"American Restoration" is back with new episodes, and they're packed with more drama and celebs than ever before, promises the show's star, Rick Dale. Of course, the heart of the show is still the meticulous work Dale and his team do at his Las Vegas-based shop, Rick's Restorations.
The show began as a spin-off of "Pawn Stars," after Dale proved to be one of the most popular reoccurring experts popping in and out of the Silver and Gold Pawn Shop. Now Dale is a bona fide TV star in his own right, as "American Restoration" continues to attract legions of loyal fans who love watching him breathe life back into weathered antiques and vintage swag.
HuffPost TV caught up with Dale to chat about working with rock star/restauranteur Sammy Hagar, what he's learned from Pawn Star Rick Harrison and why we'll be seeing more family drama this season.
What was it like working with Sammy Hagar?
Awesome. He's actually a fan of the show. It's sort of weird to see somebody that I used to watch and listen to and am a fan of, to be right next to me talking about normal guy stuff. He's such a great person, it was very cool working with him. He's doing [his own] rum, and he wanted to be able to get it out of the dispenser and do something at one of his stores. That's where I came up with this 'rumerator' thing.
It's quite something to look at what you started with and what the finished product is. What was the creative process like?
As we were going, I was getting different ideas and I'd say whoa, stop right there, let's not do that, let's do this. It kept building. It's not just me, I have my guys. Somebody will come up with a crazy idea, and they've put just that little bit into it and it would make it look so much better. I think Sammy Hagar's was the first [project] where I could just do whatever I want, I could just go nuts.
He mentioned he wanted to order more, has he?
Yeah, he has!
What can expect to see in upcoming episodes?
The episodes have sort of changed a bit. You're going to start to see a whole bunch more family stories involved. Yes, there's the projects, you'll still see the beginning and the end and a little bit of the process. You're going to see some stuff where [wife] Kelly and myself are trying to deal with inner family kind of issues. You'll see funny things, a little comedy. We're also starting to do these quizzes. I'm going to give you tips on how to restore your own stuff at home.
Are there any other celebrities who pop up this season?
Oh yeah. I can't say, but there are some big ones. It's funny, some of these guys actually like what I do, not the show but the work, and they're coming out of the woodwork for us to build stuff for them.
What are some of the most challenging projects you tackle in the upcoming episodes?
There's a piece that was in the 1964 World's Fair called an Escorter. They took dignitaries around the World's Fair, and they put four people in the front and a guy would be driving in the back. They built 150 of these little cars to show people the World's Fair. Come 1965, they threw them all away. They're gone. Big Mike came in and he wants me to restore one so it works. It was a huge challenge because you can't find parts, and it worked on hydraulics instead of gears. It was very, very hard.
What kind of conflicts can we expect to see with your family?
Conflicts? [Laughs] I'm always trying different things, I try to improve the business in ways, and Kelly or my kids will disagree with me, or everybody will disagree. There's one idea I had that kind of backfired, and they all laughed at me. [Laughs] The kids are learning. At the end of the season you see everyone evolve. And that, to me, is more important than drama. There's going to be drama because it's family and it's a business and we're all working together.
How has your life changed since the show has become so popular?
Huge. Business is tenfold. It's so much bigger. I can't go anywhere without being recognized and being asked questions, which is good. I think one of the good things is that people are actually learning from the show and appreciate the show. So when somebody comes up to me, they're not throwing rocks at me, they actually want to talk to me. [Laughs] I enjoy that. I'm humbled over the whole entire deal, because three or four years ago I probably would have been talking to a creditor rather than you.
What's the day-to-day life like at the shop now?
The day starts at about 6 a.m. At 6:30 the production crew rolls in. There are about 50 people at the shop all at once. I'm trying to run a business at the same time as the TV show. And it's every single day. We try to do our job as fast as we can while still trying to do the best job possible. We still have other jobs going on for other customers, not just the ones on the TV show. Then around 3 p.m. I'll do interviews for the show and stuff like that, then at about 5, Kelly and I get together to talk about the day, what went on with the business, we'll do some signings and pictures. We do tours of the shop. [Laughs] It's just non-stop!
Will we see any of the guys from "Pawn Stars" popping in?
Yes. There will be a couple of crossovers. The Pawn Stars and I get together. We're back and forth, they're in with me, I'm in with them. I'm in with the "Counting Cars" guys, I'm in with "[American] Pickers." The guys in Vegas are sort of close. We're right across the street from each other, so we're always talking.
Were you all in touch before the show?
No. All of this happened probably in about four and a half years. We all started out [with TV] at the same time, aside from "Counting Cars." We were brought together, and each guy's show got popular at different times. We help and learn from each other, every aspect to do with the business. The tours that I do at the shop, I learned that from Rick [of "Pawn Stars"]. He had hundreds of people at his shop, and you couldn't put them anywhere. So we built something so that you could actually run people through the middle of it and come out the end and have an experience.
"American Restoration" airs on History Television at 8 p.m. EST/ PST.