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Desert Car Kings ~Discovery TV


Silverghost
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Well, I thought TopGear USA was the bottom of the barrel...until now.

So we have a guy who is hoarding cars in a fenced area to "someday" get around to restore them. Where have we heard that before? I suppose the good thing is that the desert air is keeping most of them in decent condition. The bad thing is that some of these could find good homes and get back on the road sooner if he'd just market them.

The show just seems like rehashed bits from American Chopper, American Hot Rod, Texas Hardtails and a number of other manufactured reality shows. Won't last long in the current format.

I suppose the thing that bugs me the most is that they are trying to make the owner seem like a country bumpkin when he is OBVIOUSLY a very smart and very successful businessman. He knows the difference between a complete restoration and the quickie respray they pulled off on the first two cars. They should give the viewers the same consideration.

I thought most telling was the 442 Collector who actually came to the auction wouldn't go over the $14,000 bid. Hmm. Makes you wonder about the actual authenticity and condition of that vehicle, eh?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I figured this was not going to 100% correct as far as authenticity and use of terms, but was hoping to give it shot because I would like to see a show where cars are restored to stock condition, instead of another chop 'em up, 20 DVD players in the trunk show. I was even willing to endure a little fake drama which every reality show now requires in order to see STOCK cars.

I only caught the last part of the T-bird episode, and didn't see the 442 one. I saw the episode with the 1962 Ford Galaxie. First, did anyone else notice that while they are talking about the history of the Ford Galaxie and showing pcitures of them, half the pictures they show are of Chevy Malibus? Then they claim that the "Galaxie" name came about because of the space race between the U.S. and Russia. I wasn't around then, but if this is true, this is the first I have ever heard of it.

Next, this car is supposed to be restored to "stock" condition. So they decide the running 292 must be ripped out and replaced with a 390. Ok I suppose I can stomach that since the 390 was an optional engine. However, what they end up replacing it with is a 351 M out of a wrecked 1975 Ranchero. They claim this is a much better engine than the 390. I have never owned a 390, but have my doubts about this. They also claimed the 351 has been bored out to 400 cid. Well which is it? A 351 or 400? Plus the first year for a 351 is 1970, and this is out of a 1975. A bit off, don't you think? Then the bench seats are tossed and replaced with bucket seats from a 1964 Galaxie. They claim this is ok because bucket seats were an option in 1962. I'm not positive, but I would bet 1962 and 1964 bucket seats probably were not identical. And it is repainted resale red and has Cragar wheels on it. I'm willing to grant some leeway, but this does not seem like a stock restoration to me.

Plus several times I found myself hollering "WHAT?!" at assorted comments throughout the show. Most memorable being when they are showing a glow in the dark orange 1956 Chevy, with unoriginal drivetrain (can't remember what it was but supposed to be 600 horsepower), and custom interior, and they say, "It is nice to see these cars kept original" WHAT?! Apparently it had the hood ornament and most of its stainless trim, so this is considered original stock condition. Again, WHAT?!

I can do without the fake drama, but the guy that they end up firing because he is unreliable, was late for work and calling in because he was sick and throwing up. Don't know how good or bad he was, but my thought was I don't go into work if I am sick and throwing up either. Guess I'd be fired there too.

I was hoping if I put up with a little fake drama and misused terms, I might get to see a show on stock restorations. Even if they are done quick and not to our standards, I thought this would be better than yet another show telling you to rod and customize nice original cars because no one wants them in that boring condition. But it seems like the drama is going to take over most of the show soon, and rodding and customizing does not seem to be too far away.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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I heard about the episode with the 62 galaxie and did not see it but could not figure out with all the cars they had a 390 could not have been found,the 64 seats are very similar to the 62 seats so no big deal there but a 351-M being better then a 390 is totaly wrong and they must be smoking something. You can take a 351-M to 400 but will need 400 parts so it would be easier to just find a 400 and a 390 could be punched out to 400 much easier,I only seen one show with the thunderbird and it seemed like a joke.

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Caught the one with the 442s which I own one of. All I can say is the word restoration is WAY, WAY over used. I could not use that word on a car I did with a door gap so large you could see it on camera as the car drove by.

I did get a kick out of the rattle snakes taking up residence.

