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.


Anonymous said...

Where is restoration garage filmed?
We love the show- very cool show.

John L said...

it is filmed in Bradford Ontario which is revealed in some of the episodes by the owner Dave himself.

Anonymous said...

If it's filmed in Ontario why are there so many "British Columbia" signs all over the place?
Like "BC Ferries" etc etc etc??

Anonymous said...

I've watched a few episodes. It really could be shortened to a half hour. The work they do is excellent and the cars are interesting enough, however, unlike Counting Cars, Restoration Garage also focuses on petty disputes between employees. This, I suppose, is a weak attempt to infuse some drama into the show. For example, when they hired a new welder, another employee started objecting when the new guy started banging on something without giving him a chance to put on safety glasses or earplugs. In any truly professional shop you would be required to put on your safety equipment before entering the shop area. So the guy complaining comes off as a tedious whiner, and the shop management appears unprofessional for not enforcing basic safety rules. Meanwhile, the viewer is forced to sit through this juvenile display while they wait for the interesting stuff - the restoration process - to resume.

One appeal of shows like Counting Cars, American Restoration, and even Pawn Stars is that the focus is primarily on the job at hand, and such conflicts between "cast members" is minimal and for comic relief. They avoid the nasty clashes between immature personalities, as well as the supposedly stressful job deadlines which, again, are meant as some sort of drama, but actually are more indicative of managers who don't know what they're doing.

D /Roddick said...

Hi from Calgary! I just saw the episode where Paul had to get a Passport. Passports can be received on a RUSH BASIS. This would have saved some time. Possibly also the business could have paid a portion of Paul's cost if having to take trips for business. Or advance Paul the money so he could pay it off. I think he Personally was financially strapped.
Dolores Roddick, Calgary

Chris and Jim said...

Anyone know if the mechanic Larry worked at Walter Shantora's Shell garage in scarborough the 70's ?

Moorabbin Carsales said...

Buying a used car doesn't have to be risky. If you know what you want then it becomes a lot easier.