Rescuing classic cars requires more than a love for the classics and a passion for restoration, as the diverse team involved in a new History TV Canada series shows.
Following the adventures of five car hunters, the program also features Langley’s Lee Brandt operating a crane in twisty terrain to locate and lift vintage cars, and pilot Jessica James from BC’s Chilcotin.
The Lost Car Rescue team is led by Matt Sager, a young car hunter who met Brandt after the latter posted an online advertisement to sell an old crane in Langley. “That two-hour call at 9 p.m. changed my life,” Brandt says.
As Sager explained his reasons for purchasing the crane, Brandt was moved by the passion, and was excited to join the team exploring the northern wilderness by air and land, and extracting forgotten vehicles.
A long-time Langley resident and former junior-hockey player, Brandt launched his career helping the City of Surrey relocate trees and electric poles. After the tree business grew, Brandt decided to upgrade his crane and that’s when he posted an advertisement to sell his old machine.
“Sager later bought the crane and I came along with it,” he jokes.
As an expert car lifter, Brandt’s role in the team is to lift a car with minimal damage and save the already rusted parts from getting wrecked.
“I wait for instructions from Matt as to where the car is and then it’s kind of up to me to figure out how to lift it and get it out of there,” Brandt says.
“I have relocated lots of trees but when you’re trying to salvage a car there are important pieces that need to be saved. You have the pressure, but pressure is privilege they say.”
Though the team explored B.C’s north, Sager says the Langley community has always surprised him with their love for cars.
“From the old car centre in South Langley to crazy amount of hot rodders… it’s just a mecca of old cars. Langley is like B.C.’s Cuba. Kudos to Langley community for upholding and preserving the car culture. Thanks for praising these cars and artists.”
Brandt’s expert skills are essential to lift the cars that are “almost reclaimed by mother nature,” says Sager, adding that it took him a long time to realize the show is his dream come true.
“I would like people who watch this show to realize that it’s all based on a dream, and 17 years after it all came true. I want to inspire people to keep chasing their dreams – they do come true.”
Lost Car Rescue is produced by Boat Rocker’s Proper Television in association with Corus Studios for History Network.