Classic Car Rescue

Mario Pacione

Mario’s on a mission to bring six iconic cars back from the ground to their former glory.

Mario Pacione

For more than three decades, entrepreneur and car expert Mario Pacione’s deal-making Midas touch and undeniable charm has taken him around the world of cars and back again. Whether it’s buying and selling rust-buckets or luxurious specialty imports, for a man whose last name means “Passion”, Mario eats, sleeps and breathes cars. 

A love of the history, style and the rumble of racing engines led Mario to his first Porsche purchase in the late 1980’s.  His ’75 911 Targa brought a new level of passion on both sides of the hood and since then, Mario hasn’t let a year go by without taking on a new passion project. Mario owns a repair, sales and restoration business specializing in high performance, iconic cars.

For Mario, rescuing cars is like a constant treasure hunt. Nothing beats the thrill of each discovery. “…it’s the challenge to be able to do something from scratch, or start over again and resurrect something that was going to be crushed… I just get a kick out of it, it’s a high for me, I can’t explain it any other way.” 

Channel 5 and Discovery’s Classic Car Rescue is Mario’s first venture into television, where he’ll be bringing his one-of-a-kind expertise straight from the garage into homes across the globe.

From the deal-making handshake to that final turn of the key, Mario’s on a mission to bring six of the world’s most iconic cars back from the ground to their former glory.

Comments (71)

  • Francesca

    5 days ago

    Francesca

    LOVED the show last year so much so that hubby and i bought a 1993' mini and fully restored it and our lovely little mini is now called "MARIO" after the shows canadian presenter Mario Pacione...oh how we laughed each time bernie yelled "mario what were you thinkin" GREAT show and looking forward to tonites new series at 8pm on ch5

  • Rick

    4 months ago

    Rick

    Love the "show"! Typical negative whiners abound but that's to be expected with so many auto experts reading and watching. In Canada, we have a device referred to as a "remote" which allows us to remain firmly fixed to our couch and still change the station! Remarkable,but I fear under-utilized by the critics venting here.

  • Iso Rivolta

    11 months ago

    Iso Rivolta

    Bernie is hysterical, only just come across the series today, i'll be looking out for the other episodes.

  • marianne

    1 year ago

    marianne

    anytime you get short of cars to do my husband has a 1969 reliant scimitar that has been sitting in the garden for 20 + years, it was a dream to ride in and now its just wasting away, would look amazing renovated..xx

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  • Ali 2

    1 year ago

    Ali 2

    It's not that bad. The principle is simple. They are on a tight budget and they have to make a car look good and run on its own power. You cannot expect them to make a one hundred thousand dollar restoration since the show is not about this at all. Everybody knows that the setbacks and the situations they face are staged. We just have to appreciate the show for what it is. BTW, I like Bernie's cockney accent and the sparkle on his head XD

  • Geoff

    over 1 year ago

    Geoff

    Great show! Very entertaining with great characters. Keep up the great work!

  • Richard

    over 1 year ago

    Richard

    Mario has a lot of deal shaking in real life, however many have gone sour and lawsuits and stories abound.

  • VITO

    over 1 year ago

    VITO

    LMAO There is more hair on the cars that Mario. Like the sweeping front to hide the shine.....just like the cars. Entertainment yes.......Accurate No. Duck Commander is more accurate. Mario was a used truck salesman last look and closed down. Just went personally bankrupt.

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  • André

    over 1 year ago

    André

    I truly enjoyed the show and hope there will be more in the future. But I must mention that Bernie must understand that a one hour lunch is totally deserved and is a must to keep personnel moral positive. Good thing Mario was there to attenuate that evident non-respect of their employees. André.

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  • BH_Ontario

    over 1 year ago

    BH_Ontario

    Friend of Canada... Thanks for letting us know. We thought it was the Americans.

  • Friend of Canada

    over 1 year ago

    Friend of Canada

    I am mortified that no one here warned the whole of the Americas about this program before it aired. Please accept my apologies on behalf of an embarrassed and ashamed nation. I feel like we've just dumped garbage on your front lawn with no warning.

