, the car restoration show with a whole lot of heart, returns this Valentine’s Day with a televisual love letter to one of the country’s most cherished cars, the Land Rover. Tune in to National Geographic on 14th February at 8pm to catch the first of two brilliant, fast-paced and funny new special shows featuring a live studio audience and a celebrity guest in Car S.O.S Special: 7 Day Challenge. Then catch the second instalment of the adrenaline fuelled spin-off show on 21st February at 8pm ahead of a brand-new 10-part series of Car S.O.S commencing 28th February at 8pm.

Car S.O.S Special: 7 Day Challenge
2 x 60’ episodes
TX: Thursday 14th February at 8pm & Thursday 21st February at 8pm



Filmed at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, home to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars, Car S.O.S Special: 7 Day Challenge sees parts-blagging extraordinaire Tim Shaw and master mechanic Fuzz Townshend attempt to restore a beloved motor in just seven days, with the help of acting legend and all-round hardman Ross Kemp (TX1) and rock ‘n’ roll superstar Rick Wakeman (TX2).

In true Car S.O.S fashion, Tim and Fuzz have stolen an iconic classic car from a deserving owner and this time it’s a 1959 Series 2 Land Rover that is nothing short of a rusting wreck. With just a week and a heck of a lot of work to do in order to restore the off-road 4x4 back to its former glory, will Tim and Fuzz be able to pull off one of TV’s most daring car restorations ever?

With a supportive studio audience packed full of petrolheads and Car S.O.S fans cheering on the boys as they kickstart proceedings, it’s not long before the miracle makeover starts taking shape – with Ross Kemp even trying his hand at welding for the first time to help things along. But the stakes have never been higher for Tim and Fuzz as the duo face a series of flash points along the way which push their skills and patience to the limit.



If they needed motivation to see the task through, the boys need look no further than the Land Rover’s deserving owner Brian Phillips and his inspirational story of combatting cancer. Brian worked at Land Rover and built his car from new on the production line to his exact spec. It has become a family heirloom, with all four of his children learning to drive in it.

When his trusty motor broke down Brian was going to restore it himself, but sadly he got struck down by cancer.  Brian has now been given the all-clear, but he was left too weak to work on the car to get it back to being roadworthy, so it was left languishing in the garage. His daughter wrote to Car S.O.S to ask for help and Tim and Fuzz gratefully obliged, stealing the Land Rover from under his nose with a cunning stunt to give it the Car S.O.S treatment that will be shown in these two action-packed specials on National Geographic.



Car S.O.S – Season 7
10 x 60’ episodes
TX: Weekly from Thursday 28th February at 8pm

Following on from the two specials, a bumper packed seventh series of Car S.O.S lands on National Geographic where Tim and Fuzz take on their most challenging car restoration projects ever in 10 brand new hour-long episodes. All have inspiring owners who deserve the chance to have their treasured classic motor fully restored to prime condition. Stories featured include a family who have been touched by cancer not once by twice and a car-lover who is now registered blind and this may be the last chance, he has of driving his cherished car on a circuit. This series is sure to make even the hardest petrolhead shed a tear!

TX play-out pattern

Car S.O.S Special: 7 Day Challenge
2 x 60’ episodes
TX: Thursday 14th February at 8pm & Thursday 21st February at 8pm
In two special episodes filmed at the British Motor Museum Tim and Fuzz attempt to restore a rusting Land Rover in front of a live studio audience with the help of celebrity guests Ross Kemp and Rick Wakeman

Car S.O.S - Season 7
10 x 60’ episodes
TX: Weekly from Thursday 28th February at 8pm
The UK’s No.1 car restoration show returns with a bumper packed series with Tim and Fuzz undertaking their most challenging car restoration projects ever for a host of inspiring owners

Tim Shaw Interview | Fuzz Townshend Interview | Ross Kemp Interview | Rick Wakeman Interview | Brian Phillips Interview

Episode Synopses

Episode 1 TX Thursday 28th February at 8pm
Owner and ex car mechanic Kel (63) bought his TR4 in 1974 on a whim. He was rescuing a broken-down car one evening and the lady driver was so fed up with her car persistently breaking down that she sold it to him for £80, which he had to borrow from his father. It became the car of his twenties, his carefree days, synonymous with Kel until it eventually became so unreliable that it became a ‘tinkering project’, always in the garage and rarely on the road. Whenever Kel and his wife moved, the car came too, trailered from house to house as he just couldn’t let it go. Two sons came along and eventually the TR4 ended up in their grandfather’s garage where it still stands to this day, thirty years off the road. A planned retirement project that will now never happen as tragedy struck.

