It's not what you know but who you know...
You've heard this saying before I'm sure, well so have I, many times! But I'm only starting to believe it now.
We are friends with a fellow MK1 Escort owner in NewZealand, Andy aka Gumboot Andy, founder of the Gumboot Rally.
I was contacted by Andy asking if we would be able to help out some friends of his who were coming to Australia in a week to film a show and they needed a workshop for 10 days to build a car due to being left without one at the last minute. This was all the information I had as it was initially top secret.
With a quick message to the guys at OC Motorsports, I had secured them a garage.
I had to know more, so contacting Franck and Chris directly I found out that Franck was in fact buying movie cars from around the world, restoring them to be in driving order and taking them back to LA to be collected and preserved in history. While Chris travels the world hosting a web series which features such movie cars, so the pair had teamed up once again, this time coming to the land down under. And this particular series was based on Franck buying a Madmax Interceptor, building it, getting it in working order and then driving it 10hrs from Sydney to Brisbane all in 12 days!!!
An opportunity not be missed I asked if I could help document such a build. And in return I was asked if I was any good on the tools as they needed as many hands as possible. So with 7 days notice I organised 10 days off work and jumped on board the build to assist in building, filming, documenting and anything else I could.
Turning up day 1 it was already a bunch of laughs starting with me needing to back the trailer into the workshop, and I must say I did it like a boss, I had never backed a trailer before let alone into a tight space with a camera in my face!
It also became evident that my camera gear was needed for the project, due to travel weight limits, budget and a few other issues so I had donated it to be used for the project. Luckily I have two camera's and was still able to take photos on the other, while my second camera, mic, and tripod was used by the camera men.
Each day brought new challenges, lots of laughs and many memories. I made some life long friends, I finally got to meet Andy from New Zealand who came on board as, I guess you could call a mechanic alongside Tony from Britain, both definitely not mechanics but came with a great passion and knowledge of cars. Tony is by far the funniest Geezer I've ever met, so many laughs and best of all he didn't even know he was funny! Franck the mad Frenchman (owner of the car), and the one who came up with this crazy idea. Inspiringly he is a driven, passionate, crazy none F*cks given kind of guy who is just enjoying the ride and having a lot of fun along the way! Chris was also along for part of the build and taught me a few things about the filming industry which I appreciate a lot! And I can't forget the two cameramen Theo and Djason from the land of baguettes, again teaching me what they could in broken English. It was a crazy adventure with crazy people, five countries, five accents, foreign terms and the best 12 days of my life! I learnt a lot with this build.
I learnt a lot in regards to fabrication, mechanics, filming, acting and most of all I learnt a lot about myself. Who I am, who I was, and who I want to be...
I even learnt how to weld!
I really enjoyed being in front of the camera and felt no need to act but rather be myself. I went from caring about my image to not caring at all to then balancing out my personality with my image. I initially turned up knowing there were camera's about with my hair and make-up done with an outfit that took me ages to choose and presented myself well. I soon let it go and realised I was turning up to a workshop with 11 men and wanted to be treated like one of the boys so dressed like one and became very self conscious of the way I looked...
With all of them noticing this instant change I was sat down, questioned and given direction as to who I need to be, how I need to present myself and given ways to balance my girl side with my tom boy side. A sit down I won't forget, and some great wise words from many men who know me, know my goals, and know what it's going to take to make it somewhere.
It's actually a hard game, I'm not one to turn up, flash my tits and be all look at me giggle giggle for attention. I want to be taken seriously, but unless you do these things you are simply looked passed as there is always someone else happy to get their gear off, and even if they have less knowledge or passion than you they then become more known due to an "appearance" or an "act". We all know sex sells, and it's the absolute truth unfortunately.
So bare with me while I try and find my inner girl and mix her with my outer boy haha...ok so back to the car...
I didn't vlog the whole build for two reasons.
1: With my camera and mic being used I didn't want to use a crappy camera and lens with standard mic as there was heaps of background noise and I also had no tripod to do so, I was also filming different angles as a back up cameraman for the show ... and
2: From the outside it appeared to be a very slow process. The outside body work was remaining the same and it was mostly a mechanical restoration with brakes, diff, fuel lines, electrical and engine work needing to be done.... Interesting for some but not most as it was all basic mechanics with no ground braking mods and nothing newly fabricated.
As the days ticked away more problems were found that needed addressing before it would be street legal. It was beginning to look as though it would not happen, and that it would sadly be trailered to QLD, shipped back to LA and completed there.
The 10 days were coming to an end. We were loosing man power and everyone had to leave to go back home to work, families or continue on their life adventures. After a week Andy headed back home to NZ, Chris following. So the final days came down to Franck, Tony, the OC boys, Ash after work and myself. The days became nights and stress became high. But in true Aussie spirit we drank beer and did everything we could to finish what we started!
With the car started, only just, it was only minute stuff keeping us from driving the thing out of the shop and down the streets of Glendenning. Tuesday night was looking promising, I had to start work at 6am and the guys had plans to leave mid Wednesday so I hung out till near midnight to see it get done. It didn't, again with all builds there was always something that was overlooked and needed addressing, this time a hole in the fuel tank .
Back to work Wednesday reality set in which helped to drive me more to make cars my career, 3pm came and I went straight back to the workshop to see where they were at. Another late night spent watching the guys fabricate the blower and mount along with finishing up the final electrical issues.
So again another goodbye was said with plans to leave by midday Thursday and I was off home to bed for a couple hours sleep before a 5am wake-up. Another day spent in paradise (NOT) to reassess my life and my direction.
Again 3pm came and the guys were still at the shop! Except this time they had finally driven it down the street and all was in working order. With doubts about its reliability it was decided the car would in fact be trailered to QLD. But I had to see and shoot it driving down the street to complete my write up and the experience. So back to the shop I went, day 12!
We got it on the road and got our shots. I mentioned to Franck if he thinks it will make it a couple kilometres down the road to a location behind my work there were quiet open roads and a dirt scene perfect for the ultimate Madmax style shoot and footage to complete their show! With his F*ck it attitude Franck, Tony and I jumped in and we drove it down the streets to the location. It drove like a dream, Franck was truly surprised, he came alive! We were all tired, worn out and somewhat disappointed with how the adventure was going to end. But this drive down the main street and a few blocks away, no seatbelts, no indicators, everyone looking, taking photos gave Franck the determination he needed to finish what he started. I left after the shoot and went home to bed.
Thanks to Theo for the above shot...
Waking up at 5am for work on Friday I scrolled through my Facebook and had noticed Franck, Theo and Djason were already 2 hours North! They were taking the beast to Brisbane! No seatbelts, no indicators, no headlights and holes throughout the car everywhere! The mission was being finished! A very proud moment for us all!
Two police encounters later they finally made it to Brisbane where Franck was purchasing the challenger from death proof and taking them both to the dock yards to be shipped back home!
Above photo supplied by Franck
I can't actually reveal too much more due to the release of the show/video but have shared my experience so stay tuned I will share the videos once they get released!
I will definitely miss the crew and hope that one day we will all cross paths again on another crazy adventure!