Printable Version | Subscribe | Add to Favourites
<<  1    2    3    4  >>
New Topic New Poll New Reply
Author: Subject: Kit Car Crisis The truth behind the car
fifty50

posted on 1/7/12 at 11:20 PM Reply With Quote
Kit Car Crisis The truth behind the car

Hi all, After several years of seeing comments i though i'd let everyone know the inside on the Kit Car Crisis Programe. I designed and manufactured the Dominator TS400 that was used in the much aired kit Car Crisis series.

From the age of fifteen I had been building track and kit cars and after getting fed up with my work in IT I decided to design and manufacture my own car. Initially I designed the bodywork to partner an MK GT1 Chassis, but although I liked the chassis having previously built and run my own GT1, the quoted price of £3500 per chassis from MK was too high a price within the overall cost of the project. I looked to other chassis manufacturers including ADR, but for a number of different reasons decided to design and produce my own. The car was initially met with very good reviews in the kit car press and we had several orders on the books and a prototype that worked well.

I was approached by Mark Raynard to see if we could provide a car and some support for a ten part series that was to be made for discovery channel, to be called Man on a Mission, He told me he had written the series and that he was going to build a car in his back shed, the production company would film him through the process of building it, testing and finally him racing in the bike engined car series…. He told me how Discovery were paying him for the writing the series and that he would buy the car so he could keep it after the programme was finished. I was led to believe he had several sponsors who would help fund the project from Straight cash, tools, trailers and support vehicles. It all looked so very interesting and solid.

Then the first pressure, if we wanted to get involved he needed to know that same day, as filming had to start within two weeks. After only a couple of hours to think things through we decided we would support it, after all we were getting a sale and although we knew there would be a lot of time spent on support, it looked like fun and more importantly we thought the publicity would help such a young company.

We had a spare chassis that was at Hull University for some stress testing, so with time scales pressing we recalled this chassis and began to finish it. Then the problems started, several phone calls where mark said he had several parts he had been given from suppliers free of charge. In his view it was saving him money getting parts sponsored, but for us it was a nightmare as many of the parts were different to those that we normally used on our cars. It meant a lot of re-fabrication to accommodate a change of braking system, rear diff, dampers etc etc. After long discussions and our strong advice against using many of these parts we reluctantly agreed to alter the chassis to accommodate them, working many hours late into the evenings for several days. The plan was to have around a three month window to allow for testing and we were led to believe Mark had negotiated a sponsorship deal with a race circuit, that would allow almost unlimited track time to develop the car and fix any problems encountered with the new engineering.

So the Friday night came off we went Stevenage, trailer and new chassis in tow. when we arrived at Marks house made arrangements about the following days schedule, which was to arrive the next morning so the film crew could film us etc etc Then he dropped two bombshells in one, first he admitted he'd bought another car, but he'd found out it wasn't suitable for a bike engine? My first realisation of the type of clown I was dealing with, then that he was waiting for the money back he'd paid to the other company and that his sponsor hadn't paid him yet. He went on to reassured me that it would be no problem and he would pay as soon as the money came in. OK we thought, this is been done with Discovery channel, should be good for the money. (big mistake)

So the first weekend filming and building went Ok I suppose, although slow we were just doing the basic things, then we found out that he had told the production company that we would support them through all the filming, wow that was a lot of time to commit to, but OK we thought the publicity would be worth it. generally things didn’t go too bad until part six, we were there in the background each time and sometimes until 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, but it really pissed me off on a couple of occasions when he just walked away, went to bed and left us to do the work. We did have issues with some of the parts and stuff he had ordered that didn’t arrive but we generally found ways around them to allow the filming schedule to work. We put in a lot of effort to make thing work in the background, and after each session, I showed him what and how to do the next parcel of work, only for us to turn up the next time to find half the work not done because he got fed up or some other excuse, always he had dropped a bullock or done something really stupid. What you all see on TV makes him look very good?? It was far worse in the reality !!.

Before we filmed part seven the production company invited us all in to view the final version as it was to start airing the following week on Discovery real time. One thing I forgot to mention was the programme name change I had been the sold the project as a programme called man on a mission , but was horrified to find out after we had filmed three parts that the real name was kit car crisis and they had kept this from us. I didn’t like that title at all, it implied there would be problems…..Well when mark saw the first cut he went crazy he said that it made him look stupid !!!, how true , but not as stupid as he was. Anyway to help ease things along the production company agreed to remove some of the things he wasn’t happy with.

