Posted 23rd July 2021
You get to do all sorts of things in this job, and meet all sorts of amazing people. This one took us to Silverstone, where we worked with comedy and acting legend Jennifer Saunders, and met a legend of F1.
Filming was pretty unusual. I spent most of the day facing backwards in the Anglo American Silverado with Simon Cox on camera, and Kevin Meredith on sound, being chased by Jennifer first in a stunning petrol Bentley Continental Flying Spur from 1961, then the new electric version of the same thing, and finally in the electric Rolls Royce Phantom V – the world’s first electric limousine – being driven by David Lorenz of Lunaz.
The Lunaz factory is just over the road from the racing circuit, and the designers deliberately leave their windows open so they can hear the whine of engines racing round the track!
But they aren’t petrol heads. The mission here is to take gas guzzling classics like Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and old Range Rovers, and completely rebuild them, replacing the giant old petrol engine with a new electric drive train. When I say rebuild, they take these cars back to bare metal. Why? David Lorenz, the founder, believes that ‘remanufacturing’ these extraordinary cars is the only way to give them a future. He says the next generation of drivers will demand cars that are clean, economical, and reliable – unlike most conventional classics. Mind you, to buy one of these you’d need deep pockets. The stunning Bentley Flying Spur we filmed will set you back half a million quid!
The Formula 1 legend is Jon Hilton. He’s the MD at Lunaz, overseeing their pristine new factory. But his racing CV includes stints as engine designer at Rolls Royce, Chief Engineer at engine maker Cosworth, and for the Arrows F1 team, and Technical Director at Renault when they won back to back championships. If he’s happy to rip petrol engines out, and put electric ones in, we should be paying attention!
The punchline isn’t what you might expect: the next Lunaz project isn’t another Roller or Bentley, but a fleet of bin lorries. It turns out there are loads of otherwise perfectly good lorries around that can’t operate any longer because they no longer meet emission standards. With a Lunaz electric engine, they could last another 20 years.Back to Articles