Inverness mechanics save day on Top Gear North Coast 500 show

Rory Reid broke down near Sutherland on the North Coast 500, dubbed Scotland's Route 66. Picture: Getty

Rory Reid broke down near Sutherland on the North Coast 500, dubbed Scotland's Route 66. Picture: Getty

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A PAIR of mechanics toiled through the night on an ailing 1967 Mustang to get the Top Gear show back on the road after it came into difficulty on the North Coast 500.

New presenter Rory Reid was supposed to be pitting the iconic car - made famous by Steve McQueen’s 1968 film Bullitt – against two modern versions in the Highlands of Scotland.

But he ran into trouble when it broke down near the remote fishing village Kylesku, in Sutherland, on Saturday afternoon on the road dubbed Scotland’s answer to Route 66.

But Inverness mechanics Angus Mackillop and David Ross, who run Horsepower Cars, came to the rescue. After producers sent the Ford Mustang on a trailer to their garage in Carsegate Road, they worked tirelessly through the night to repair the engine and even sent couriers to Aberdeen to collect parts.

Mr Mackillop said: “We got a phone call from the crew saying they were in a bit of a stoosh but they had helicopters and all different things waiting to film so they really didn’t want to cancel filming.

“We were happy to help, we’re both big fans of Top Gear but we were very surprised.

New Top Gear line-up: Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, The Stig. Picture: PA

New Top Gear line-up: Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Matt LeBlanc, Chris Evans, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, The Stig. Picture: PA

“It arrived at about 7pm and we got wired in but we needed parts and with it being a Mustang, they aren’t easy to come by.

“We ended up sending a courier to a specialist place in Aberdeen and my partner Dave worked all through the night and into Sunday to get it going.”

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Mr Ross said it was a “pleasure” to carry out the repair work, adding: “I was working from seven at night until midday but it was worth it.

“We’re all car enthusiasts here and it’s not every day you’re working on a car for Top Gear.”

Rory spent the last week driving the North Coast 500 for the next series, which starts in May.

Three brightly-coloured Mustangs have been tearing around the route, which starts and ends in Inverness, taking in Ross-shire, Sutherland and Caithness.

North Coast 500 was launched by the North Highland Initiative, it has proved popular with motorists, cyclists and walkers.

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