High River auto body shop owners featured in Discovery Channel reality series

Author: Kevin Fleming (CTV News Calgary)

In one episode, the Wreckless Restorations crew gets into a build-off competition with Vancouver-based car hunter Robin Toor and his buddy Mullet to see who can create the best custom vehicle from old Divco milk trucks. They both end up with incredibly unique yet utterly different builds.

At the Midnight Oil restoration shop in High River, Alberta, mechanic Peter Nickerson, paint and body expert Jason Graff and upholsterer Audrey Steele seek out prairie pickups to restore and sell for a profit. “My job is to make vehicles that run and are safe, fast and fun, while Jason and Audrey make them pretty,” Peter says.

When they buy a flood-damaged classic square body Chevy that’s too cheap to pass up, it proves to be a classic rust bucket that needs more time and money spent on it than it’s worth.

“I think it’s a show where people can see what is really going on,” says Glen Braid, a Vancouver area jeweller and former drag racer who believes the customs created at Wreckless Restorations are art. “We’re actually really doing this. We’re not scripted. We’re going out. We’re finding them. We’re digging deep for our customers, and you can see what we love to do.”

Wreckless Restorations head builder Bill Desrosiers says he can picture in his mind how old, abandoned vehicles can be turned into showpieces. “A lot of times, I do things that people wouldn’t normally do to make them look cool and I have very specific ideas on what I want to do. I’ve been very lucky people have liked the results.”

Professional car hunter Robin Toor loved customizing a 1950’s era Divco milk truck. But he is most proud of the Chevy El Camino that he and Mullet literally dragged out of the bush. The pair turned it into an environmentally friendly retro electro with an electric motor powered by batteries under the rear deck. The car is built as a low rider with hydraulic suspension system that makes the car capable of waist high hops.