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  • BH_Ontario

    over 1 year ago

    BH_Ontario

    This show should be called CLASSIC CAR FISHWIVES! This series was just aired in Canada and I have watched some of it but feel compelled to complain. Too bed, because it looked like it could have been something good. Now, where should I start... I see others have already commented on the incorrect Alfa & Aston (despite Nick's brown-nosing) but that's just the tip of the iceberg. I can imagine that Mario's unfamiliarity with those 'foreign' names would forgive some mistakes, but any red-blooded Canadian lover of V8s KNOWS they cant get away with putting a standard 302, 2 barrel in a Mustang and call it a "Boss" - Even if it's just a 'reality show' you'd think the guy would want to protect his legitimacy in the car business. On to other issues. I'm just thinking out loud here but I would assume most car people would watch this program for the actual car resto, not some drama between two Housewives of Whatever City. After watching five shows, the regularity of the 'blow up with shouting and swearing', followed by the 'OMG will we get it finished on time' is getting boringly predictable and completely unnecessary. Now, special notes for the producer of the Mini segment. SU carbeurettors do NOT require oil to lubricate the damper in the chamber - it there to dampen the piston's movement and enrich the mixture when accelerating. Basic theory - get it right. The other big/stupid mistake in the Mini show was the ridiculous situation you created with the tow truck drivers. Not that that would be realistic in today's world, but your continuity on that segment SUCKED! It was quite obvious that the car on it's roof did not have the new rear subframe just installed in the previous segment. Nor was there visible evidence of welding on the pillars on the car being prepped for filler. Don't forget, most of the viewers of a show like this will know cars and will spot dodgy editing and continuity as easily as bad bodywork. I expected more, especially since watching an all together more sincere man presenting a very interesting show - Drew Pritchard's Salvage Hunters. There's a man I'd buy from with trust. Mario Pacione on the other hand, won't be seeing my dollars in his store.

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  • Capt.Hollister

    over 1 year ago

    Capt.Hollister

    Just to set the record straight on a minor point, Mario's name does not mean "passion" as stated in his bio. The Italian word for passion is "passione". His name actually means someone who likes a quiet, serene life, and it's pronounced pah-tchee-o-nay. Minor point, I know, but irksome to any Italophile.

  • Andy

    over 1 year ago

    Andy

    I love this show! Mario and Bernie are great! I read some of the negative replies and you guys are crazy. It's plain and simple, this show is about cars and I love cars. Please keep the show going. Remember everyone, this show is about cars and we all love them. Stop knocking the show or you'll be stuck watching some celebrity dancing show with your wife!

  • Georgie

    over 1 year ago

    Georgie

    A bloody brilliant programme! Look forward every Monday to it! Mario and Bernie, keep up the good work!

  • bob

    over 1 year ago

    bob

    the caddy colour was aweful and you could see all the ripples in the steel work and once again panel fit was miles out, you could nearly work on the engine without lifting the bonnet looking at the gap on the nearside and the rear bumper hadnt been fitted properly either.

  • Darren

    over 1 year ago

    Darren

    Great Show. Really enjoy watching it. Hope they make many more episodes.

  • Martyn

    over 1 year ago

    Martyn

    ha ha yes I picked up on the Alfa RomeRo and Austin Martin comments. He is indeed a car expert. Also why do they always change the colour of the cars when they should keep them the original colour?

  • bob

    over 1 year ago

    bob

    to Mick. But the work carried out is so poor, stone chip paint sparyed over rust and new welds with no treatment, body panel fits way, way out, even go gfaster stripes dont even match up and as for the paint finish, well its bloody aweful. they have changed the history of cars by painting different colours, put in the wrong engines, even changed the model. something you don't do when restoring for a half decent price and when the valuer comes along, jeez, how much money is he taking for bribery for his well over priced valuations for a car that within 12 months will be a total rust heap.

  • Eddie

    over 1 year ago

    Eddie

    Really enjoying the shows, keep up the good work Bernie and Mario; yes much of the programmes are staged but as a previous posters has said, its all about good television , an objective which is achieved

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  • John BB

    over 1 year ago

    John BB

    All this negativity..OUCH....This is a light emtertainment program (I agree some areas are staged & a bit dodgy) but the main thing is its about CARS & there are way to few programs as it is on the box...just keep on knocking it & they may decide to remove this one too... To all the purist's making comment... Dont watch it & get back to your ' Oh So Perfect' magazine shaped box.....

