WHEN Warrnambool’s Shane Smith was asked if his car could be used in filming the latest Underbelly television series, he thought it was a joke.
An internet search by Channel Nine staff led them to south-west car enthusiast Shane Smith’s 1999 VT SS Holden Commodore which was for sale online.
When Mr Smith received documentation from Channel Nine to hire the car for a day of filming in the nine-part Fat Tony & Co drama, he realised the request was genuine.
“I was heading to work and this lady from Melbourne rang, she must have something to do with Underbelly, pick out cars or something, and said ‘Are you interested?’ and I said ‘Yeah, for sure’. She sent me contracts to hire the car, so I get paid to get my car to be put on telly so it’s happening on Monday,” Mr Smith said.
“I’m really pumped. I thought it was a joke to start with because you get all sorts wanting to swap, but she wanted my email address and started emailing me with the contract.”
The Tiger Mica-coloured sedan is complete with HSV parts and accessories and has been polished and garaged in the lead-up to its on-screen debut.
“It’s won a heap of trophies. It’s more of a show car than a daily car. They liked the look of the car and it must be the era, which is why they picked that model,” Mr Smith said. The Fat Tony & Co television miniseries is based on the manhunt for infamous criminal Tony Mokbel that lasted 18 months and dismantled a drug empire.
Fat Tony & Co follows Mokbel from his early beginnings in Melbourne’s underworld to his eventual discovery and arrest in a cafe in Athens, after a tip off to the Australian police.
The series will be filmed in Melbourne and Greece and screened next year.
Mr Smith said due to confidentiality clauses he was unable to say who was driving his car in the miniseries, but it would feature in two scenes.
“It’s one of the Mokbels who’ll be driving it. In one scene they’re going to be putting something in the boot and in another scene the cops are going to come up with a four-wheel-drive and cut it off and all the cops come out and arrest him.”
The Warrnambool Cheese and Butter shift supervisor said the TV role might help him sell the car, which has been on the market for five months.
“I don’t know if I’m going to sell it now. I might hang onto it for another year, for the glory,” he laughed.