MUSCLE SHOALS — Eric Malone and the 256 team will be viewing the first televised episode of "Fastest Cars in the Dirty South" tonight, and they're hoping much of America joins them.
The reality car-building/racing show, based in Muscle Shoals from Malone's car shop, has gained a significant nationwide following from its debut earlier this year on the Discovery Channel's Motor Trend app.
Now, the nine-member team's first eight episodes will play on the Motor Trend channel. The first episode, "The Gold Camaro," airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Malone said the show's first season, filmed through July of this year, was tested by producers on the On Demand app.
"Evidently it blew up with people watching because they gave us our first on-air date," Malone said.
The first episode features a local female drag racer, Deda Minor Ford, whose racing her gold Camaro the team rebuilt.
"There were six of us building this car, and all of a sudden we had a week and a half to finish the job that would have ordinarily taken us six months," Malone said. "That's the kind of stuff you see on the show. It's real life, us just doing what we do."
Though the team, all of whom have day jobs and build cars on the side, isn't filming now, they're still working. In fact, Malone said he currently has four vehicles in his new, bigger garage.
"Future filmings all depend on how our television ratings go, I guess," Malone said. "We previewed this episode on the app and we think it's pretty good. We'll be at Little Capone's in Petersville for our watch party Wednesday night."
The premise of the show is that the team takes the slowest car from the other team, makes upgrades and races that team. If Team 256 wins, they get the car. If the other team wins, they get their car back with all the upgrades.
"I don't really see this ending anytime soon because I have a whole list of people wanting to play this game with us," Malone said. "We're just having fun, and entertaining a lot of people at the same time."