Old habits reappear, fighting the fear of fear, growing conspiracy, Myself is after me." -Metallica, "The Frayed Ends Of Sanity"

A Trip to Rick’s Restorations (American Restoration)

If you’ve seen the reality show Pawn Stars more than once or twice, you’ve seen the handiwork of Rick Dale. Rick, the owner of Rick’s Restorations, is the guy that turns the Pawn Stars’ junk into beautiful pieces of work. In fact, Rick and his crew are so good at what they do that his restoration business was spun off into its own television show, American Restoration.

Rick’s Restorations is open to the public. Inside the building is a lobby full of restored items on display (and for sale) and a gift shop. There’s also a free behind the scenes tour that takes about 10 minutes to walk through. No photography is allowed during the tour.

Here’s a picture of the lobby. Those gas pump globes on the wall were $375 each. The blue Pepsi machine on the left hand side was $7,500. In the middle of the room stood several restored gas pumps and Coke machines, most of which have been featured on the show as well.

The Rick’s Restorations Tour takes you into the working area of Rick and his crew. Unfortunately we went on Saturday, so Rick and his crew were elsewhere, off enjoying their weekend. The tour takes you essentially into a single hallway with five or six large windows, each of which looks into a different room. There’s a machine shop, there’s a work room, there’s a disassembly room, there’s a … I don’t know man, there were four or five rooms and they all had workbenches and tools in them.

As with Pawn Stars, there are entire message areas and websites dedicate to how fake reality shows such as American Restoration are. Reality shows most definitely contain set ups, scripts and actors, there’s no denying that — there’s also no denying that Rick and his crew are a bunch of talented guys who do some really, really nice restorations. If you’re a fan of Pawn Stars, American Restoration, or simply appreciate restored classics, definitely check out Rick’s Restorations while in Vegas.

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4 comments to A Trip to Rick’s Restorations (American Restoration)

  • Is that a Night Ranger poster behind the gas pump?

  • aardvark

    Do they use the lead-based paint of the era when they do the restos? Wondered if it was mentioned when you took the tour.

  • Rob

    @Doug: If you close your eyes, and you dream about it … (Actually no, it’s an American Restoration poster.)

    @Aardvark: Our tour guide told us that he had only been working there for two months. He didn’t mention the paint, and might not have known.

  • shinden58

    I am sorry I don’t care for the restorations that Rick does. Case in point, he and his team worked on a 1880 penny farthing bicycle or high wheel as some people call them. What started off a mostly original bicycle was canabilized beyond belief. They cut out the old spokes, most of which were still serviceable and installed all new spokes. The new spokes were installed backwards compromising the wheel integrity. Rick’s Restorations contacted the experts that do nothing but high wheel restorations and were told what needed to be done and how to do it. Instead Rick did what he wanted and butchered a once beautiful and restoreable bicycle. At the end of the day the value of the bike was reduced not increased by the work Rick did.