• Tyler Dale is a reality TV personality in the antiques trade, known for being Rick Dale's son on "American Restoration"
• "American Restoration" aired on the History Channel from 2010-2016
• The main cast members of "American Restoration" were Rick, Ron and Tyler, Kevin Lowery, Brettly Otterman, Ted Hague, Kyle Astorga, Kelly Dale, Chris, Niko, Dave and Leonard
• Season seven featured new cast members Bodie Stroud, Dale Walksler, Andy Bowman Jr., Steve Hale, and Bob Halliday
• Rick Dale is now focusing on a custom embroidery and laser-cut store based in Las Vegas
Who is Tyler Dale?
Born in September 1993, Tyler Dale is known for being a reality TV personality who works in the antiques trade. Fans of “American Restoration” are familiar with Tyler, who was a regular on the show, for being Rick Dale’s son, and for sharing a lot of on-screen banter with his famous father. The Nevada native grew up in a single-parent household following the divorce of his parents, and has two step-siblings named Ally and Brettly.
In 2012, Tyler broke up with his long-term girlfriend Jennifer Domingo and was single for a few years until meeting his current flame, Hailee Erin. Over the years there’s been much online speculation that Tyler is gay, but no credible media outlets have been able to pinpoint the source of the rumors. Although the TV star isn’t prone to sharing his private life on social media, Hailee has uploaded a few cute couple photos over the years, including romantic selfies in matching pajamas.
Following the cancellation of “American Restoration”, Tyler set up his own business named Clean Works Blasting, and the Las Vegas-based establishment seems to be doing well, although Tyler hasn’t posted any updates since December 2021. Originally, Rick wanted his son to inherit the family business, which is named Rick’s Restorations, but for now Tyler is doing his own thing, and apparently working at a more relaxed pace.
What is “American Restoration”?
Millions of viewers fondly remember “American Restoration”, which aired on the History channel from October 2010 to April 2016. With almost 140 episodes under its belt, AR showed the daily comings and goings at Rick’s Restorations until season 7, when the show was revamped and new cast members and locations were added.
Comparisons between AR and “Pawn Stars” are inevitable, given that the first show was a spin-off from the second. Dale also made frequent appearances in “Pawn Stars”, being an expert in antiques restoration. Some of the objects he successfully restored include motorcycles, jukeboxes, gas pumps, and vending machines. Likewise, cast members of “Pawn Stars”, “Counting Cars”, and “American Pickers” were often seen on AR.
With over three decades in the antiques restoration trade, Rick was undoubtedly the show’s protagonist. He and his staff would often work on up to 12 projects at a time, sometimes hiring freelance employees, and consulting experts when necessary. Apart from restoring items that customers brought to the store, Rick purchased toy trains and other objects from pickers.
Money issues and tension between employees – particularly between Rick and his younger brother Ron – added some much-needed drama to AR, although as is often the case with reality shows, viewers were doubtful of the show’s authenticity at times.
From seasons one to six, AR was very much a family affair. The main cast members were Rick, Ron and Tyler, Kevin Lowery, Brettly Otterman, Ted Hague, Kyle Astorga and Kelly Dale, and secondary cast members were Chris, Niko, Dave and Leonard.
Tyler, who had been working in the family business since the tender age of two, was sometimes criticized by his father for being lazy. Despite Rick’s concerns, he promoted his son to Shop Foreman – a decision that didn’t go down too well with other employees, and even led to accusations of nepotism. One of Tyler’s most distinctive features was his hair, which was dyed blonde on one side.
Rick’s brother Ron worked as a picker – according to Rick, his younger brother was the hardest employee to manage, perhaps due to Ron’s laid-back approach to things. In a memorable episode, Ron took his nephew Tyler out for lunch while they were meant to be working. The good relationship between Ron and Tyler particularly worried Rick, who didn’t want his brother’s bad habits rubbing off on his son. Like his older sibling, Ron made his on-screen debut in an episode of “Pawn Stars”.
Kevin Lowery, described by Rick as “the grumpiest bastard I’ve ever met”, started off by doing the woodworking and polishing at the store but was eventually given more responsibilities. Despite his frequent bad moods, Kevin was an impeccable employee during his time at Rick’s Restorations, and helped balance out the team with his seriousness. As Kevin isn’t active on social media, it’s unclear what he’s up to these days.
Brettly Otterman is Rick’s stepson, and was widely considered the clown of the store. In fact, he was even described as the “low man on the totem pole” by Rick – ouch! Brettly was often given the menial tasks which included disposing of unwanted items, or sandblasting paint and old rust from others. However, after a few seasons Brettly came into his own, and proved himself to be a good picker and auctioneer.
Ted Hague worked as a lettering artist with decades of experience in hand-painting items, while Kyle Astorga applied the finishing touches to articles and reassembled projects which had been disassembled. Kyle and Kevin were good friends, and would go to work together every day.
Rick’s second wife Kelly, Brettly’s mother and Tyler’s stepmother, was in charge of budget maintenance, payroll, customer relations, and ordering parts. In a heartwarming episode of season three, Rick popped the question, and she immediately accepted his marriage proposal. The savvy businesswoman ensured that the ship ran smoothly, despite the occasional hiccup.
— Netflix (@netflix) February 17, 2015
Despite being secondary cast members, Chris, Niko, Dave and Leonard made a good impression on viewers. Chris, who was good at just about everything, would often squabble with Kevin, as their personalities didn’t mesh well. Niko, who was one of the newest employees, worked as a painter, while Dave took over Kevin’s old duties when he was promoted. Last but not least, Leonard worked as a picker.
