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Langley crane operator stars in History Network’s latest series

Lee Brandt is a long-time resident of Milner

A Langley-based crane operator will make his television show debut tonight with History TV Canada’s new series, Lost Car Rescue.

The program that uncovers the adventurous journey of five car hunters features Lee Brandt of Langley operating a crane in the most twisty terrains to locate and lift vintage cars.

The Lost Car Rescue team is led by Matt Sager, a young car hunter who met Brandt after the latter posted an online advertisement to sell an old crane in Langley. “That two-hour call at 9 p.m. changed my life,” said Brandt.

After Sager explained his reasons for purchasing the crane, Brandt said he was moved by the passion. Later, when the opportunity to join the team was offered, Brandt said he excitedly came on board to explore the northern wilderness by air and land and extract forgotten vehicles.

A long-time Langley resident, Brandt grew up in Milner. The 34-year-old has two kids, and the younger one now has occupied the room that belonged to Brandt when he was a kid. As a young hockey fan and a former junior-hockey player, Brandt said he spent most of his time in the ice rink in and around the neighbourhood.

Thinking of the time he became a father at 20 years old, Brandt said he had to look for more opportunities along with sports.

By 21, he was helping the City of Surrey relocate trees and electric poles. After the tree business grew, Brandt decided to upgrade his crane and that his when he posted an advertisement to sell his old machine.

“Sager later bought the crane and I came along with it,” joked Brandt.

As an expert car lifter, Brandt’s role in the team is to lift a car with minimal damage and save the already rusted parts from getting wrecked.

RELATED: Classic car buffs gather again in Langley

“I wait for instructions from Matt as to where the car is and then it is kind of up to me to figure out how to lift it [car] and get it out of there,” said Brandt.

Lee Brandt, a Langley-based crane operator who grew up in Milner, will make his television show debut with History TV Canada’s new series, Lost Car Rescue. The show also features a commercial pilot, an auto body expert, and a car mechanic. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lee Brandt, a Langley-based crane operator who grew up in Milner, will make his television show debut with History TV Canada’s new series, Lost Car Rescue. The show also features a commercial pilot, an auto body expert, and a car mechanic. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

“I have relocated lots of trees but when you trying to salvage a car there is important pieces to car that needs to be saved. You have the pressure but pressure is privilege they say.”

Though the team explored B.C’s north, Sager said that the Langley community has always surprised him with their love for cars.

“From the old car centre in South Langley to crazy amount of hot rodders… its just a mecca of old cars. Langley is like B.C.’s Cuba. Kudos to Langley community for upholding and preserving the car culture. Thanks for praising these cars and artists.”

Sager, 33, said he could not think of any city other than Langley that has better preserved the old car culture.

Talking about Brandt’s role in the show, Sager said that one needs to have expert skills to lift the cars that are “almost reclaimed by mother nature,” and no other person can be better than Brandt to pull it off.

Brandt and Sager met a year ago but hope to convert the professional partnership into a life-long friendship.

Sager said that it took him a long time to realize that the show is his dream come true.

“I would like people who watch this show to realize that it is all based on a dream and 17 years after it all came true. I want to inspire people to keep chasing their dreams, they do come true.”

Lost Car Rescue is produced by Boat Rocker’s Proper Television in association with Corus Studios for History Network. The show premiers today (Thursday, Jan. 13) at 9 p.m. PST.


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Tanmay Ahluwalia

About the Author: Tanmay Ahluwalia

Tanmay Ahluwalia is a journalist with a digital mindset and a proud alumnus of the University of Delhi.
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