The Canadian reality TV series Rust Valley Restorers” is centered around a restoration shop, run by a team of charismatic characters who utilize their skills to repair, sell and trade classic cars. The series was produced by Mayhem Entertainment for History Channel, while internationally it’s labeled as a Netflix original series, and can also be viewed on the platform. The restoration shop is located in South Shuswap in Tappen, British Columbia, Canada, also known as “Rust Valley” due to its unique car community and junkyards. The shop’s team consists of several skilled craftsmen, who use their ‘magic’ to transform the piles of seemingly worthless and run-down cars into dashing, collectible vehicles. It premiered in December 2018 and has run for four seasons. 

How was the show created?

As a collector with 340 cars, in 2016, Michael ‘Mike’ Hall tried to auction his vehicles and sell the property, but to no avail. He raised the price from $1.19 million to $1.45 million in the following year, and the story went viral. In no time, Mike began landing various phone calls and offers for his cars and property, including proposals from producers.

Finally, the producers with Vancouver-based Mayhem Entertainment, Matt Shewchuk and Tyson Hepburn reached, out to Mike saying: ‘Hey: You have all those cars. Let’s do a show on that.’ Matt had already known Mike from the guest appearance he’d made on the Canadian reality/documentary series “Highway Thru Hell,” which Matt directed.

After Mike accepted the offer, a potential pilot video was pitched to Corus Entertainment for the eight-part series with Mike Hall, celebrating the car culture of the Shuswap communities. Corus

picked up the show, and it came to life, soon garnering a loyal fanbase of automotive enthusiasts. The series is now shown in over 190 countries, and talking about the show’s popularity and reach, Mike said: ‘It’s the strangest thing to hear your voice overdubbed in French or Italian.

Who’s the “Rust Valley Restorers” cast?

The series revolves around Mike Hall and his Rust Brothers Company, which he founded in 2018.

Mike is a rock blaster by profession, who began collecting cars when still a teenager, and eventually accumulated over 400 vehicles in his yard near the Trans-Canada Highway. Furthermore, Mike is an entrepreneur and businessman, who used to own his company Chimera Springs Rock Works, which dealt with scaling unstable roadside cliffs, and placing explosives to control their unpredictable erosion.

Two other two prominent cast members are Avery Shoaf and Connor Charman Hall.

Avery is a mechanic and restoration specialist, who is best known for his impressive engineering skills – he’s one of Mike’s dear friends, hence the nickname ‘Cad Buddy of Mike Hall’. Avery previously owned a company specializing in repairing heavy equipment, which went under, however, he opened up a new shop with his son Shafin entitled Wildman Restorations. Connor Charman Hall is Mike’s son, and mainly oversees the operation and engages clients. Even though he’s stated that he previously worked on smaller projects vehicles. such as changing the brakes and starting motors, but hadn’t been involved in serious geeky stuff.

Besides the main cast already mentioned, the show also features other mechanics and car specialists who often appear: J.F. Launier, James West, Russell McKiel, Donny Kleinfelder, Rachel Bohnet, and Sarah Ward. However, while the show’s cast includes various interesting and colorful members, fan’s attention has been mainly drawn to blonde young Cassidy Mceown, who breaks the stereotype that restoring cars is an only male profession.

Why did Mike launch a restoration shop?

Talking to The Globe and Mail, Mike said: ‘I’ll be 62 soon, my dad died at 60. I’ve seen buddies dying or running into health problems, leaving their families with all kinds of stuff to deal with. What are my wife and kids going to do with 400 cars in a field?’

The only solution was to get rid of the cars and receive some money for them; he disclosed: ‘I opened up a restoration shop to try and turn my passion into profit, restoring cars that the average person can afford.” If you check out Mike’s official site for his shop, you will come across several gorgeous pieces which are more than affordable.

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Who is Cassidy Mceown?

Cassidy Mceown is a mechanic, car enthusiast, and reality TV star, who gained popularity through appearing in “Rust Valley Restorers.” She was born under the Zodiac sign Sagittarius on 21 December 2000, in Cherryville, North Carolina, USA. Hailing from a family with a long history of mechanics – both of her parents are mechanics – she developed an interest in cars from a young age, and continued harboring it during her teenage years. Talking of her education, she matriculated from A.L. Fortune Secondary School in British Columbia, then enrolled at Okanagan College to study Auto Collision Repair. Furthermore, she undertook an apprenticeship at Prestige Collision-Vernon, proving her endless passion for cars and tenacity to obtain all the necessary knowledge. In August 2020, she became Red Seal Certified.

Cassidy was introduced in the first season’s second episode at the age of 17.

She was initially brought to the shop to assist on a project, and quickly found a place for herself among the Rust Brothers. Despite her young age, Mike recognized her talents as a mechanic, and her ability to learn quickly, which compelled him to hire her. Additionally, she is definitely a breath of fresh air on the show and generally, as in these types of shows and professions men mainly dominate.

In her introduction video for the series, she revealed that working for Mike had been a dream for her, and he’s her favorite boss so far. Cassidy also shared what the best and worst parts of her job are, she saying: ‘My favorite thing about my job is working on these old cars and turning them into a pile of rust then making them into gorgeous cars that turn everybody’s heads. My least favorite thing is spending three days sanding a car, which looks the same as it did three days before.’

