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We’ve been overwhelmed with the response to our latest Christmas video, featuring a spectacular Scalextric Subaru WRC showdown – so much so that we’ve decided to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how we turned an outlandish idea into a reality…  

Each year, as the summer begins to show signs of drawing to a close, Team Girardo & Co.’s attention turns to the festive period and, more specifically, the theme for our annual and hotly-anticipated Christmas film.

Ultimately, at this time of year, our clients, friends and followers look forward to watching historic rally cars being driven as intended – predominantly at hilarious angles of slip. But we always like to ground the dynamic sequence around a solid and feel-good idea that promotes our team – something about which we’re obviously very proud.

When the fundamental idea for this year, a Scalextric showdown, was first floated in the autumn, we instantly all agreed that it was the way to go. And that’s because we could all personally relate to it.

If you’re a lifelong sufferer of the automotive affliction like us, the chances are that, as a child, you’ll have woken one Christmas morning to a Scalextric set. The smell of burnt rubber and warm metal. The sound of hard plastic clattering across hard floors. Unadulterated joy. Bitter defeat. Nagging parents pleading for bedtime. It’s pure nostalgia, which is why we thought it was the perfect theme for our next Christmas video.

The next step? To agree on the two automotive protagonists. You can find virtually any old road or racing car in miniature slot-car form. Scalextric sets are traditionally themed and you’ll find either two of the same cars in the box or two which raced together or starred in the same film – Kitt from Knight Rider and the DeLorean from Back to the Future or the Porsche 911 GT1 versus the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, for example.

“If you’re a lifelong sufferer of the automotive bug like us, the chances are that, as a child, you’ll have woken one Christmas morning to a Scalextric set.”

A team stroll into our new showroom to assess what we had on hand and a spot of eBaying later, we settled on our stars: two ex-Works 1999 Subaru Impreza WRC99s. It’s no secret that we’ve championed these World Rally brutes since Girardo & Co. was founded back in 2016, having rehomed more examples than anybody else. Plus, in gravel specification, they do have a tendency to go very sideways, very easily.

The premise was simple. With Christmas lunch devoured, Team Girardo & Co. is happily preoccupied. There’s just one, in this case Marcus, who can’t help but feel a little competitive. Spying Peter from across the room playing with his new Subaru WRC-themed Scalextric set, he walks over and drops a second Impreza slot-car down on the track. The showdown commences…

The next hurdle was the venue. We needed a racetrack that would, to some extent, emulate the Scalextric track we’d assembled on our office kitchen counter. We also needed somewhere that looked beautiful – not just another drab British racetrack. There was only one place for it: Anglesey in Wales. Situated high on a peninsula looking out over the Irish Sea, the smooth, wide and undulating racetrack has got to be one of the most picturesque on the planet.

After festive makeovers for both the Subarus and the Girardo & Co. kitchen, the stage was well and truly set. Our director Tom May of Salterns Media assembled a crack team to support the production: Dominic Archer on sound and behind-the-scenes bits and Crashing Drones/DroneScope on the aerial footage. Finally, the estimable gentlemen at the rally car preparation specialists BGMsport were on hand to ensure the Subarus ran without hitch.

What followed were two thoroughly enjoyable days at Anglesey, working through a shot list that had been carefully crafted to correspond with shots Tom had captured of the miniature Subarus on the Scalextric track. Our racers, Marcus and Peter, did a deft job driving the Subarus with the gusto you all appreciate (even if Max was drafted in as Peter’s double for some of the hairier bits).

The final day of production took place with the whole team at Belchers Farm, shooting the opening sequence at the dinner table, the closing scene in the courtyard and, of course, the ready-player-one-style intros with Marcus and Peter. Suffice to say, these weren’t one-takers. The entire production was made far more enjoyable by a pool of talented people who share not only a fierce passion for old rally cars, but also a great – if trivial – sense of humour. We hope it’s made a similarly indelible impression on you. Happy New Year!

Photos: Tom Shaxson for Girardo & Co.