long-time buddy John "College" Korioth as an co-accomplice
and the team from Overhaulin', the TLC series that tricks the owner
while tricking out their car, they set about on a dream renovation
right in time for Lance's 33rd birthday.
"Well, he was in disbelief. Nothing like that had every happened
to him before," says producer Matt Gould to Cyclingnews
about the stolen-car prank they pulled on Lance in order to take
the car away from him.
Gould cites a report that came out a few days ago, listing Armstrong's
hometown of Austin, Texas as one of the top 10 safest cities in
the America. "So crime is very low there and especially for
Lance Armstrong - it's like things like this don't happen to him,"
he says. "He was in shock."
"College [John Korioth] and him have a history of pranking
each other, so his very first reaction was that College was playing
a prank on him. He was like, 'C'mon, I don't believe you - tell
me where the car really is!' But College did such a good job acting,
Lance fell for it, hook, line and sinker!"
To gauge Lance's reaction, rather than creeping him out with cameras
at his Texas ranch, Gould, well aware of Armstrong's celebrity status
and his sharp, intuitive nature, scouted out a gas station three
to four miles from his home, where a detective - a.k.a. Overhaulin'
co-host Chris Jacobs - was waiting to give him the bad news. Inconspicuous
cars with blacked out windows were placed around the area, filming
Meanwhile, with Lance fretting over the loss of his beloved muscle
car, auto design legend Chip Foose and his crack team of fabricators
and engineers set up shop in the garage of Colvin Automotive. For
the next eight days, Chip and his team performed what can only be
described as miracle surgery on the Pontiac, restoring the car back
to its former glory. And then some.
"Chip wanted to go all-out like you wouldn't believe,"
says Gould about the challenges in 'Overhaulin' Lance'.
"So we actually did on this build more on this car than any
other car we've done. And we were in unfamiliar territory, because
we do most of our shows in California. And Lance is the first celebrity.
So unfamiliar territory, major celebrity - we didn't want
anything to go wrong."
Gould tells Cyclingnews the type of restorations the team
from Overhaulin' do are normally reserved for car shows, where it's
not uncommon to spend 12 months or more. Since the show began in
April this year, Foose and his team complete each project in roughly
We also asked how much input the award-winning musician provided
being a girl and all - and were a little shocked by the answer.
"Sheryl had the overall vision of what she wanted done to the
car based on knowing what Lance wanted and knowing what kind of
designer Chip was," Gould says. "Sheryl's really into
cars, too, so she kind of shepherded the process through."
As well as sharing ideas around the workshop, Crow formed an integral
part in making sure her boyfriend had no idea of what was going
on, right up until the day Overhaulin' returned the car back to
Lance eight days later on September 18 - his birthday!
Overhaulin' Lance Armstrong premieres next Tuesday, November 30
at 9pm (ET/PT) on TLC. For a sneak preview, click
Overhaulin' is produced by BCII for TLC and is part of Discovery
Networks, a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc. that operates
and manages the Discovery Channel, title sponsor of the 2005 Discovery
Channel Pro Cycling Team. Visit TLC on the web by going to www.discovery.com
and clicking on TLC.
Want more Lance? Then check out our special
directory of all the interviews on Lance Armstrong that have
been published on Cyclingnews, including Tech features on
his bikes and his training camps.
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