  • bob

    over 1 year ago

    bob

    Just watched the Mustang show. At the start the narrator said it was to be rebuilt to concours condition, What a laugh the bit of welding shown looked good but the rest of the build was rushed and bodged, the paint was all orange peel panel fit very, very poor and even the striping was all off. Why cant they just do the show for what it is, the sort of job the above average DIY'er can achieve and give a honest value of the car, going by what they value their cars at my old 67 land rover would be worth over ten grand, I wish. I think this show is better than the new wheeler dealers who basically do nothing to their cars now. please stop all the fake bitching and arquing your making total idiots of yourselfs spend the time on showing more of the work involved

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  • Darren Sullivan

    over 1 year ago

    Darren Sullivan

    So many people moaning. Put simply, if you don't like what you see, turn the tv over. This is light entertainment, nothing more. Chill out, there's people dying in the world after all...

  • Steve

    over 1 year ago

    Steve

    This program is brilliant. Such a laugh. The antics of the presenters are great. Wheeler Dealers is so boring in contrast. Keep the cars coming boys.

  • Kev

    over 1 year ago

    Kev

    Give us a break - not everbody who watches the programme has been sad enough to read a Haynes workshop manual from cover to cover and be able to quote torque settings for all bolts in a Ford Anglia's engine! If all the anoraks on here don't think its a worthwhile show then turn it off - no-one's making you watch it! I think for a main stream tv prog its ok - just take it with a pinch of salt - its good to see these oldies getting back on the road however 'staged' it appears.

  • Rob suffell

    over 1 year ago

    Rob suffell

    Rob What a pity, this could have been a program to look forward to. However frustratingly spoilt by a poor script. The Arther Daley act seems embarrassingly fake, and temper tantrums almost offensive. Genuine banter is one thing but this seems false and over the top. Please if you make any more programs stop the pretence and get on with the cars and let the presenters be themselves. (I record the program so I can fast forward over the rubbish)

  • The Dodger

    over 1 year ago

    The Dodger

    I'm looking forward to them restoring an Austin Marton or an Alfa Romero. I haven't heard of these vehicles before, and I've been in the trade for over 30 years.

  • Avery St. Clair

    over 1 year ago

    Avery St. Clair

    Amazingly poor show. So little focus on the work being done. An insult to true restorers and to the audience. Give it up.

  • Ian Price

    over 1 year ago

    Ian Price

    Mario- a car guy from Canada. I'm embarrassed. Thousands of Morris Minors were imported to Canada and he's never seen one before?

  • Dr. Octane

    over 1 year ago

    Dr. Octane

    Why is everyone knocking this show? It was good entertainment and nice to see these rotting half-done projects actually getting back on the road. OK, so it's not a show for the pedantic purist, but would the ordinary car nut really say no to one of these cars? Yes, it has nicked that transatlantic rapid makeover format but who cares. Good luck to you chaps.

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  • DAVID GREGSON

    over 1 year ago

    DAVID GREGSON

    Dave I was hoping this was going to be the classic car programme to end all classic car programmes but no they had no conviction in restoring the car with love and attention to detail. Oh for Mike Brewer and Ed China!

  • ic3h0t3l

    over 1 year ago

    ic3h0t3l

    Utter rubbish and contrived beyond belief, will not be watching again, very disappointed, so many recaps, clearly made for the US market where they have a short attention span and if they swap channels in the ad break have to be reminded of what they have seen, I will not be entering this competition and lining the coffers of 3rd rate buffoons who can't even pronounce Alfa Romeo correctly, a travesty which should be pulled from the schedule to save further embarrasment

  • Jim Playford

    over 1 year ago

    Jim Playford

    If this Mario Pacione is such a well respected 'car expert' how come a Google search comes up with absolutely nothing about him?

  • LP

    over 1 year ago

    LP

    Sorry the show appears to be a failure. Mario is not a mechanic but a used car salesman. Let him sell the car as a perfect piece with "no bondo" and then it may be more entertaining.

