How many times have you passed over some otherwise interesting piece at a yard sale just because it was covered in rust?
Do you have any ancient collectibles sitting in your basement that have seen far better days? American Restoration is a History Channel program that takes an in-depth look into the restoration industry, following professionals like Rick Dale who breathe new life into beat-up vintage antiques, and fetch a health profit in the process.
The episodes themselves usually feature one or more owners of worn-down antiques who know their items would be worth some good money in better condition, but aren’t sure how to go about fixing them up. They bring their wares into Rick, who goes to work on making them good as new alongside his team of experts.
A given episode will touch on the physical challenges and obstacles each item presents, such as extreme rust, delicate and outdated machine parts or hard-t0-find paint colors.
Each episode, the American Restoration team must overcome these snags to produce a finished product that their customer will be happy with. In restoring each item, the stars also come to give a ballpark of its new value in excellent condition.
This allows the original owner to proudly display their restored product, or sell it for a healthy profit. The producers usually keep the big reveal until the end of each episode, so the greatly improved products serve as the climax of each show. Let’s meet some of the major players from American Restoration:
Rick has an interesting position on the show. Unlike some of his employees, Rick not only has to worry about doing excellent vintage restoration work on extremely damaged and corrupted old items, but he must also worry about keeping his business afloat and profitable.
This means that pricing jobs is more complicated than coming up with a number that will keep his clients happy.
But if anyone’s up to the Job it’s Rick. He’s been restoring items since he was nine years old and has maintained his passion throughout his life.
This means his breadth of knowledge and experience make him uniquely capable of handling any job that comes his way.
To be sure, the sheer variety of the items that Rick comes across in the course of business is staggering. Here we see just a sample of the kinds of things Rick and his team will work on in a given day:
Vintage Coca-Cola vending machines and old-school refrigerators are pretty common on the show, with collectors turning up with rusted out and busted antiques they need restored. Rick not only gets them looking like brand new, but he also makes them functional.
In doing so, he raises their value several thousands of dollars, making his clients happy and his own restoration business successful. On a given episode we might see him working with a variety of power tools including sanders, buffers, airbrushes and more.
Even old-timey barber’s chairs can fetch a health profit on the open market once they’ve been lovingly restored to their original condition. Another common submission is the vintage gas pump beloved for its bell tones and retro paint jobs.
The wide variety of items that Rick and his team deal with demand a keen eye for detail and great general ability. In one moment, a team member might be expected to re-paint the original fine lines on a logo, and then use an industrial sander to obliterate rust in the next.
Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rick’s Restorations does a healthy business, only further helped along by the notoriety they have received from the History Channel. Since American Restoration began airing, the foot traffic to Rick’s family shop has increased dramatically, with many customers coming just to see the famous crew.
Here you can see the retro-style road sign for Rick’s shop in Las Vegas. With so much success on and off the air, many viewers wonder just how much Rick is pulling down each year in terms of money.
All told, Rick Dale’s combined net worth is estimated to be $2.5 million, thanks to a health vintage restoration trade that was only further boosted by the television air time.
Speaking of the logo above, now let’s meet the woman who is the model for the flag girl on Rick’s sign as well as Rick’s girlfriend and business operations manager.
When it comes to the less glamorous aspects of the business, such as handling invoices, ordering parts and dealing with customers and schedules, Kelly Meyer is the woman that makes everything run smoothly in the background.
Aside from just keeping everything orderly in the counting room, Kelly had a major role in keeping Rick’s business open when the market was at its lowest.
Through her support and tenacity, Kelly was able to get Rick to begin appearing on another reality show, Pawn Stars, which preceded American Restoration.
It was on Pawn Stars that Rick began gaining notice for his uncanny ability to completely and totally restore busted old junk into something beautiful and valuable.
If it hand’t been for this debut into the world of industry-based reality television, Rick’s entire business might have shut down and American Restoration would have never come to be.
Kelly has another important role on the show as Brettly’s mother.