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I heard about the episode with the 62 galaxie and did not see it but could not figure out with all the cars they had a 390 could not have been found,the 64 seats are very similar to the 62 seats so no big deal there but a 351-M being better then a 390 is totaly wrong and they must be smoking something. You can take a 351-M to 400 but will need 400 parts so it would be easier to just find a 400 and a 390 could be punched out to 400 much easier,I only seen one show with the thunderbird and it seemed like a joke.

Not that it matters for a discussion of that "joke" of a show, but 390's are not necessarily a better engine than a 351-CM and 400s were dogs in spite of having 49 more cubes than a 351-CM. We all know that FE and MEL block engines had a terrible issues with upper engine oiling from the git-go and there are no similar issues with 351-CM or 400 engines.

What tears me up is seeing ads that claim a car has 427 or 428 in it and goes on to explain it is an upgraded/modified 390. Yeah, same basic block design, but that is where the similarity began and ended. Boring out a 390 to get to 427 or 428 cubes does not quite get the job done!

Jim

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I caught the Galaxie episode and don't know if I can stomach another. This may be the worst "reality" show so far.

I too just about fell out of my chair when they called that custom Chevy "stock".

Their attempts at policing the yard were not only laughable, but dangerous.

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I have been watching the show and this Galaxie effort insulted my intelligence--I think this is the last episode for me.

Like everyone here I was annoyed by the bucket seats (yes, 62 and 64 are different) and the use of the "superior" 400M. Unless something has changed dramatically in the Ford world a 400M was considered a 1970s 2bbl smog motor and not suitable to use as an upgrade on any earlier model. The "original" 1956 Chevy they were so impressed with was even more annoying, but did anyone else see the most insulting thing of all.......

......that when the factory photos were shown on two occasions to show the history of the Galaxie about half the photos were of 1964-65 Chevelles. Yup, whoever puts the show together knows so little about the cars that they thought a 1962 Galaxie and a 1964 Chevelle were the same car. Nice. I had little respect for the show before, but this is it for me. Todd C

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but did anyone else see the most insulting thing of all.......

......that when the factory photos were shown on two occasions to show the history of the Galaxie about half the photos were of 1964-65 Chevelles. Yup, whoever puts the show together knows so little about the cars that they thought a 1962 Galaxie and a 1964 Chevelle were the same car. Nice. I had little respect for the show before, but this is it for me. Todd C

Yep, I already mentioned that in my post. If they can't tell the difference between a Chevelle/Malibu (Malibu script was blatantly obvious on several of the of the pics) and a Galaxie, I don't see how anything they say about cars can be taken seriously. Especially that "original" 1956 Chevy.

I have had 2 400's in my Continentals, and don't think they deserve the bad rep they get. IMO the 460 does nothing but use more gas. But really, no 390 in that whole yard?

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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SIlverGhost wrote:

Basically all they do is get the car barely running & do a cheap quickie slap-dash paint job and some minor interior repairs~~~

One quarter panel is painted so bad it does not cover the old paint & primer.

The new paint is in fact sprayed over the car's old finish !

This they call a "Totally Restored " T-bird.

The Son said~~~ After all it's really the new paint & a nice interior that sells a "Restored Car" ! ! !

To ME this is just like putting lipstick on a farm pig~~~

In the end it is still a PIG !

(I have to thank Gov. Sarah Palin for that one !)

Maybe it is reality. We use to call them Facto-Bake--Rayco Restorations.

Cheap paint and seat covers sold lots of cars after 1979 when antique cars and older used cars became "Investment Vehicles" and "Collector cars".

Listen to people who watch the Barrett-Jackson Auctions and plan this kind of "Restoration" on junkers to make money. Nothing new here.

Look around, I bet ther are more 32 Fords around today than Henry Ford made

if you count the fiberglass ones. Porsche Speedsters too! How about Super Sport Chevies?, SS badges are cheap. Remember all the homemade Mustang Convertibles?

P. T. Barnum was right!

With all this in mind, if a friend asks for help in selecting a car to love, HELP him.

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SIlverGhost wrote:

The Son said~~~ After all it's really the new paint & a nice interior that sells a "Restored Car" ! ! !

Maybe it is reality. We use to call them Facto-Bake--Rayco Restorations.

Cheap paint and seat covers sold lots of cars after 1979 when antique cars and older used cars became "Investment Vehicles" and "Collector cars".

Listen to people who watch the Barrett-Jackson Auctions and plan this kind of "Restoration" on junkers to make money. Nothing new here.

