The action is set in the late 1970’s, a truck load of silver bullion is ushered into a ministry checkpoint by a policeman and a van load of ministry men. An unmarked escort vehicle containing two security guards follows the truck into the check point, where upon, the guards want to know what is going on. They soon find out as they have sawn off shot guns wielded in their faces and they realise, that the Policeman and ministry men are really armed and dangerous villains who are hi-jacking the truck load of  silver and are taking the guards and driver as hostages.

Fast forward to 2006 and the BBC drama-documentary ‘Supergrass‘. The Hart Davies film company have the job of putting a dramatisation reconstruction of the hi-jacking on to film, well DVD as it is these days. The company start by finding the truck an articulated Scania of the era and then a bright red transit, just what 70’s villains preferred allegedly and finally a fast escort vehicle, which is where we came into the story with our P6 ‘The General’ and the job is to fulfil the role of escort vehicle in the hi-jack which is going to be filmed on a private road just outside Windsor.


I set to removing everything from the General that makes it look anything different to any other P6, starting with the Teddies, who to their disgust end up in the boot. I removed the badge bar, all of the stickers from the windows and everything else I can think of that shouldn’t have been there in the 70’s and for the shoot this also included the yellow headlights. I  arrived at the film shoot location at 0645hrs, just in time for the briefing and more importantly, breakfast. Don’t these film lovies eat well on these film shoots, well trust me they do and so did I. Next came the curtain call and time to relocate to the set. I was asked if some of the crew or cast could travel in the General as the mini bus would need to do more than two trips otherwise, so I agreed. But before I could finish saying yes, the Executive Producer and his aid were in the back seat making themselves comfy, closely followed by the Production Manager, who jumped in the front.

Once on set I was involved initially with running the car through the test runs following the truck a few times, for the camera positioning. Then the actors (BEV TURVEY, GEORGE BUCANNON) appeared and I had to hand over The General to one of the security guards (Bev Turvey). He said he would be careful with our P6 although I had to tell him where to find reverse, something fortunately he didn’t have to do too often, but at the same time, I told him I wasn’t worried as this was Angie’s car and if the General was to get hurt in any way, she would find him and the consequences didn’t bear thinking about. Anyway our actor friend was very considerate and careful from then on .


What surprised me the most was just how many times and from how many different angles, the exact same scene was filmed, it was amazing. I lost count how many times I heard the words ’First Positions’, that means back to the beginning, if you didn’t guess. The action starts with the truck and the car who would drive into shot and the policeman (played by RUPERT HOLLIDAY EVANS) would flag the truck in. The ministry men would go to the driver of the truck and the police man would walk the security guards from the car to the front of the truck, where upon they would set upon and bundled into the back of the waiting transit, with sawn off shot guns wielded in their faces. The van would then speed off and one of the villains would drive the truck filled with gold off, job done, ‘Cut‘. Then those words ’First Positions’ and everything would go back to the start and the cameras would take up another set positions and off we’d go again. ‘Action!’

Now after a couple of hours of this, coupled with the fact that the day was getting very hot, I was starting to get concerned about the temperature in the General and although alright, I asked the actor to keep an eye on the gauge for me, which he did after each ‘take’. I began to think this is getting very hot and I wondered whether a V8 would have coped during the entire morning or whether vapour-lock would have kicked in by now, after all I found out later that this was the hottest recorded day in Britain, and that was recorded about 30 miles away in Surrey, so I did have cause to worry. I think on this day, fortune had favoured us by not bringing a V8 which would no doubt have vapour-locked and that would have been such an embarrassment. Vapour lock in a V8 would have been inevitable due to the short distance the car was moving back and forward and the extreme heat of the day. Especially when you consider that we were filming on a private road with no moving traffic and tall trees on top of tall backs either side of the roadway. No shade either.


Anyway, I remembered I hadn’t been in touch with Angie, so in between, the cameras being moved I sent her a text which read;- “General fine, a bit of filler and some paint will soon cover up the bullet holes!”. Well needless to say, my phone rang seconds later and guess who? Yes Angie, who was a bit miffed that she was at work while I was on location with her General.

Then we came to the close-up shots which at one stage involved a cameraman and sound man running along the road next to the car while filming, very strange, but no doubt it won’t seem so in the finished article. Next even closer close-ups of the actors while they were driving the car and finally a close up filmed with the cameraman in the car, sat in the back, over the guards shoulders.

The very last shots were filmed through the back window of the General over the spare wheel and showed the van speeding away in the distance, very cool. The cameraman re-run the DVD for me to see the shot through his viewer and it was superb, this is when he told me that he would have had some serious problems with a darker coloured car especially brown because the back of the truck and trailer were dark brown, at least the lighter coloured car made things easier for him.


Between him and the other cameraman they got some superb shots of the General and it did feature quite prominently in the final production, however although the filming took all morning up until 1.00pm, the part actually televised was probably only a few minutes. Anyway at 1.00pm, it was all stop and off to lunch and what a lunch, a beautiful hot stew, yes stew on the hottest day ever, what a combination. The scenes with the General had been finished by lunch, so I was free to go and started my way home just after 2.00pm,. The program called ‘SUPERGRASS’ was scheduled for late January/ February 2007  on BBC2,  and was actually aired on 13th May 2007 at 9.00pm BBC 2


If you are interested in putting your cars into photo and film shoots, drop us an email and we’ll send you a form to get you entered on our database because ultimately  we would like to see as many cars  as possible in the glossy mags and on the TV and on the big screen, so that when we are asked in future, we have a ready to go list.   EMAIL US





‘SUPERGRASS’ FILM SHOOT FOR THE BBC

The documentary was all about the Police's Supergrass's of the 1970's. Our part was to do with the dramatisation was to do with Micky Gevais after he turned Supergrass to Dectective Tony Lundy. Although Lundy didn't trust Gervais especially as Gervais didn't let on that he had been involved with the £3.4 million silver bullion robbery on the A13 in Essex.

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