Sunday, August 25, 2013
Restoration Garage: More Canadian Reality
It was bound to happen after Canadian Pickers took over from American Pickers and with a Canadian version of Storage Lockers looming on the reality TV horizon.
Monday night at 9 on History it's Restoration Garage which is a Canadian Counting Cars for all extent and purposes.
In the Canadian version we get to see the inner workings of "The Guild", an upscale classics automobile restoration company located near Toronto --although the actual location isn't spelled out.
Counting Cars like most U.S. reality shows comes in at half an hour with two episodes usually strung together each week.
The difference in Restoration Garage is that it's a full often leisurely hour.
Again purists are going to wonder why such a series is on History but there are enough history lessons in the first episode to answer that question.
First up the guys are asked to consider restoring a classic 1953 "talking" car" with a smiling face named Mr. BP that was a safety gimmick used by BP Petroleum, to tour Ontario schools touting road safety.
The guys carefully examine the body and say it has completely rusted out. A full scale reboot would cost upwards of $80,000 but by buying a chassis from England the cost can be lowered to something like $27,000.
The Guilders are also trying to recreate from newly fabricated metals a classic Bugatti aerolite --almost everything has to be designed and built from scratch and the meticulous craftsmanship is a real wonder.
And we also see the gang truy out the reconstructed 1929 La Salle "Rum Runner" which conks out on iys first trial run and has to be towed back to the garage.
We're also introduced to the tradesmen who are an individualistic lot --and there's a female daring to join their ranks to see if she can make her.
Her decision whether or not to stay forms the biggest surprise of the first episode.
I'm certainly not an old car buff but I watched and got some history lessons I found fascinating. Whether or not the hour format is a little too leisurely will be answered when the ratings numbers are announced.
RESTORATION GARAGE DEBUTS ON HISTORY MONDAY AUGUST 26 AT 9 P.M.
MY RATING: ***