Rust Valley Restorers is not your typical car restoration show. Firstly, the show is located in one of the most unique places found anywhere. Just an hour from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, on the fringes of the Rockies lies a valley stuffed full of abandoned old cars, sitting there for decades. Not only is this place unique, but it is full of unique characters too.
Nestled deep in the heart of Rust Valley, is one man's collection of over 400 classic cars and trucks. Let's just say Mike Hall loves cars. I mean, he really loves cars so much that he has been buying them for over forty years. Now, in his early sixties and with time ticking away for both him and the cars it's time for him to do something with them. But how can a man who loves his cars so much let go of his deep attachment? Well, for big wads of cash, that's what. But a passionate project is always difficult to run as a business.
Mike Hall is a formidable presence, a tall guy with a mop of dreds. He was known locally as the Rasta Blasta, because of his job as a dynamite specialist. Simply, a no-nonsense, uncompromising character with a big heart and an overwhelming passion for cars. He tried to sell the property with all the cars for $1.5m but had no takers. Then came Mike's lightbulb moment and he set up the Rust Bros company, the birth of the Rust Valley Restorers.
It is the funny characters that make this show as much as the restorations. These rough and ready guys are dead set straight-talking nutters. But, each one of them really knows their stuff and can fix almost anything. Mike's right-hand man, Avery is the spitting image of 70's porn star Ron Jeremy. It's clear, Mike and Avery are very close friends and have heaps of fun along the way. Yet, as ridiculous as Avery looks, he is pretty much the McGyver of classic cars. The third key member of the team is Mike's son Connor, a skilled mechanic who has worked with his dad since he was 15. What's clear though, is that both Avery and Connor find it very hard to keep Mike on track. Firstly to get him to let the car go, then to keep him from going too far over budget.
Now, if you are a fan of car restoration shows like Wheeler Dealers you may get a little frustrated with the limited amount of time that you get to see of the actual work being done on the car. In fact, the show has received some criticism over the lack of restoration. What I would say, is that Rust Valley Restorers is more of a madcap reality show which happens to be about some guys needing to restore over 400 vehicles.
However, all in all, Rust Valley Restorers is a whole heap of fun. It seems a lot more honest than some motor shows, like Hyperdrive that is wildly over the top. The end result is an intimate fly on the wall show that brings you into their close knit group. And if you accept it for that, you will enjoy it.