Welding wings onto a Pontiac Firebird and mastering a mashup of two front wheel drive cars is all in a day’s work for the garages in Ultimate Car Build Off, a new show premiering on Discovery Channel that pits the country’s best garages against each other to build outlandish vehicles and compete for a $100,000 cash prize.
UCB premieres June 21st at 9PM on Discovery Channel, but we’ve got an exclusive sneak preview. If you’re offended by James Bond-worthy Monte Carlos and tricked out Chevy Astros, we suggest you not watch.
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In UCB, four top garages each from L.A., Detroit and Atlanta compete against each other to create hill-climbing hearses, hovercrafts and spy cars in just four days. Custom car kingpin Chip Foose judges the results, and the winners move on to the next round while the losers go home. The result is a lot of outrageous metal mixed with human drama.
“We found top garages and put them up against each other each week,” said UCB executive producer Tod Mesirow, who called the show a “marriage of Junkyard Wars and Monster Garage.” He should know — he ran Monster Garage for 52 episodes and was an executive producer for Overhaulin’ and Wired Science.
“The cool thing about these shows is that experience in group interaction, with reputations and cash on the line,” Mesirow said. The four-day timeframe only heightens the drama. “It’s Boyle’s Law at work,” he said. “You take as much time as you have, or you’ll do it in the time you’re given.”
Like similar gearhead reality shows, the process of actually building the car mirrors Freytag’s Pyramid. From the exposition — when hosts Lou Santiago and Andrew “ACP” Picard unveil the challenge — to the final judgment from Foose, sparks fly as much from hot tempers as they do from grinders and welders.
That, says Mesirow, is the fun of creating a reality show based on competition. “When they’re competing and it’s difficult, things happen,” he said. “That drama that unfolds is great fun to capture.”
Video: Tod Mesirow
ou Santiago and Andrew “ACP” Picard