As mentioned, History’s decision to essentially kick the Dales off their own show and replace them with a whole new cast was very controversial. There were now not one but five protagonists – Bodie Stroud, Dale Walksler, Andy Bowman Jr., Steve Hale, and Bob Halliday. Each of these men owned restoration shops scattered around the country, which probably complicated the filming schedule. Ultimately, the channel decided to cut its losses and cancel AR, but what happened to the cast members?
Bodie Stroud, owner of the California-based custom auto and hot rod shop Bodie Stroud Industries, brought decades of experience to the show. A former winner of SEMA’s prestigious Ford Design Award, some of his celebrity clients include Johnny Knoxville, Johnny Depp and Tim Allen. The TV personality was born in Glendale, California in 1970 and relocated to Sun Valley, where his business is.
Bodie rebuilt his first car at the age of 16 – a 1961 VW 18-window Micro Bus – with help from friends. The ambitious project meant that he and his pals could travel around town, and go to the beach at weekends. After matriculating from Verdugo Hills High School, he attended the Pasadena Art Center College of Design in California for a year.
No stranger to the small screen, Bodie’s 2004 TV debut was in “Monster Garage”, alongside the controversial builder and fabricator Jesse James. His most famous designs to date include his 2010 Bodie Stroud Mustang, a vintage Lamborghini he restored for the comedian Adam Carolla, and a 1960 FORD Starliner named ‘The Scarliner’. It didn’t hurt that Jay Leno noticed Bodie’s work, and featured it in a documentary and podcast, which helped Bodie land even more celebrity clients.
Dale Walksler, who founded and curated the Wheels Through Time Museum, has a much sadder story. Following a years-long battle with cancer, he passed away at home in February 2021, surrounded by friends and loved ones. Praised for being a man of “vision, zeal, intensity, imagination, and generosity”, Dale’s death shook his thousands of fans – and the motorcycle community – to the core.
After building his first motorcycle at the age of 15, Dale fell in love with the history of American motorcycles. Seven years later, he would establish a Harley Davidson franchise in his native Illinois, and become a successful dealer who dedicated decades of his life to doing what he loved most.
The Wheels Through Time Museum was opened in North Carolina in 2002, and eventually morphed into the renowned American institution it is today. Over the years, tens of thousands of visitors flocked to see the museum’s collection of rare and vintage cars, motorcycles and related memorabilia. Following his tragic death, the museum penned a touching obituary and asked fans of Dale to send donations.
Andy Bowman Jr. is the owner of the Detroit-based custom fabrication shop Monkey Business. With a virtually nonexistent online presence, there’s no information on what Andy’s currently doing, or if Monkey Business is still operating. After appearing in six episodes of the last season of AR, he faded into obscurity and has displayed no interest in returning to TV.
Steve Hale, a restoration and hot rod specialist with his own shop in Frankfort, New York State, was born in 1986, and when just 18, won first place at a car show with a restored 1960 Jaguar. Two years later, he opened his first shop in Clinton, New York, before relocating to Marcy. In 2009, he displayed five vehicles at the Syracuse Nationals, and also became a member of SEMA, Specialty Equipment Market Association.
2010 was another exceptionally good year for the native New Yorker, as he won Truckin’ Magazine’s Editor’s Choice and Best In Class awards, displayed his projects in Ford Motor’s F-100 Super National, was featured in various car magazines, and made his first TV appearances. Other prestigious accolades he boasts include the Young American Rodder Award and a spot in SEMA Magazine’s Top 35 People under 35 Years Old list.
Bob Halliday of Bob’s Garage is another elusive figure. Sadly, it’s believed that his shop went out of business in the last few years, as its website is now defunct and he has no online presence apart from an inactive LinkedIn profile.
Born in December 1958, Rick’s love for restoring and repairing items comes from his childhood. At just nine years old, he rebuilt his first bicycle, and would move on to motorcycles and cars in his adolescence. Brought up in a humble household in which there was no money for new toys or trinkets, Rick and his parents had no choice but to make things last as long as possible.
Not much is known about the Dale parents, although it’s said that they were gas station owners. Instead of continuing in his parents’ footsteps, Rick started his own construction business, which was eventually replaced by Rick’s Restorations – and when he was approached by “Pawn Stars” producers to see if he’d be interested in appearing in an episode, the rest was history.
At first, Rick was reluctant to star in his own TV show, due to his perceived limited skillset, given that he only knew how to restore gas pumps, vending machines, and a few other objects – luckily, the producers of “Pawn Stars” convinced him that he’d be a natural in front of the cameras. AR became an almost instant success, with up to 6.5 million viewers, which is why viewers were so shocked when season seven came along, and the crew at Rick’s Restorations had seemingly vanished.
Although financial hardship was the reason Rick turned his restoration hobby into a full-time job, he never placed much importance on being a celebrity or TV personality. He is even quoted as saying: “Having the gratitude is way more awesome than having the money. The people who know the show and watch us love us, and that makes me happy, happy, happy.”
It remains unclear what Rick is doing these days. It was rumored that he had to shut up his beloved shop, and is now focusing on a new business venture: a custom embroidery and laser-cut store, My Best Font Forward Creations, which is based in Las Vegas. With a plethora of unique merchandise on sale, the hardworking Nevadan and his glamorous wife have plenty on their plate, even without a busy filming schedule to adhere to.