A father and son from Sharnbrook, who took an abandoned 1930s car and lovingly restored it into a land speed record-breaker, are the stars of a new documentary series.
The new globally-distributed TV series tells the story of The Flying Kestrel, documenting the epic ‘blood, sweat and beers’ journey of Nigel McNally, founder and CEO of Brookfield Drinks and his 21-year-old son, Joel McNally as the duo set about transforming the rusted heap they recovered from a barn in Holland into a turbo-charged racer capable of speeds of over 200mph.
Brookfield Drinks is a specialist sales and marketing business based in Bedfordshire which distributes beers and ciders including the iconic Scottish beer, Kestrel lager, hence the car’s name.
The show has plenty of local credentials, as the team worked with acclaimed Santa-Pod-based engineer Jonathan Webster and the show was filmed by Bedford-based Limelight TV.
Describing the filming, Don Weerasirie of Limelight TV, said: “They’re an amazing family to work with.
“I thought it’s was an insane idea when they approached us to film it and never thought it was even going to be possible but Jonathan Webster is a master of his craft and probably one the best in the world at what he does so they had the right man to make it happen.”
The documentary affords the viewer an intimate glimpse into the work of Jonathan and it is certainly not all plain sailing with some dramatic setbacks along the way.
With filming ongoing, season two will tell the final story as the team goes for up to eight world-recognised land speed records in June 2021, which is far from guaranteed.
The Kestrel brand, hugely popular and successful in the 1980s and 1990s was purchased by McNally in 2012 and now includes 5%, 7% and 9% ABV variants. The car will become a ‘roving’ brand ambassador at events across the UK and internationally.
“This has been a life-changing project,” said Nigel.
“We have nurtured and developed The Flying Kestrel throughout the pandemic, giving the beautiful old car a new lease of life and finally uncovering its true potential.
“It’s the perfect showcase for our business and beer and a testament to some important traits we have always held dear – unflappable teamwork, the ability to overcome adversity and the power in following your dreams and sticking your foot down on life’s accelerator.”
Production for the series started last year with filming at the iconic Santa Pod Raceway where the car was unveiled by TV presenter and star mathematician Rachel Riley who features in season one.
The 10 episode series launches today (23 March) and will be broadcast to over 300 million people worldwide. It’s available to view on Amazon, Samsung TV Plus and on Insight TV’s platform.
Meanwhile, the car – with its turbo-charged 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder engine capable of 900bhp and speeds of over 200mph – is already becoming a star.
The Flying Kestrel has its own range of clothing and merchandise, a dedicated website and social media channels and a busy schedule of guest appearances at live shows and events across the UK and internationally when they restart.