  • Jim Playford

    over 1 year ago

    Jim Playford

    I would like to see someone from Channel 5 come on here to defend this utter pile of garbage, and WTF was a respected insurance company like Adrian Flux thinking of endorsing a restoration that supposedly shows a high performance car being restored with scrap from a skip?

  • Rick

    over 1 year ago

    Rick

    What a sad programme. I sooo looked for to this but disappointment was the result. The so called cockney spoilt the show completely with all his shouting and threatening. This was a contrived farce which genuine car restorers will hate. Bring back Ed China and Mike Brewer, at least they entertain.

  • Pete

    over 1 year ago

    Pete

    The fake backing into the engine was so bad it made me cringe. Most people who watch car programmes aren't interested in contrived "dramas". Watch Big Brother if you like that sort of dross.

  • Andrew Smith

    over 1 year ago

    Andrew Smith

    Complete and utter rubbish - the staged arguments, the staged reversing of the newly painted car into the engine and the continuous tirade of foul language was just off putting. That said, the programme would still have been a waste of time without all the drama, as it offered nothing. And who was the Spive who turned up in BMW 6 Series Convertible to put a valuation of £30k on it - was he in on the joke? I’m pretty sure the sponsor, Adrian Flux Classic Car Insurance, is wishing it it didn’t put its name to the programme! I'll still watch it next week though, just to see how bad it gets..................... Nuff said for now! :-)

  • Tony McConnell

    over 1 year ago

    Tony McConnell

    What a load of utter rubbish! I know a number of people who have had cars restored properly and none of them ever made a profit. They do it because they love the cars. In many cases (mine included) the cost of the restoation can be up to twice the value of the finished car. Didn't see them take the bonnet off. So presumably that remained in its original colour inside. That alone would put a serious buyer off. They didn't appear remove the engine or do anything to it at all not even change the oil, filters, etc let alone clean and paint it. A ridicolous and misleading programme! I won't watch any more episodes.

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  • Geoff

    over 1 year ago

    Geoff

    I think we all ought to give it a chance! It brought out the hassles of finding a car quickly & the difficulty of vendors & purchasers having widely differing views of the values of a particular car..... As for the model - there is a budget (so it was unlikely that it was going to be a 'flat floor' roadster!) Ok, so the sunroof was'nt a 'Webasto'...big deal! It's functional & given the time constraints, it would have been impractical to fill it in & added to the expense to fit the aforementioned!! Another car has been given a new lease of life & the 'old car world' has been put back on mainstream TV..........Fair play...!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TRE

    over 1 year ago

    TRE

    absolute rubbish! like 60minute makeover without the budget. It would appear to be a deliberate attempt to make all restorers, whether professional or amateur, look like Arthur Daly!

  • Mark

    over 1 year ago

    Mark

    This programme was crap. Fake arguments, stage managed from start to finish, and completely lacking any charm. It was a badly acted soap opera, and a copy of all those equally crap American car shows. Watch one of Mark Evans infinitely supperior programmes to see how it should be done. A few guys having fun while rebuilding a car, with non of the over the top fake crap of this programme. Wheeler dealers is supperior to this rubbish programme. Sure the buying and selling of the cars is faked, but at least the presenters are likeable and Ed China actually knows what he is doing.

  • Uze

    over 1 year ago

    Uze

    All of what was said. Being in a Car Club and seeing seriously prepared cars, this was an utter joke in more ways then one. Faked arguments, oil in dash pots, come on really, even I spotted that one. Repaired piston WTF does that mean? Parts in breakers all waiting to be collected emmm right. Plus 5 guys in the workshop, and he still reverses into an engine on a hoist. oops didn't see that there Come on, total utter tosh. The car has old crap from a yard fitted, so much for restoration. Bucket of Isopon layered on the bodywork, & still Channel 5 let this go out. Should be taken off air, as the Cockney guy should be embarrassed. Rosy lea alright geezer, Jesus, was born in East London, and you never hear it now. Pathetic show.

  • McQueen

    over 1 year ago

    McQueen

    Was looking forward to this show ....what a complete farce! The sunroof is an abomination... the competition winner is going to inherit a real " Lemon".

