As well as being a magazine star this month, the 410 also had a small cameo in a music video this summer. A friend of mine was directing this video for dance music superstar Paul Oakenfold, and needed a glamorous car for the finale. I whipped the front seat out to give more space for the cameraman, and off we went. For the record, each shot of the car, interior and exterior, was done in one take – efficient film making!
Not long after this I was approached by MGM Cars, who provide cars to all sorts of film and TV productions. They had received a request for a Bristol to be used in a US TV drama being filmed at Blenheim Palace and for which they were providing vehicles. It was only needed for one scene, but they would pay for the car’s use, and come and collect it and return it to me. I thought that a day on set sounded interesting, and Blenheim isn’t far away, so offered to drive it up myself. Arriving early as requested, a quick look at the call sheet revealed I was unlikely to be required before lunch at the earliest, and so it turned out. In fact they only just managed to get the shot before the light went at about 7pm so it was quite along day of hanging around, but it was a warm summer’s day and there were regular meals provided by the set caterers, so it wasn’t too bad. The car wasn’t moving and was just needed for two shots, one of one of the actors approaching and getting into the car, and one of him getting out. To preserve the secrecy of the plot it was a secure set, so I don’t have any pictures of the car on set, but if I ever find out when it’s to be broadcast I’ll let you know.
Before agreeing to the use of the car I did some research into MGM Cars, as I have heard horror stories of cars being mistreated or damaged on film sets. The consensus seemed to be that MGM were reputable and one of the good guys. Among other things, they provided the 410 for Inspector Lynley, and the famous Audi quattro for Gene Hunt and have been around for years. Since I could accompany the car to the location as well, I was happy for them to use the car. As it turned out there was no problem at all. They had a representative with me on set to make sure all went as it should and if they ever needed the car again I’d have no qualms about letting them use it, with or without me being present.