July 26 2014 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Monday, October 22, 2012
A master mechanic from a Golders Green garage is attracting millions of viewers each week to a TV series which follows him and his team as they restore a range of classic cars to their former glory.
Bernie Fineman, 67, presents Classic Car Rescue alongside car expert Mario Pacione, which has been running on Channel 5.
After 52 years in the car trade, the father-of-two, who once serviced cars belonging to the Kray twins during his early days as a mechanic in the East End, now works as a consultant engineer at Steiner Automotive in Finchley Road, as well Canons Park Automotive in Edgware.
Looking back on his time as the Krays’ mechanic, he said: “They were family men, they always used to give us a one pound note and would say ‘get your mum some flowers and your dad some tobacco’.”
On October 14, the garage in Edgware hosted an open day displaying classic cars that have featured on the TV series so far.
During each episode, the show’s producers present Mr Fineman and his team - many of whom work at Steiner Automotive - with a classic car found neglected and left to rust.
The team are given just four weeks to restore the cars, which include a Cadillac, a Ford Mustang and a 1976 MGB, to MOT standard.
Each restored car is then valued and viewers have a chance of winning the vehicle by entering a telephone competition.
The Jaguar E-Type featured in the first episode of the series was valued at £30,000 following the team’s makeover.
Mr Fineman said: “To take something that is an absolute wreck and to build it up to something which is road-worthy is one of the greatest feelings. It is creativity, it’s taking a pile of rubbish and making it into something beautiful.”
Much of the filming for the series, which has just two remaining episodes, took place at the Edgware garage but there are plans to host another open day soon, this time at Steiner Automotive.
Classic Car Rescue is on Channel 5 each Monday from 8pm.