So the programme starts, it’s a success with the highest rating on the whole of the discovery network, but my concerns were growing the car was nowhere near being finished and time was running out, the testing time was getting shorter buy the day, Oh and yes you guessed we still hadn’t been paid. Over the period they filmed the next three parts mark drove a bike engine car for the first time,. It was much less powerful than the car he was building and frightened him to death, all I can say is I think it left brown stains in his pants, all the bravado stopped and it was clear he didn’t warm to the idea of having to drive the car he was building.

The schedule slipped further behind , the start of the race season was upon us, still no sponsorship and only a bounced cheque from him for £1800, but we were so far in we thought it would hurt us more to pull the plug before the car was seen finished and racing. Then the dreaded Part Nine. The only track time the car got, not the three months promised but a mere two hours., remember we had had to re-engineer so much of the chassis. The bracket holding the diff gave way on camera, It buckled and should have been a simple fix too give it a bit more bulk, but we never got the opportunity, also a weld holding the front damper bracket gave way when a guy jumped on the suspension, this was poo welding that some mate of his had done after the clown had ground the bracket off to move it (why I will never know). Unfortunately we were not able to support at this film shoot as we were away on holiday, so no opportunity to put things right on the day. On my return from holiday I had a anxious phone call from the producer” could I get down to Coventry as they had a problem and wanted me to give them some advice and run through a few things with the narration”.

When I got there they 1st showed me what had happened to the chassis and asked if it could be fixed, yes no problem I said, then they told me they were having problems with Mark( thinks he’s Jeremy Clarkson) Raynard he had blown a gasket when they had shown him the next two parts ready to be shown on TV. He was convinced they had tried to make him look bad, and refused to take part any more in the series. I’m not quite sure what went on legally, but I know lawyers from discovery had to get involved and there was threats of injunctions and law suits. However the long and the short is the last part of the series was never filmed, so the car never got sorted and finished and he never raced. I am sure it was just an excuse as he knew he wouldn’t be able to handle the car on track, it frightened him too much. But that didn’t help me, the whole reason we got involved in the first place was for the publicity, and this was looking bad. Soon after the last in the series went on air the number of enquiries dropped significantly, as a direct result we lost three orders and a deal with an Australian race car manufacture who had agreed to build the Dominator under licence for the Asian market, the Australian company had already done due diligence on the car and was happy with its integrity but were concerned the programme could reflect badly on the car and damage their potential marketplace. To top it all, we never did get paid for the chassis and body, I chased him through the courts and obtained a judgement against him but failed to get the money or recover the goods, which in the contract I still own until payment is made in full.

So all in all, It was the worst call of judgement I ever made, to get involved with this programme. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the chassis or body panels I would be pleased to hear, maybe there is still a chance to get my property back.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
Simon

posted on 2/7/12 at 12:41 AM Reply With Quote
Unfortunately those programmes (Kit Car/Campervan/Beetle Crisis) go bad from the off because the narrator sounds like he wants to top himself - and perhaps he should.

It's quite clear that M R had no idea what he was getting into, and that the chassis "mods" were bound to be a prob as it was all so rushed. If I'd have been in the market for your car, that show certainly wouldn't have put me off, in the same way the tossers on TG wouldn't put me off a Hawk Stratos.

At the end of the day; you, M R etc were all pawns in Discovery's little game for advertising revenue. Perhaps future participants might like to be a bit more wary, and get proper contracts drawn up detailing payments, editorial content, remedial stuff (in case things go wrong etc) etc etc.

Unfortunately you got sucked in and spat out, which in the great scheme of things is a bit of a shitter but hey ho, live and learn etc.

Hope things are ok for you now.

ATB

Simon

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
T66

posted on 2/7/12 at 03:05 AM Reply With Quote
Like a lot of people I watched the run of programmes, and fairly early on, took the guy to be a biff but still appreciated the viewing, which in my opinion had nothing to do with the pile of parts he bolted together , which if I recall were decent stuff.



Your post has confirmed a few things, ie he was a tit, he was frightened of speed, and why the series didnt really have an end.



If you dont mind me asking, why have you posted this response now, as the series must be a few years old now ?



thanks













View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
AndyW

posted on 2/7/12 at 07:30 AM Reply With Quote
It is a real shame to hear how you were messed about. Shame as you came accross on the show as helpful and layed back but always willing to help. Thats what people want in a supplier. As for Mark R, well he showed his true colours right form the start and as said, he came accross as a tit.

Im glad you posted as the subject had come up loads of times and I think we all really wanted to know what happened. Now we know, I do hope you get a chance to recover your property.

