Wildtrackers is a team of independent consultants, who stage various vehicle projects in remote locations around the world.


When Jim Dowdall,  www.jimstunt.com ex Camel Trophy colleague of the BATT and Wildtrackers team, contacted Duncan about the new series ’Dangerous Adventures for Boys” Duncan was pleased to be able help his old friend out.

Jim who is a highly respected Stunt Coordinator in the Film Industry had been approached by the production team of this new series based on the books of the same name, regarding one of the programmes which was based on the SAS Forces behind the lines activities during the D Day landings. Jim has a strong interest in all things military and was being considered as an advisor and stunt coordinator for the programme.

These highly dangerous raids were undertaken by the SAS in Willys Jeeps and because of Duncans expertise in the four wheel drive arena and his connections with the Jeep brand Jim knew this was a project that Duncan was ideally suited to be helping him on.

The SAS had used the Willys Jeeps for long range desert operations in North Africa during the Second World War and many of the soldiers, who’s very survival relied on the reliability and off road ability of these vehicles, had almost a personal relationship with their Jeeps. It was on these activities that a programme in the series was to be based.

In discussions with Mentorn who were producing the series Jim had discussed the possibility of training the celebrity and his son in a new Jeep and then surprising them with an origanal Willys Jeep which they would then use to replicate one of the SAS missions. Jim discussed the project with Duncan and then put him in touch with the producers at Mentorn to discuss the finer details of what would be possible and where a modern day Jeep could fit in.

Having spoken with Nick O’Donnel at Chrysler UK, www.chryslerjeep.co.uk Duncan had secured in principle a variety of Jeeps for the event including a 2008 Jeep Wrangler for the training, some other Jeeps for film and production support and a 40’s Hotchkiss Willys to be used as the Hero/Action car. The latter is owned by Jeep enthusiast and motoring journalist Bob Cook, www.rubiconready.co.uk who had painted it in wartime colours, fitted a roll cage, bucket seats and full harness seat belts to make sure the stars of the show were kept safe.

Duncan travelled down to London for a meeting with the producers to discuss the project in more detail and at this point was asked on board as the technical consultant regarding the off road and training element of the show. For the producers a large element of the logistics had just fallen into place with Duncan being able to offer the training and technical advice for the off road portion of the filming and in addition bringing on board Jeep as a vehicle supplier for the programme as well.

Unfortunatly after a long period of date changes, production eventually finalised the shooting schedule except it coincided with a Jeep launch that Duncan was in fact heading up on the off road side for the new Jeep Cherokee so he was unable to make the training and filming. However the Wildtrackers network was able to fill the gap and big Andy Dacey the jovial Welshmen was able to cover this for Duncan.

The lucky celebrity and his son who had been chosen for this mission was the actor and comedian Bradley Walsh of Coranation Street fame and his son Barney.

Andy put them through a day of intensive off road driver training in Wales and their experiance later culminated in the filming of the programme at a location in Hampshire where they had the chance to race around woods, crawling with German re-enactment troops and being set alight by simulated explosions courtesy of a special effects team.

There was a car chase with a  German Kubelwagen, but not being a four wheel drive the Willys being driven expertly by Bradley left it for dead in the muddy sections. The filming of the programme finished with lots of bangs, explosions and with Bradley, Barney and their trusty Willys completing the mission successfully.

A mission I am sure they will never forget and no doubt now young Barney is pestering his Dad to get a Jeep Wrangler or maybe an old Willys Jeep as a family runabout… as the enthusiasts say…”Its a Jeep Thing….You Wouldn’t Understand”…not unless you had been there of course..

Watch the TV listings for this coming out soon.

More photos to follow.

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