  • Baconsdozen imperial tools

    over 1 year ago

    Baconsdozen imperial tools

    Complete and utter twaddle.Finding E type parts for a fiver in a scrapyard?.Rubbish it was all stage managed by a couple of idiots.I'm sure it gave any reputable restorer nightmares.

  • alan LCC

    over 1 year ago

    alan LCC

    I run a classic car restoration business in Liskeard and think this programme gives all restorers a bad name. The last time I saw that much filler used it was to build a boat!

  • Dave Dart

    over 1 year ago

    Dave Dart

    The smoke screen caused by the carbs only vaguely covered the mention that they 'repaired a worn piston'. If they took two days to discover that the carbs were overfilled I hate to think how long it took to find that problem, or how long it took them. Dumbed Down just does not describe it.

  • mik

    over 1 year ago

    mik

    this was the worst car program i have ever seen. there was so much wrong with it i dont know where to start. restore an e type and leave a sunroof, buy shocks from breakers,take off paint work with grinder. ive been in the trade for 30 years and here is another program giving us a bad name

  • Art

    over 1 year ago

    Art

    Give it a chance guys! They didnt say they are actors just two down to earth guys having a bit of fun and putting an old car back on the road. A bit rushed maybe and the accident was sad, but hey he is from over the pond after all, he cant help it :0)

  • Jim Playford

    over 1 year ago

    Jim Playford

    Well said Ali, I wonder what people who restore classic cars properly for a living thought of that awful programme? I shudder to think what they are going to do with the Porsche next week.....and the other cars they get their hands on!

  • Ali

    over 1 year ago

    Ali

    Really? They restored a slushbox-equipped Series 3 2+2 ? I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's the least desirable E-Type variant by a long shot. Furthermore, I have to agree with the appraiser regarding that ghastly sunroof. How hard would it have been to do away with it? They took the car down to bare metal, anyway! As for the 30K valuation by the appraiser, I find it silly that these guys hear that and instantly figure they've made 10K+ on this car (BTW, 6K in restoration costs? Suuuuure, I bet!). Save the celebrating for when you've actually sold the car, guys? And like I said, I have my doubts about whether there's a strong collector market for such an undesirable E-Type. The constant arguments seem so incredibly contrived. Mario doesn't even try to act, while the other fellow is over-acting. I found it all pretty annoying, and made the show look very amateurish. Speaking of amateurish, what's Mario's deal? He doesn't seem to know anything at all about the restoration business. The only thing I saw him do was bark vague orders at the mechanics, argue with the other guy, and help install the seats. And near the end, he actually suggested that they restore an "Alfa Romero" as their next project? Really, an "Alfa Romero"?? Most 10 year-old car enthusiasts know how to pronounce it properly, yet a guy who runs a successful shop does not? Overall, it's as if they took Wheeler Dealers and made it uninteresting, then mixed in some weak, fake drama, a la the show with the Orange County Choppers buffoons.

  • d

    over 1 year ago

    d

    how much filler was on the car thought i was watchin cowboy builders

  • brimoy

    over 1 year ago

    brimoy

    Brian, All that labour,new interior,new parts ,wheels refurb all for £6k pull the other one Brian

  • Jim Playford

    over 1 year ago

    Jim Playford

    Possibly the very worst programme about classic car restoration I have ever seen. From the constant arguing between the 'expert' presenters to fishing junk from a skip to be used in the restoration, to the sheer stupidity of reversing the freshly painted car into the engine hanging on a hoist! Absolute rubbish, if this is what Channel 5 think classic car restoration is all about, God help us all!

  • brimoy

    over 1 year ago

    brimoy

    all that labour,new interior and it only cost £6K pull the other one.

  • Bob

    over 1 year ago

    Bob

    That was contrived rubbish, poorly acted and a quick clean up and respray not a proper restoration. very disappointing. Wont bother to watch any more!

  • roy

    over 1 year ago

    roy

    at last a real program that will show more folk that older cars are worth saving instead of being scrapped. older cars are easier to work on and have much more soul to them unlike the plastic clad cars of today. more of the same please. much more.............

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