Just to let you know also that I would not be put off buying from you as a result of the show. I did infact look into the dominator at one stage but opted for a 7 style for now. Would love to drive around in one of those, I think they look great! Good luck

Andy

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
40inches

posted on 2/7/12 at 07:45 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by T66


If you dont mind me asking, why have you posted this response now, as the series must be a few years old now ?



thanks





I think in response to this thread.






View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
ditchlewis

posted on 2/7/12 at 07:55 AM Reply With Quote
sorry to hear the sad tail. at work we had top gear on site doing some demolition and my impression was the TV producers have all the power and are the puppet masters behind all this.

when i wached KC crisis it was not the car that was reflected badly on but the IDIOT fronting the programme, i always had the impression that someone in the background was putting more work in than him to make sure it was safe.

i thought that it was a plonker ruining a nice car and he should be shot.

i hope you can salvage something from all this, i bet there are may people like you who were sold a good storey and are still waiting to be paid.

good luck for the future.

ditch

Ps just read the other thread and im very sad to hear what this has cost you. i admire those who follow their dreams and set up there own business. as before, good luck for the future.

[Edited on 2/7/12 by ditchlewis]

View User's Profile E-Mail User View All Posts By User U2U Member   ditchlewis 's Aim
maccmike

posted on 2/7/12 at 08:10 AM Reply With Quote
thats a genuinely interested story, maybe you could have it published in a magazine or newspaper to a larger audience?
I hope you retrieve your property and dont beat yourself up too much, it could easily have gone the other way and youd be rich and famous.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
fifty50

posted on 2/7/12 at 08:53 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 40inches
quote:
Originally posted by T66


If you dont mind me asking, why have you posted this response now, as the series must be a few years old now ?



thanks





I think in response to this thread.


It just seems when ever I go on any forums things still crop up and although there are many kind comments, It stirs up all the old anger, so it thought once and for all I'd have my say and get it out of my system. Its a shame really that I feel like I do, but ultimatly it cost me and my family so much financial hardship and thats hard to take

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
bartonp

posted on 2/7/12 at 09:07 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by maccmike
thats a genuinely interested story, maybe you could have it published in a magazine or newspaper to a larger audience?
I hope you retrieve your property and dont beat yourself up too much, it could easily have gone the other way and youd be rich and famous.


Name one person who got rich & famous from the kit car industry!
(OK apart from Colin Chapman...)

[Edited on 2/7/12 by bartonp]

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
maccmike

posted on 2/7/12 at 09:12 AM Reply With Quote
every manufacturer out there started with one home made car. so, eeerrrrrr everyone!
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
Brook_lands

posted on 2/7/12 at 09:19 AM Reply With Quote
Few get the fame and fortune promised. A few years ago when I was running a business start up centre we were approached by a TV company - sort of Dragon's Den meets The Apprentice concept. Same deal, you do everything for us for free and you will be showered with ... Well I wasn't quite sure what - but as you do I thought it could be good for the new businesses, and some of the businesses were media related so it was agreed that they could do some of the filming.

After less than 2 weeks the TV company pulled out because "it wasn't dramatic enough for good TV". What they meant was no one was arguing and falling out, no one was slagging the others off, etc etc. I agree a group of people working together in a professional way developing their businesses and doing OK does not make good television. If it did Eastenders or whatever would consist of , character gets up, goes to work, comes home, watches TV, goes to bed.

Perhaps you could get your money back by punting the idea that they make a programme called TV Programme Crisis, because you've already got a pretty good story line that's more real than most reality TV.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
fesycresy

posted on 2/7/12 at 09:44 AM Reply With Quote
Wasn't AGM Sportscars the original chassis?

I bet he sat back and thought, I've just dodged a 'big massive fcuking bullet'.





-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member   fesycresy 's Aim
designer

posted on 2/7/12 at 10:31 AM Reply With Quote
It's a shame but, TV is not real life, despite all the 'reality' content, it's a dream world where NOTHING is real!

Never ever enter the realm of TV without a legally drawn up contract, and always get money up front. Publicity can work both ways, and the TV men will never take any blame.

View User's Profile E-Mail User Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member
chillis

posted on 2/7/12 at 10:34 AM Reply With Quote
Tell you one thing then doing something else is what TV program makers are all about. All they're really looking for it the 'American choper' type reality TV. The car, the driver/builder suppliers and supporters are of no consequence except when they're all shouting at each other.
Interestingly Beetle chrisis got more controversial afterthe series finished.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
mikeb

posted on 2/7/12 at 10:57 AM Reply With Quote
I wasn't a big fan of the ... crisis programmes. Vaguely remember the kit car crisis one, thinking the the bloke was a plonker.

