Fans of Rust Valley Restorers will enjoy more cool car builds, more laughs, more heartwarming stories and more Avery Shoaf in the upcoming fourth season of the Shuswap-based reality TV show.
With one more day of filming to go before the Feb. 24 premier of the first of 10 new episodes on The HISTORY Channel, Rust Valley’s Mike Hall and Avery Shoaf took time to chat with the Observer about the show, share some laughs and address some questions.
“It’s going to be the same but it’s going to be a little bit different,” said Shoaf of Season 4. “We’ve got a few more outdoorsy things that we’ve done and a little more adventurous things. I think the viewers are going to be quite happy with the goings on of what we’re doing. Along with the normal restoring of cars and stuff.”
Hall was equally enthusiastic.
“I personally think it was some of the best episodes we’ve ever done,” said Hall. “We did some super cool builds, we’ve got some great storylines.”
One of those storylines revolves around last summer’s auction of Hall’s beloved collection of rusty cars amassed over 40 years. Hall described the experience as bittersweet but necessary.
“If you haven’t done something with something in 40 years, are you going to get to it?” said Mike who, after selling the land the cars were on, found himself with six months to downsize the collection.
“The only way to get rid of them was an auction… I was supposed to keep 10. I can’t tell you how many I kept but it’s way more than 10,” said Mike, prompting a laugh from Shoaf.
“Ten to the what? Ten to the fourth power, Mike?” howled Shoaf.
Though Hall deliberately avoids social media (he lets his son Connor handle that), questions and comments left online by fans have come up in discussion between he and Shoaf. One has to do with the popularity of the show among people who say they aren’t into cars.
“I can touch on that a little bit because I asked the same question,” said Shoaf. “We have a very high woman viewership for our show and it’s not because of our gazelle-like physiques… I think both me and Mike bring a little bit of humour to it, where it’s not just so uptight about getting things done. And there’s a little bit of a personal edge to it… a little bit of our lives and a little bit of the trials and tribulations that we go through. And then just our typical, conventional way we actually truly get along on the show and in real life.”
“The demographic that watches our show is pretty unreal,” added Hall. “We get 80-year-old grandmothers that watch the show and four-year-old kids. We get pictures at Halloween of kids dressing up as me and Avery…
“But the biggest complement I get is, ‘Mike, you’re exactly as you are on the show.’ I mean, to me, reality TV is I try to be as real as I can, and what you see on TV is the same as what you see if you come up in my shop. I’m not an actor. They don’t pay me to act. They pay me to be me and I think people recognize that and they can relate to it.”
Hall and Shoaf have also encountered criticism from “hardcore car builder.”
“We’re there to build the average car for the average person,” said Shoaf. “They’re kind of like, ‘Why do you guys have a car show… we build premium cars and we don’t have a car show?’ You’ve got to explain to them, listen guys, it’s not all about the cars, it’s about the cars and our personalities put together.”
Another familiar comment, or rumour, has to do with Shoaf leaving the show.
“Avery is still on the show; he’s in every episode,” said Hall. “Even though he’s not working in my shop, we’re still working together, we’re still on the builds, it was another avenue for the show.”
”My problem was I wasn’t getting any of my own stuff done…,” said Shoaf, who has his own gig, Wild Man Restoration, as well as a channel on Youtube.
“Mike was good, he had enough people there — he didn’t need my help anymore, and I wanted to get some of my 0wn builds done, some of my own stuff,” said Avery, adding he and Mike are “probably together even more” in season 4.
One of the numerous experiences Shoaf and Hall shared over the past year was judging the 2021 Dancing with the Shuswap Stars – an honour they earned after competing in the event, a fundraiser for Shuswap Hospice, in 2019.
“I tell you what, it was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, learning how to dance,” laughed Shoaf. “That and following directions.”
“We could relate to what these people had gone through to get to where they were…,” said Hall. “When you see those people out there and they’re giving it their all, you recognize how much time and effort they put in. Because dancing, it’s not easy. Ask us.”
Neither Hall nor Shoaf could say if a fifth season of Rust Valley Restorers is in the cards, but they didn’t dismiss the possibility.
“We hear rumblings but we don’t know if we’re doing this again or if this is the last waltz, so to speak, but we’ll find out pretty quick,” said Hall.
“If the people still enjoy watching us and our antics, then we’ll continue to be on television,” said Shoaf. “If they don’t like us anymore, we’ll be out doing something else.”
In addition to catching season 4 on HISTORY, Rust Valley Restorers can also be watched on STACKTV on Amazon Prime, and seasons 1-3 can also be viewed on Netflix Canada.
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