The museum – with its world-famous collection of more than 250 vehicles telling the story of motoring history – was the natural choice for presenters Vicki Butler-Henderson and Alex Riley to go head-to-head with their favourite cars from chosen years. The Montagu ancestral home of Palace House and its stunning grounds and gardens are also featured during the six-episode series.
Starting with an ITV4 double-bill from 8pm, Vicki will pitch the iconic Porsche 911 sports car against Alex with his Ford Mustang original muscle car from 1964. Then for 1984, Vicky chooses the turbo powered Ford RS200 while Alex picks Miami Vice favourite, the Ferrari Testarossa.
Winners of the car battles are picked by judges including former F1 drivers and broadcasters Tiff Needell and Karun Chandhok, motoring writers and presenters Erin Baker and Quentin Willson, former Top Gear Stig and stunt driver Ben Collins, motoring author and vlogger Richard Porter and world-renowned motoring auctioneer Chris Routledge.
Later in the series, the British MGA sports car driven by the likes of Elvis Presley is pitted against the Hollywood favourite Mercedes 190SL from 1955, while the world-beating Audi Quattro is set against Alex’s childhood hero the Renault 5 Turbo from 1980, the Porsche Boxster competes against its sports car rival the Lotus Elise from 1996 and four-seater performance cars the Golf GTi hot hatch and Saab 99 Turbo go head-to-head for 1976.
Beaulieu’s Commercial Director Steve Munn said: “We have been pleased to host The Car Years filming and look forward to working with the production team on future series. As the home of British motoring, Beaulieu is the perfect setting for the new show which celebrates some of the most popular cars in automotive history.”
The Car Years is also a perfect fit for its sponsors, Beaulieu’s partners and classic vehicle insurance specialists Footman James. The show’s celebrities recently appeared at Beaulieu’s media partners’ Practical Classic’s Classic Car & Restoration Show at the NEC.
To see the backdrops used in filming, a ticket to Beaulieu includes entry to the National Motor Museum with its Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 years exhibition, World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, Palace House, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and the grounds and gardens.