But the stuff with Mark on the " is born series" (a racing car is born) is just him building stuff, there's no bitching or in fights etc. Still good watching though.

Sorry you lost out on the project BTW.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
T66

posted on 2/7/12 at 11:22 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 40inches
quote:
Originally posted by T66


If you dont mind me asking, why have you posted this response now, as the series must be a few years old now ?



thanks





I think in response to this thread.







Roger the dog.......




Just a quick point, there was nothing in the programs that would put me off buying a Dominator either ! In fact the show was broadcast when I was planning, and swayed me to a bike engined something, as opposed to a zetec engined Seven.


Anyway - The F1 moulds make a lovely car ! Good luck with the sale.






View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
Westy1994

posted on 2/7/12 at 01:13 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mikeb
I wasn't a big fan of the ... crisis programmes. Vaguely remember the kit car crisis one, thinking the the bloke was a plonker.

But the stuff with Mark on the " is born series" (a racing car is born) is just him building stuff, there's no bitching or in fights etc. Still good watching though.

Sorry you lost out on the project BTW.


The ' Is Born Series' featured Mark EVANS, not the Mark that is being discussed here on this thread. Just wanted to mention that.

Rich.

View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member
MikeRJ

posted on 2/7/12 at 02:24 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bartonp

Name one person who got rich & famous from the kit car industry!



To paraphrase: To make a small fortune in the kit car industry, start with a large one.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
MikeFellows

posted on 2/7/12 at 02:40 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Westy1994
quote:
Originally posted by mikeb
I wasn't a big fan of the ... crisis programmes. Vaguely remember the kit car crisis one, thinking the the bloke was a plonker.

But the stuff with Mark on the " is born series" (a racing car is born) is just him building stuff, there's no bitching or in fights etc. Still good watching though.

Sorry you lost out on the project BTW.


The ' Is Born Series' featured Mark EVANS, not the Mark that is being discussed here on this thread. Just wanted to mention that.

Rich.


im glad you posted that, as I did have them mixed up

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
Proby

posted on 2/7/12 at 03:37 PM Reply With Quote
I'm glad you have posted this story. I have only recently watched Kit ... Crisis, I enjoyed watching it and wondered why the series never seemed to be finished off. That guy was well in it over his head. He had not got a bloody clue, and it showed quite clearly. I'm sorry to hear you lost so much money (and time) that you ploughed into it.
View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member
Westy1994

posted on 2/7/12 at 03:59 PM Reply With Quote
I had previously never heard of this series before this thread, so I went on a hunt for it on the web, after watching just the first 10 mins of episode 1 , it backs up everything that the OP has posted. Not really sure if I should waste my time watching the rest now...., whilst searching for this, I found some more with the 'Crisis ' title, something to do with a camper van and another one about a beetle - are these fronted by the same builder, as if they are I won't bother downloading them..

Again, as other folks have written, so sorry you lost out on this build.

Rich

View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member
CNHSS1

posted on 2/7/12 at 04:54 PM Reply With Quote
the only thing it seems the OP did wrong, was not clearly define 'arse' and 'elbow' in the build manual for said 'presenter'!

have seen the series at various times and seen the race car being blinged up with pretty toys and big go-faster wheels, always wondered how it ended





"Racing is life, everything else, before or after, is just waiting"---Steve McQueen

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
snakebelly

posted on 2/7/12 at 05:05 PM Reply With Quote
No help to you now but it was blatantley obvious from minute one that the presenter/builder was a chancer! my only surprise was that he actually had a plan to get it from the back garden!
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
woodster

posted on 2/7/12 at 05:52 PM Reply With Quote
I'm glad you ^ mentioned the building the car in the back garden bit and then having to use a crane to lift it over the house ........ That's when I thought that blokes a knob ed
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
Johneturbo

posted on 2/7/12 at 05:57 PM Reply With Quote
Real shame you've ended out of pocket as has been said before you came across as a helpful chilled out guy.

I thought maybe the builder was ill advised and also felt a bit sorry for him, i didn't know he was the writer of the series untill now. so shame on him

I hope you get what your owed

View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member
<<  1    2    3    4  >>
New Topic New Poll New Reply


go to top






Website design and SEO by Studio Montage

All content © 2001-16 LocostBuilders. Reproduction prohibited
Opinions expressed in public posts are those of the author and do not necessarily represent
the views of other users or any member of the LocostBuilders team.
Running XMB 1.8 Partagium [© 2002 XMB Group] on Apache under CentOS Linux
Founded, built and operated by ChrisW.