Episode 2 TX Thursday 7th March at 8pm
Former NHS dentist and pillar of the local community, Barry, (72) bought his Peugeot 504 back in 1980. His daughter Hannah remembers travelling down to London on the train with him to pick up the car when she was just five years old. As she says” they are not the sort of family to have new cars”, so this was quite an event. After driving it, cherishing it and tinkering with it for nearly twenty years (including converting it from left to right hand drive) he decided that he would restore it to its former glory with a full resto, so he put it in the garage and started pulling the car apart. Sadly, infirmity and family issues kicked in and the car has been left standing on bricks for over fifteen years. Barry is apparently ‘too proud’ to take it to a garage and ask for it to be fixed by someone else and he wouldn’t be able to get his head round spending the money on it when he knows he has the skills to do it himself’.

Episode 3 TX Thursday 14th March at 8pm
Sarah (44) was a petrolhead from the moment she learned to drive, going to car shows, track days and owning a series of nippy hatchbacks but the car she always dreamed of owning was the Lotus Elise. Twelve years ago, her dream came true and after saving up she bought her Lotus, white with racing green stripes. Sadly, the car she fell in love with turned out to be a bit of a turkey. Eventually, after five years it ended up in an old pigsty in her parent’s garden where Sarah’s Dad promised that he would do it up and get it back on the road. The two of them had lots of plans, none of which came true, as instead tragedy struck the family.

Episode 4 TX Thursday 21st March at 8pm
As a teenager in the 1980s, Noel Ritchie worked hard to buy his dream car, a first generation Toyota Celica. As the years went on, the demands of everyday life meant that he eventually had to part with that car but that wasn’t to be the end of the story. Twenty years ago and now a school bursar, Noel came across a 1972 Celica that he was able to buy. The car was a wreck and in desparate need of a complete restoration but that didn’t dampen his excitement. Since then however, Noel has suffered a string of health problems as well as caring for his disabled wife. Despite all of lifes challenges, he never gave up on his dream to once again get a Toyota Celica on the road and the car has been kept in storage ever since. Now, at the age of 50, Noel’s dreams look as though they will never come true.

Car S.O.S Special: 7 Day Challenge, Thursday 14th February at 8pm & Thursday 21st February at 8pm on National Geographic


  1. Bob Wilkinson.
    14 February 2019 at 10:18 pm — Reply

    14th. Feb. 2019. CAR SOS.
    Just watched the first in new series filmed at the excellent The British Motor Museum….restoration of a 1959 Land Rover.
    VERY disappointing programme to a car restoration fan. Introduction of so called “stars” like Ross Kemp will reduce this series to a Top Gear look alike where attempts at entertainment replace a formerly more technical approach.
    Less flim flam and more nitty gritty technical content please. Do not dumb down a potentially excellent programme!

  2. Mike Morant
    14 February 2019 at 10:18 pm — Reply

    Coverage of the Land Rover was poor to say the least. This is car sos, not top gear? To have a competition as to if Ross is a petrol head was a joke, the true petrol heads wanted to see the car. After all, that is the point of the programme, or so I thought?
    Can I suggest you stick with a proven format, although that at times is suspect? People know you can’t wave a wand and just fix it, tell it the way it is to encourage others looking to do similar restorations a heads up into the true costs?

  3. Steve bowles
    15 February 2019 at 2:18 am — Reply

    Possibly the most disappointing turn of events ever. One of the best car shows just became one of the worst. About 5% car content.

  4. Rob
    15 February 2019 at 8:30 am — Reply

    Turned off half way through, if i wanted to watch Top Gear i would, Car SOS is an excellent programme, whoever thought we wanted to learn that Ross Kemp should be classed as a petrol head needs sacking! Only saw the land rover a couple of times. Bored!!

  5. Tim
    15 February 2019 at 4:42 pm — Reply

    Please don’t try to be Top Gear, you’re better than that!

  6. Simon
    15 February 2019 at 5:23 pm — Reply

    Bring back the old Car SOS not the show Biz clap trap we had forced on us last might, I want to see the car in a proper workshop not a soap star on a sofa.

  7. Chris
    16 February 2019 at 11:55 am — Reply

    Has to be the absolute low point of this show. What a waste of time.

  8. Tim
    7 March 2019 at 9:50 pm — Reply

    Where’s the Peugeot!

  9. Tim
    4 February 2020 at 7:18 pm — Reply

    Totally agree with all the above…..I turned over after a few minutes of watching this Top Gear style drivel.

  10. Andrew
    7 February 2020 at 11:24 pm — Reply

    I prefer the old format…not to confuse that with a fear of change ….the format you had is just better for what you want ….no sorry what we the viewer wants to see…its more personal to the car and the individuals involved

  11. Steve
    10 February 2020 at 5:59 pm — Reply

    Oh dear, an iconic vehicle that we barely saw. Come on Fuzz we want to see the stripdown, refurbishment and rebuild stop Tim prancing around like an overexcitable klutz and show us the mechanical bits.

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