Canadian TV show Lost Car Rescue begins second season
One year ago, Matt Sager didn’t know what to expect.
Lost Car Rescue was about to make its TV debut, and its host wasn’t sure how things would go.
The series proved popular, though, and it returned for its second season this week. As like last year, Sager will lead his crew in search of abandoned vehicles in remote locations.
“Throughout the season, the crew travel across the country searching for various unique finds,” reads a Lost Car Rescue press release, “including a car allegedly owned by America’s most famous mobster, Al Capone, and an iconic 20th-century vehicle from the oil boom.”
For Season 2, Sager says the first year was a good road map for what to expect.
“We just had to go capture it and go on this journey,” Sager said in an interview with Global News. “It was way more relaxing. We didn’t have to worry about teaching or bringing somebody up to speed because our whole team stayed the same.
“Most of our (camera people) were the same, our producers were the same. And it really helped because everybody knew what the look was and what our team liked. And now we can just be ourselves.”
Lost Car Rescue returns for a second season
With fans lauding Season 1, Sager admits he didn’t realize his 10-year dream would prove to be so popular.
“The first season, for a guy who’s never been on TV, I was worried about cameras, I was worried about the sheer distances of where we were, breakdowns … the plane component … and then the fact you have a camera,” said Sager.
“So I was really surprised at how smooth it went. There was not a breakdown, not a single issue with the plane. It was almost hard to show any uphill battle because everything went so well.”
Like most automotive fans, Sager watched other car shows on TV, such as the highly popular Power Block.
Only unlike those shows, Sager’s idea involved actually rescuing old and abandoned vehicles from slow, rusting deaths.
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“I took my time filming a reel, or pitch, and that took me a couple of years to do it because I didn’t know anything about how to do it,” said Sager, who hails from Vancouver Island.
The concept, though, was purchased by History TV, “and then it landed on COVID-19, which pushed it back a year. And then we were lucky enough to get out in the second year of COVID and get Season 1 in the bag.
“So, yeah, it took a while, but I’ve been hunting (for abandoned vehicles) for 10 years and it’s been in the works for at least seven (years).”
He continued, saying “the true goal was to do something that TV hasn’t seen before. Film it in a different way; use IMAX cameras that capture it with warmer lenses. Have the cameras follow us instead of being there before.
“Take the ‘cheapness’ out of the show and put more authenticity in it in as far as making it feel like you’re in the co-pilot’s seat, or you’re in the right seat of the recovery truck with us.”
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Sager noted that he loves building old cars, and that his family builds a couple every year for the love of it.
“And I’d love to show everybody a different series that’s just building old cars,” he said. “But there isn’t enough time to show that adventure, to show the story, to show the hunt, in just one hour of TV.
“So we pick what we’re most passionate about, which is the hunt. And we focus on the hunt because not too many people, especially in Canada, have ever done that hunt like this or used the tools the same way.”
Being on TV, though, does have its price: Being noticed by people wherever you go.
“Everybody has a different idea of what being famous is,” said Sager. “I’m far from famous … but when someone who’s a stranger recognizes you in most buildings you go into, it’s really weird.
“And then people give you that look: Are you that guy? I can see the look, and then I say ‘Hey, it’s Matt.’ And then they go, ‘It is you!’”
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Asked for some of the highlights of Season 2, Sager smiled, saying there are many.
“This season, we go to Ontario. I did a rowing competition in high school in Ontario, in St. Catharines, and that’s the only time I’ve ever gone to Ontario,” said Sager, whose crew is based in western Canada.
“I’ve never been in Fort Frances or the Rainy River district. We have no idea what we’re getting into when we go there.”
He also said “Season 2 isn’t anything like Season 1. It’s buckle up, here we go. It’s different because we’re all comfortable now; we understand TV, we understand all that stuff around us.
“So it’s not distracting us and it allows us to think bigger. It’s all about taking risks and we hunt down some crazy storylines, like nipping at the ankles of Al Capone and where he was in Canada and the vehicles he drove and trying to get close to that.
“We’re literally jumping off cliffs to recover vehicles at the bottom of ravines, trapped by landslides. The list goes on.”
The series can be watched on the History Channel and on StackTV.
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