1.4.16, this was the date when I was first approached by Martin Cox of Kingfisher Kustoms, Martin is a long time friend and fellow VW enthusiast, sounded out and questioned to see if I was interested in being involved in a project that I could be given no details about. Only knowledge I had was that it was a Prime TV channel that has the same name as a very long river. I checked the date, April 1!!!! Is this an April fools joke I questioned myself!! But then Martin said “We need to talk to Dave Fisher now”
I had met Dave several times before, Dave`s a fellow Midlander who`s always up for a laugh, a professional engineer with a good line in banter. Banter is a necessary requirement for trading at shows. Not today, Dave had his serious head on! I could be given no further information on the scale of the project, who it was for or finer details of what I had to do. Only that It would be viewed on a global scale. I was told “We will be in touch” in a very mafia style. If the mafia had a Smethwick branch this was it!
EXCITED!!!!!!!! Excited was too small a word, we were setting up at the Volkworld Show at Sandown Park at the time, if I sold nothing that weekend the show was still a success!!!
A couple of months passed then I received the call, it went something like this.
Nick, can you come up to KK?
Yeah bit busy this week, is next week ok?
Nick, can you come now were ready?
Put the kettle on, see you in 40 minutes!
I grabbed a jacket, asked Rachel to hold the fort and set off to KK.
Upon arrival I was greeted by Martin who walked me into the workshop, there were three very nice buggies being built, parts were being assembled and tests being carried out. KKs workshop runs like a well oiled machine, everyone knowing what they need to do and when to do it. Not always easy when dealing with custom builds. A programmed conveyer belt assembly line must be difficult to manage let alone bespoke fittings and individual parts for three very special builds!!! I`m not sure Dave would agree with the smooth running but these guys seriously know what they are doing.
Martin let Dave know I had arrived, “You had better come into the office” another mafia moment.
The door was mysteriously shut behind me like a scene from the Exorcist, I was given a confidentiality agreement to read, I had to agree with the details and sign before I was to be told anything more.
Dave then started to explain who the three buggies were for, three vehicles for a Christmas special for the three most famous motoring journalists in the world. Now it all made sense! This wasn't just another episode in a motoring program, this was the next big step for three blokes who mess about in cars, this was a massive show for Amazon with a multi million pound budget, this was THE GRAND TOUR!!!!!!!
Right, template paper, knife, scissors and pencil at the ready. No time like the present, just as well as Dave needed our items back in two day to take the buggies to London for a photo shoot with Clarkson, May and Hammond.
Our part in this project was to supply drivers side footwell carpets with embroidered logos and a few extra bespoke bits of trim, only a small, tiny cog in a massive machine that was The Grand Tour I was so stoked to have even been asked that I grinned from ear to ear all the way back to the unit.
Back at the unit templates were cut and copies made, didn’t want to risk loosing the originals.
Patterns were cut from the templates and trimmed to Dave`s requirements.
Measurements were taken for the logos, quite a bit to fit into along with a heel pad, embroidery was positioned and sewn in place. Everything was individually bagged and sealed, taking no chances with these!!
The next day everything was delivered to Martins home for him to take them to KK.
Our part had been played, all we now had to do was ignore the enthusiasm and the ever growing lust to tell the world until now. So if you have seen me in the second half of 2016 grinning like a demented cheshire cat it wasn’t drink induced, well not all the time, but a genuine enthusiasm for what we do.
Its a nice claim to fame that the three best motoring journalists have literally walked all over us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!