Fans of the History Channel will fondly remember Rick Dale as the founder of Rick’s Restorations. Surrounded by his family and a team of incredibly skilled workers, Rick and his team were basically the OGs of restoration television shows. Fans tuned in from 2010 to 2016 to see what glorious junk the gang turned into magical treasure, but one day, they were just…gone!
So, what happened? Where are Rick Dale and company today?
The Birth of American Restoration
Before there was American Restoration, there was Pawn Stars. First airing in 2009, Pawn Stars was a reality television series on the History Channel that followed Rick Harrison, his son, and his father, as they operated a pawn shop in Las Vegas, Nevada. While this seemed on the surface to be a weird premise for a TV series, it kicked off a new wave of American fascination with vintage items.
In order to get more insight into the cool old stuff that came into the pawn shop during those early seasons, Rick Harrison would often consult with his equally vintage-minded friends in the Las Vegas area. This included Danny Koker, “The Count” of Count’s Kustoms, and Rick Dale of Rick’s Restorations. Pretty soon, Koker had his own spin-off in Counting Cars, and Rick Dale became the star of American Restoration.
There were plenty of crossover episodes early on. Harrison would drag some junk to Dale for restoration. Harrison’s son Corey would call on The Count to help make the most out of some vehicle he had purchased without his dad’s permission. At one point, the crew from American Pickers even got pulled into the fold for a super-duper History Channel Vintage Items Extravaganza.
So, Who Is Rick Dale?
Rick Dale never seemed like an up-and-coming television personality, and by all accounts, he never expected to be one. He started Rick’s Restorations as a family business. His wife Kelly Dale took care of business and accounting affairs. Rick’s brother Ron shined as a picker, traveling around Nevada to score some pretty impressive junk that could be flipped and sold. Rick’s stepson Brettly Otterman was possibly more skilled as a picker than a restorer, but he definitely had a knack at the blasting techniques used to remove old paint and rust.
All in all, the crew of Rick’s Restorations was pretty laid back and congenial. Most of the drama on the reality television show centered around the relationship between Rick and his teenage son Tyler. By all claims, Tyler Dale had been helping his father in the restoration company since he was two years old, and he certainly demonstrated incredible talent as a restorer. However, Tyler had a more relaxed attitude about work than his father, leaving Rick worried about his ability to take over the restoration shop when Rick retired.
What Happened to American Restoration?
This is a great question, because it seems like no one really knows the true and correct answer.
American Restoration was — and still is — a tremendously popular reality tv show. From restoring ancient gas pumps and soda machines for collectors to bringing a treasured family heirloom back to life, Rick Dale and his crew brought smiles to hundreds of faces across six seasons. Celebrities, including musicians like Billy Joel, Sammy Hagar, and Jason Mraz, were part of the Rick’s Restorations family, heralding Rick’s uncanny skills.
So, it came as quite the shock when the crew was fired by the History Channel, and the seventh season of American Restoration no longer focused on Rick’s Restorations, but five different shops. The show ended shortly after.
What Is the Dale Family Doing Today?
Rick Dale never intended to become a TV star, so by all accounts, his off-screen life is pretty happily mundane. He still consults and writes about vintage items, along with dabbling as a metal artist.
According to social media, his wife Kelly is working in real estate, while Brettly and Tyler have their own businesses. Tyler continues to work as a restorer, and Brettly is skillfully operating the blaster, just like the old days.
Recent estimates indicate that Rick Dale has a net worth of approximately $2.5 million. With his incredible skills as a restorer and metal artist, it’s unlikely that he’s going to rest on his laurels for too long. Rick’s Restorations may be a thing of the past, but the Dale family legacy lives on in our memories…and in re-runs.
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This post was originally published on April 2, 2021.