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Bizarre appearance by Michael Schumacher on Speed Channel's 'Dream Car Garage'

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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 09 2006 - 06:58 AM

I was watching the latest episode (#11) of Dream Car Garage on the Speed Channel and had to hit rewind on the DVR a few times as I simply couldn't believe what I was seeing.

In one of the segments one of the hosts, Tom Hnatiw, went for a 'test drive' in Bentley's new Flying Spur luxury sedan, but instead of driving the car as in past shows, he has a chauffer. He makes no mention of who the chauffer is, but when the camera pans over to show a distant profile of him you can clearly see he is not wearing a typical chauffer uniform, but instead is wearing what appears to be a shirt and cap covered with racing logos. Upon closer inspection, and for fellow racing fans, it is clear the logos are for the Ferrari F1 team, and the driver is none other than Michael Schumacher himself!

This also explains why Tom said "Driver, schnell!", as it was obviously a hint that the driver is German, but up until then and well beyond there is no mention of who the driver is or why on earth arguably the greatest race car driver in the history of the sport is behind the wheel of a Bentley sedan on a small little Canadian show.

I kept waiting for them to "spring the surprise", and for the camera to go back onto Schumacher where he would say something and explain why he was there in the first place, but only until the very end of the segment does the host barley mention who the driver is when he says "from Schumpy's seat...", and then the camera finally shoes Schumacker driving, but amazingly says nothing. The segment ends, and not once did Schumacker say anything (and yes, he speaks excellent English), nor did Tom ever mention directly that it was Michael Schumacker, leaving only fans familiar with him to realize exactly who he was.

Truly bizarre! Posted Image

For non Formula One racing fans (and in the USA that means a lot of people), I would compare this appearance to that of Tiger Woods caddying for some non-pro on a miniature golf course and no one ever mentioning who he was, nor having him speak at all, and show him on camera with only small glimpses on rare occasions.

BTW: If you catch the whole show, be sure to not miss the last segment. It features the other host, Peter Klutt, driving Ron Hadfield's amazing 1955 Chevy Custom Hotrod fitted with a 3,000 hp, 27 liter supercharged Merlin Rolls Royce engine from a WWII P-51. It took several years to finish, and is estimated to have cost more than a million dollars to make. The thing is a monster!

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Ken Chui

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Posted May 09 2006 - 08:57 AM

I'll have to catch a rerun of this episode. I'm guessing it's little more than a guest appearance for a segment. Still, if you're going to be chauffeured, it may as well be from one of the best drivers on the planet. Posted Image

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted May 10 2006 - 01:59 AM

Really odd that they wouldn't showcase him in any way. Perhaps they didn't want to startle the nescient American audience with his chin? I don't have this channel - are you sure that this wasn't merely a skit using a look-alike? Still stunned about Schuey's performance for over a year. From complete dominance to zero 'real' wins (up until recently), I've been soured on F1 and its legitimacy. Can you tell I'm a Schuey fan?
my girls rock Balenciaga & smoke mad marijuana - M.O.B.

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 10 2006 - 03:11 AM

LOL As far as it being Schumy, it definitely was... no mistake about it. As for last year's results, look no further than the F1 doing everything they could to throw wrenches at Ferrari in order to end their dominance of the sport. Add to that some very serious tyre problems, but fortunately this year it looks like we will have a very competitive end of season run to the championship. Watching Schumacher and Alonso battling it out on the course, and all the great "small" battles behind them is making for some of the most exciting (although too safe for my tastes) F1 racing in some time.

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Mary M S

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Posted May 10 2006 - 06:58 AM

I believe it. Are these inside jokes? Fun on the set; and/or Easter egg ‘type’ gifts, (for those observant few). I think I have seen appearances like this for years in film, (much more subtle than Hitch & MNS) particularly in action/adv./war films, where one of the key stars gets 'shot' as an extra, no one ever seems to comment.
You've been dreaming. Dreaming of Sea Captain who haunted this house.

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Reginald Trent

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Posted May 10 2006 - 07:04 AM

Maybe it was Michael Schumacher's car and he didn't trust the show's host to drive it. Posted Image

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   CharlesD



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Posted May 12 2006 - 03:06 AM

Very interesting. Are you sure it was not a look-a-like? I'm surprised that Schumacher would be allowed to be shown driving anything but a Ferrari/Maserati/Fiat on TV. You never see F1 drivers in vehicles other than those associated with their team. Although Schumacher has been known to break the rules from time to time... he took a ride in Petter Solberg's WRC Subaru one off season and got into a lot of trouble for a) being in the wrong type of vehicle & b) risking injury. MS is known to like to vacation in US where he can go out in public with little risk of being recognized. Maybe the Bentley belonged to a US-based friend of his and he showed up as a joke. If they never acknowledged his identity there's enough plausible deniability to keep him from getting into trouble.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 12 2006 - 04:02 AM

I like all these theories, keep them going! Posted Image

BTW: I still have the episode on the DVR, and I showed it to my local F1 buddies and they also think it is Schumacher, but who knows, it could be an amazing look-a-like and a great practical joke on the part of Dream Car Garage. After all, those Canadians do have the kind of humor to pull this off. Posted Image

I'll get in touch with Tom or one of the show’s producers and try to get a definitive answer… even if I have to pull a ‘Marathon Man’ routine on them…

Posted Image

"Is it Safe?"

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin



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Posted May 12 2006 - 04:52 AM

Considering that the Bentley has a top speed of more than 200 MPH, a chauffeur with racing experience is a must.

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 12 2006 - 04:53 AM

OK, I have the answer... and a few extra teeth as well. Posted Image

It was in fact a look-a-like (and a darn good one at that!)... those cheeky Canadian SOBs fooled me! Posted Image

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 23 2006 - 05:11 AM

Here are a couple shots I took of the TV (click on any to enlarge):

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Here are some shots of that amazing 1955 Chevy with a 27L 3000hp engine from a P51:

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#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Paul McElligott

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Posted May 23 2006 - 05:20 AM

Posted Image

Now that's some power-to-weight ratio!!
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