From 2005 to 2008, Alexander Bannink and his company ABID were the car designers for the Veronica Television car program “De Grote Beurt”.

“De Grote Beurt”

Every Friday evening, “De Grote Beurt” formed the Veronica car night alongside “Top Gear” and “Wegmisbruikers”.

As a car designer, I was responsible for creating all the designs.

It was an incredible time during which I learned a great deal: design within budget, design within capacity, design for television, user-centered design, design for sponsors, design under tight deadlines, design with significant business interests behind the scenes. In short, it was a great challenge that I always tackled with pleasure!

De Grote beurt tekeningen
De Grote Beurt Airbrush artwork

The format of “De Grote Beurt”:

The owner of the car (the candidate) was nominated by family or friends. The candidate was ambushed by a camera crew and the presenter. The first 5 seasons were hosted by Yorinde Moll, and the last seasons by Suzanne de Jong. With great enthusiasm, the presenters managed to acquire the cars so that the mechanics could work their “magic.” The cars were driven into the workshop. After two weeks of building, they were revealed with a big party, glitter, and fanfare. Then the car was returned to the candidate, completely transformed to their taste and liking.

Complete with a new paint job, audio, multimedia, and other appropriate design elements. Sometimes with a huge wink (which, by the way, was not always appreciated by everyone, as true car enthusiasts often wanted to express their own opinions, which were quite outspoken). However, the nature of the program is that a car is so custom-built that the taste becomes very specific to the candidate. This means not everyone will find it beautiful. But it was always done with the candidate’s wishes in mind. It made for sensational TV and, most certainly, happy people…

The design process:

I always started with a design brief, gathering background information about the candidate. Hobbies, wishes, dreams, and passions were translated into a design that matched their car and personality.

After that, I always created multiple design drawings for the workshop, TV, and direction. This allowed everyone to schedule their tasks and transform the car according to the design.

Initially, we worked together with Care Autoschade, later with Merks in Heemstede, and we ended up at Spectrum Verfindustrie in Mijdrecht where we produced the last 4 seasons. The team of mechanics was always committed, and their collective skills were impressive.

I fondly remember everyone I had the pleasure of working with.

Direct Limo

“The Renovation”

It remains commercial TV, so I always had to incorporate sponsored products into the design. Fortunately, over time, you become increasingly adept at this, especially when sponsors give you the freedom to modify their products as you see fit.

We widened and lowered quite a few cars. There was always a completely new leather interior, and the exterior paint, especially during the time of Merks Autoschade and Spectrumverf, was top-notch.

De grote beurt veronica opel calibra

The unveilings:

From the GelreDome to Circuit Zandvoort, the talented people behind the production always came up with something beautiful. Especially the treasure hunt in season 4 was a lot of fun, and standing in front of 20,000 people at an auto festival in the GelreDome is also something I won’t soon forget.

From my “own” Ferrari 550 Maranello to a Suzuki Alto, each one unveiled with pride, and it was always a celebration! To this day, I miss the feeling of working together towards a common goal and succeeding, then celebrating that success. What I’ve taken from it is that we still celebrate all the successes within our company to this day. Life is too short not to.

prototype next level build by dgb

The Future:

As one of the most expensive television programs in Dutch TV history, “De Grote Beurt” is no longer feasible in today’s time. The advertising deals nowadays don’t generate enough revenue. Additionally, the act of “pimping” cars is simply not in line with current trends.

But… just imagine… if it were to continue… completely different, with a modern twist…

Then, a very cool program could emerge, with 3D scanning, 3D printing, 3D-printed molds, 3D metal prints for custom body kits, interior innovations, and much, much more… And instead of “pimping” the cars, we could make gasoline guzzlers more environmentally friendly by installing a hydrogen system, alternative fuel systems, or electric systems… And we could call it “De Groene Beurt” (The Green Makeover)? A utopia? Perhaps! But our ideas sometimes become reality… After all, that’s my profession.

Feel free to reach out if you share this idea!

Beach buggy kever

Program: De grote beurt

Number of broadcasts featuring ABID:: 89

Number of designs made: 135 Cars

Sponsors: Autostyle, Vredestein, Pioneer, JVC, Kenwood, LG, Caliber, Care Autoschade, Profile, AkzoNobel, Spectrum verfindustrie, 4CR, Alcar, AEZ, DOTZ, Dezent, Clifford electronics, BMS autobekleding