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Custom Covers (1984) Ltd. fabrics tents for adventure series “The Grand Tour”

News | April 1, 2018 | By:

In the first season of “The Grand Tour,”
two identical tents fabricated by Custom Covers (1984) Ltd. traveled to locations in the United States, Europe, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Photo courtesy of Custom Covers (1984) Ltd.

IFAI’s International Achievement Awards (IAA) recognize creativity and problem solving—skills that drive excellence in the tent industry. Here’s one submission to the 2017 IAA competition that highlights knack and know-how.

The studio tent for the Amazon Prime Video adventure series “The Grand Tour” offers the functionality of a modern structure while evoking the tents of the 1970s television sitcom “M*A*S*H.” Custom Covers (1984) Ltd., Southampton, U.K., designed the tent to travel around the world and support filming and production equipment, as well as a variety of cars. A good visual profile was necessary for aerial camera shots.

The 15-by-21-meter structure features 4.5-meter hip ends on either side standing at a 30-degree pitch. The roof is comprised of three sections, a roof and two hip ends, all constructed with Ferrari fabric in NATO green on the outer skin and a NATO green canvas on the inside, topped with the Grand Tour logo printed in the middle of the roof. The structure is bar tensioned, with decorative ropes added for an aesthetic similar to the iconic canvas pole tents that the structure is based on.

A clear window with a 6-meter span provides a view of the different landscapes as a backdrop. Custom Covers achieved this through the use of a custom 6-meter eave rail that provided enough support for two bays without the need for a leg, providing an unobstructed view.

To support cars and production equipment, the floor was reinforced with metal bracing bars in the steel subframe. A ramp extension was added to the entrance to enable easy access for featured vehicles. A special reveal blind was also built into the structure.

Finally, two identical tents were manufactured to meet the show’s touring schedule.

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