"How on earth do you get the cars in here?" must be one of the questions our staff at the airports get asked most often. The truth is that the complexity varies enormously from airport to airport, but we have been doing it for 10 years and have never failed to get a car in yet!
We have a warehouse where we keep all of the cars before they go into an airport. This is also typically the customer collection point in the UK unless winners want the car delivered to their home. Cars are delivered to our warehouse from the manufacturers and we prepare them for display. This involves purging the entire fuel system and filling the fuel lines and tank with an inert gas (nitrogen). We remove the batteries and make sure the car is in neutral. With the majority of supercars now having "paddle shift" electronic gearboxes there is a bit of a science to make sure they remain in neutral when the battery is disconnected. We then remove anything that could go walkabout whilst on display (you would not believe what people nick!). Finally we notify the "Tracker" company as they will be immediately alerted when the car moves without the ignition on (speaking from experience here!).
Our warehouse manager/mechanic will then make any final checks and fix on our BOTB number plates before Ken our delivery man arrives with his airport installation team. They load the car into our specialised transporter and head off to the relevant airport under the cover of darkness.
Vanessa in head office will have been liaising with the airport at least a week in advance to make sure all passes are ready and contractors are notified. Cars will usually will be delivered at night after the last plane has taken off and there are no passengers in the terminal.
In most airports the Police will have to close the access road and remove concrete bollards to get the car into the terminal. Contractors then remove sliding doors, pillars, x-ray machines and metal detectors to gain access to the airside part of the terminal. A BOTB team of approx 5 will have to attend each move which often does not finish until just before the first flight leaves the next morning.
In some airports it is much more complicated and we have to use cranes and cargo loaders to lift the cars and insert them through the windows of the terminal building, thirty feet above the apron. We have a specific lifting cradle which lives at our warehouse and travels the country.
Perhaps the biggest challenge recently was at Bristol Airport where we had to design and manufacture a specialist rig which tilts the car on its side to allow it to get through a 1.5m x 2m doorway. We had about 5cm clearance all round... Talk about high blood pressure!!