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    • I just finished watching the first eight episodes of “Rust Valley Restorers” on Netflix. It's not a spoiler to tell you that Mike Hall is operating this business back into the junk pile, even though I was rooting for him to succeed every turn of the wrench. The show originally aired on the History channel in Canada, and made its way to Netflix in August.

    • First of all, the show is crazy-good. Mike has collected about 400 classic cars throughout his life and now, at age 62, he's trying to make a go of a restoration company. His son, Connor, is helping him but the two butt heads more often than not.

      Totally unpredictable master mechanic Avery Shoaf is the endeavor’s wild card, and, wow, did he have a blast slicing a Studebaker Hawk in half. He can make anything run and his knowledge-base is incredible. He’s the type of person you desperately want because of his superior talent, but working with him is your worst nightmare.

    • One of my favorite restorations was done on a 1970 Dodge Swinger they painted a hot pink and outfitted with a 318 4-barrel auto tranny. And the 5-speed manual patina-finish 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 was cool, with that carbureted 302 engine from a 1980s fox body. There is nothing like seeing before-and-after shots of a disintegrating body and a full-glory transformation. The only downside is that they don't come cheap.

      Anyway, here is what I think Rust Bros Restorations needs to succeed:

      A comprehensive inventory database of all the parts that are scattered throughout the property, stuffed in trailers and outbuildings and laying in the dirt or under the snow. They spend more time searching for stuff than working and it's so aggravating. Everything is in Mike's memory, which is impressive considering all the crap he’s bought over the years, but this is a key reason why they can’t make money.

      A better cost accounting program to calculate their P&L on each car. They have no idea what they are spending or who is buying what. Their ordering process is a total mess and they continue to max out their limited credit cards.

      The yard is a disaster! They love to slide around in the mud and use five tow trucks to pull out the first one that got stuck, which makes for entertaining TV, but this is so frustrating to watch. Gravel can't be that expensive! Get that yard and those cars in order!

      What makes the show so entertaining is that things go wrong. Mike is emotionally attached to every car and it’s hard for him to let anything go. This is why he'll either continue to pour money into the operation or get smart and shape things up. Which is why we need season two (and rumors say it’s going to air in December).

    • You'll be hooked, @Chris. The show is a lot of fun to watch. In 1976, I had a 1968 Dodge Challenger (third gear was stripped so I had to shift from 2nd to 4th).

      Yesterday, I looked at a Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, which comes with an extra set of racing slicks (as it should for 90 grand) if you want to power down the track. Apparently, it can generate 1,000 HP with some type of modification but the stock 797 sounds pretty good to me. Love it, want it.