What happened to Cassidy Mceown?

During her debut performance on the show, Mike asked Cassidy to drive to pick up some car parts he wanted, when she revealed that she didn’t have a driving license. Mike then told her that in order to work for the Rust Brother, she needed to have a driving license. In the same episode, Mike and Avery provided driving lessons for Cassidy, and by the end of the episode, she’d manages to pass the driving test; however, despite her affinity for cars, it took Cassidy three tries to do it.

Does Cassidy still work at Rust Brothers?

Even though she’s currently studying at university, Cassidy is still a part of the Rust Brothers. The young prodigy has arranged her time in preparation for the show. Additionally, she’s posted several photos of her work on her Instagram account, showing that she’s still engaged in the automobile field. In October 2021, she shared a post from the Rust Brother’s auctions, which featured Mike’s entire collection of over 500 cars, and which furthermore reassures that Cassidy is still employed at Mike’s company.

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More about Cassidy

Talking of her romantic life, it’s believed that the 21-year-old Cassidy is currently single. She had previously posted photos with a boy named Stan Pinyon, which convinced some of her fans that the two were an item, however, they are no longer together, judging from her current Instagram feed.

Cassidy is a huge dog lover and has a pit bull named Sierra, often featured on her social media.

Cassidy likes to go fishing and spend time in nature when she is not working.

Cassidy describes herself as a tomboy; in one of her Instagram posts, she wrote: ‘Mama tried to raise a lady, but daddy won. Am I a tomboy? If that means did my dad teach me how to throw a ball, change the oil, shoot a gun and bait a hook, then yes I’m a tomboy.’

Since appearing on the show, Cassidy has amassed a loyal fan base, which is best seen in the number of her followers on Instagram – over 100,000.

In her interview with the Penticton Western News, she revealed that she wanted to use her platform to become a role model for women in trades, disclosing: ‘Being a woman in a male-dominated industry has its struggles but it makes you have thick skin and a good sense of humour. I want women to know that we can excel in this industry.’

Was Mike’s shop, Rust Brothers, successful in the beginning?

Interestingly, Mike’s restoration shop and business got off to a bad start. Despite the show’s popularity and growing media fixation on the cast members, it turned out that Mike was actually losing money; he said: ‘My accountant told me I lost a lot of money. I’ve only broken even on two cars.’ The crew previously took on a project of restoring a 1963 Continental convertible, the quoted price of which was $17,000, while the actual cost was $50,000.

Mike continued: ‘Filming a reality show doesn’t make the shop any more productive or efficient –

It takes thirty percent more time, and I make up the difference. But I like to fulfill people’s dreams.’ Obviously, losing money resulted in a lot of tension between Mike, Avery and Connor.

Mike, who jokingly calls himself the biggest Canadian paying actor, said that the critical problem with starting a business and running it is differentiating between quote and estimate; Mike said: ‘That’s when the trouble starts. An estimate is a best guess. A quote is what you will do the restoration for.’

He also revealed that the show put Tappen, British Columbia, on the map, saying: ‘People have been just showing up ever since the show has become available on Netflix. Everybody thinks we live in the US, but visitors from England drove all the way up from Vancouver just to see if we really live where the show takes place.’Is the show staged?

Similar to any other reality show, “Rust Valley Restorers” has attracted curious fans who began wondering how much of the show is real, and what is staged. Even though it’s technically a reality, it’s still a series, which means that most likely some parts are edited – inevitable considering the length of film shot, and time constraints of the actual episodes – or added for specific effect. Furthermore, it is a known fact that the producers tend to cause or initiate drama among cast members, which is always a fun sport to watch. However, Mike adamantly claims that the show is ‘90% real’.

Some fans pointed out that Mike is either an Award-winning actor or his reactions are genuine. For example, during the first season, there was an incident when Avery dropped an automatic transmission, resulting in a broken housing. After witnessing this, Mike went berserk and let out a couple of epithets that needed to be bleeped. Some other occasions which seemed to have convinced fans of the show’s authenticity were Avery’s backing his trailer into a customer’s car and the engine falling off a stand. So the producers either have a wicked sense of humor, or the cast is willing to trash their equipment for some ‘quality’ camera time.

Who is the second girl on the show?

The second girl who’s attracted the attention of fans is Sarah Ward, who serves as parts and project manager at the shop. She joined Mike’s crew in 2018 and has been a recurring member ever since.

Similar to Cassidy, Sarah also comes from a family of gearheads. Her role in the shop is to assist Avery and Mike, and provide the essential parts needed for restoring the car. Sarah is a true car enthusiast and loves spending time in the workshop. As a skilled mechanic, she’s highly knowledgeable about vehicles, especially classic cars, which are her favorite. It’s not known where she worked before appearing on the show, but according to her social media. She’d been drawn to the business from a young age, and had previously worked on various car restoration projects.

Is “Rust Valley Restorers” cancelled?

Fans will be pleased to know that the show has not been canceled, given that the show’s fourth season consisting of eight episodes premiered in February 2022. Considering the show’s success and the interest in the series, it’s believed that the show will be renewed for another season.

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