If you ever watched a Sullivan Entertainment production, you would have noticed multiple times, a character such as Anne or Janet King sitting or driving in a period vehicle.
Fawcett Motors, in Whitby, Ontario, was the ultimate place to go to for borrowing vintage cars for film and television productions. Ron Fawcett who was the owner of the company, started his own vintage vehicle restoration business back in the 1960s.
“People initially just wanted to rent cars for a few days, then came to us looking for vintage cars and specially equipped vehicles with roll bars and such for stunts. The business just took off from there.”
They had over a 1000 vehicles in stock, including police cars, taxis, limos, and period cars such as a 1907 Cadillac. They featured vehicles from the early 1900s to 1995. Later the company instituted upgrades, such as specialized starting and breaking, and safety kill switches.
“You talk about a 40-hour week, we’d do that in one shift. You have to get the car started, get it there, stay with it, get it home, and then we’d always change the oil and do the maintenance right away so it would be ready for next time.”
In the winter the cars would require even more amount of work and maintenance.
“The garage door’s frozen shut, the car won’t start, and then you have to clean the salt off it after.”
Steam engine cars would take half an hour just to get the steam up and going. They would also require hand pumping to fill the boiler with water and pressurize the gasoline feed.