Very true. In several car clubs which I have belonged to, club members will spend a fortune on paint and chrome. Then these cars hardly ever leave the garage. Why? Because the owners claim that these old cars simply aren't reliable for any kind of trips. If they spent the kind of money and time on mechanicals that they did making it look shiny and pretty, they would find out that most old cars are quite reliable. My car does not have perfect paint, but has no problem on a 500 mile trip. So it makes perfect sense to spend the time and money on paint and interior, things people can see, to flip the cars. So I don't have a problem with that.

It is the incorrect info and supposed "stock restorations" with unoriginal engines, seats, paint colors, wheels, etc. that bother me. People should be able to learn something from these shows if you can put up with the fake drama. All anyone is going to learn from this is a lot of incorrect info.

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How about we all write letters to Discovery TV to explain the image they are giving the public of who we are and how things are done. How about our club and others sending a letter to explain our values and how we do things??

I only got about five minutes into the Ford project before I turned it off. I tuned into MY Classic Car yesterday only to find it dedicated to Rods and Customs so that lasted for five minutes as well. It wouldn't hurt for the club or clubs to write to Dennis Gage too. How many members in this club alone?? The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Take the complaints to where it does the most good. A whole bunch of us plus the clubs we belong to have a better chance making the message clear.

Don

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How about we all write letters to Discovery TV to explain the image they are giving the public of who we are and how things are done. How about our club and others sending a letter to explain our values and how we do things??

I only got about five minutes into the Ford project before I turned it off. I tuned into MY Classic Car yesterday only to find it dedicated to Rods and Customs so that lasted for five minutes as well. It wouldn't hurt for the club or clubs to write to Dennis Gage too. How many members in this club alone?? The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Take the complaints to where it does the most good. A whole bunch of us plus the clubs we belong to have a better chance making the message clear.

Don

Such an idea becomes far more effective if the advertisers get copies of the "complaints." Far more effective than just dealing with the network or show producers, who don't give a flip about anything but selling it to the advertisers. One thing is pretty much for certain, neither the show producers, the network, or the advertisers know diddly about automobile restorations.

Jim

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This "show" is about as bad as it gets! Poorly done at best. on a 1-10 scale it rates a 0.

Dennis Gage's show is just a 30 min commercial for whatever shiney stuff they can put on a table, spattered with some awkward same old questions/coments while he's driving a cool car. I haven't watched it for quite some time. When it's a thinly disguised commercial only broken up by yet more commercials it should be on the shopping network instead.

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Haven't seen it. I'll have to ty to find it. If it's about old cars I'll watch it if only to add to my aggravation level. I even recorded the B-J auction so I can fast-forward through it and look at the few antiques and true Classics they show.

Don

Well, now I've watched a couple of episodes and I'll have to modify my initial statement. There are a few shows I won't watch even if they feature old cars! It definitely adds to my aggravation level.

I guess this one can go on the list with "My Classic Car" and "Car Crazy" which now cover mostly street rods and rice burners. The one good thing I can say about "Desert Classics" is the buyers are smart enough to recognize a piece of junk when they see it. The auction prices are in line with what the hastily "restored" cars should bring. So far the guys haven't made a profit on anything as far as I can tell. If you have your own huge parts yard and in-house staff of mechanics and still can't make any money you should try a new field.

Don

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Sometimes I just wonder how some guys ever stayed in business in the first place.

The son isn't exactly a great business man or manager.

The staged acting on this show is so anoying as well.

"let's do this man"

"Yeah, let's do this man"

"Man, let's do this"

All in one conversation....

UGH!

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OK, so the latest episode was a LITTLE bit less annoying. They rescued a 64 Barracuda from a lady's back yard to fix and flip. This time they at least kept the original motor but added the optional stripe package when they repainted the car.

The episode's manufactured drama came when the brand new shop manager inexplicably took great pains to remove the costly back window, only to smash it to bits when a bumper was set ON EDGE, only to fall upon the glass. The story followed the guy as he searched for a replacement, which he found at another yard. More manufactured drama there as the guy would not sell just the back glass..only the entire car. That guy said if he couldn't sell the car he was just going to throw that Barracuda into the crusher. RIIIGHT....He won't take $350 for just the glass before smashing the car go bits.

I think they made $125 profit on the car at auction.

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The episode's manufactured drama came when the brand new shop manager inexplicably took great pains to remove the costly back window, only to smash it to bits when a bumper was set ON EDGE, only to fall upon the glass.

Not only on edge, but leaned it up against a round post!

The show is really painful to watch.

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