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Oscar limousine: Got champagne. How about sewing kit?

By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ever wonder what goes on in the back seats of those Hollywood limousines stuffed with A-list stars as they pull up to Oscar's glitzy red carpet?

Is champagne flowing? Sometimes.

Are diamonds dripping? Likely.

Are gowns and tuxedos ready for TV? Mmmm, it pays to have a needle and thread handy.

Chris Hundley, owner of Los Angeles-based Limo Connection, knows only too well what goes on inside the chariots of the stars during the trips to and from the world's top film honors. Hundley founded his company in 1978, and has driven the likes of Burt Reynolds, Goldie Hawn and Kevin Costner to the Oscars.

"All class acts, who make you feel like you're old friends," Hundley told Reuters.

He has also had his fair share of nightmare celebrities, but in true Hollywood style, Hundley isn't naming names.

"We all sign strict confidentiality agreements, but I can tell you the biggest problem is when they're totally unprepared and late," he said. "We arrive to pick them up, and they're not even home - and the show starts in an hour or so."

Arrival anxiety aside, once their A-list cargo has been dropped off, the chauffeurs congregate at a Hollywood Bowl parking lot north of the theater where the Oscars take place.

The drivers hang out, watch the show and relax before being called back to duty for what likely is a night of driving to Hollywood party after Hollywood party often until the sun rises.

Over the years, Hundley has accommodated many an unusual request, he said, such as the one in which a Hollywood star asked for a limousine stocked with bottles of "room-temperature" Fiji water.

"Not so easy to do with the air conditioning cranked up high," Hundley said.

And he keeps all his cars stocked with sewing kits in case of an emergency. "A lot of those gowns weren't designed to be worn sitting down," he said. "We're always prepared."

(Reporting By Iain Blair; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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