Hollywood may give credence to actors and music stars, but the History Channel has an eye for something completely different: real-life careers and eccentricity. Rick Dale is one such subject of these shows, initially the sole focus of History Channel’s “American Restoration”. A metal artist and antique restorer, Rick and his family own and run an antique restoration store. Rick worked hard to establish a career for himself, coming from a background rounded more in poverty than wealth. Dale has also been part of a metal rock band, and is a driving enthusiast, with a passion for restoring cars and motorcycles.
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Early Life and Family
Richard James Dale was born on 13 December 1970, Nevada, USA. Rick has a younger brother named Ron who he claims is high maintenance. Dale’s father was a professional racer, which awoke a passion for vehicles in Rick. Being born in Las Vegas, a hotbed for unique items and antiques, it was not surprising that Dale became fascinated with the concept. Coming from a poor family, he received his first bicycle at the age of nine, when his father found one in a dumpster. The restoration, repair and painting of that bike were what really piqued his interest in restoration, and paved the way for his future career.
There is no information available about Dale’s formal education. Having undergone no official training for his jobs in restoration, the process of becoming an expert in the industry was one of trial and error. He soon managed to establish a restoration method that involved meticulously documenting every step of the deconstruction process, to easily identify the task of reconstruction.
Rick did not have the most auspicious beginnings, working as an attendant at the gas station that his parents owned. Eventually he branched out on his own, and became involved in construction work.
Determined to build a lasting career for himself, he attempted to open a company, but despite multiple attempts to get his business off the ground, he was unsuccessful, and was eventually forced to abandon the venture.
Around the same time that his construction business began to fail, Rick noticed a growing trend in the sale of antique Cola machines. By some sheer amount of luck, Rick had one such machine that only needed a little bit of work to meet muster. Utilizing the skills he had gained when restoring cars and bikes with his father, he set about working on the machine. Once he has finished it, he took it down to a flea market, and sold it for triple the amount it had cost him to work on it.
This led to a flurry of other projects, and Rick began traveling far and wide to find items to restore and sell, trying his best to generate business. He worked this way from 1983 for ten years, finding repeat customers and honing his art. After his divorce, however, he took a turn for the worse, neglecting his business and closing the shop. He bought what had been a stable, and converted the corrals into mini-workshops. This, however, did not leave him with enough space to operate his store, and most of his work had to be done from home at that time. With the support of his new partner, Kelly Dale, Rick was able to rebuild his business and eventually opened a storefront.
While Rick was never supposed to be a member of the “Pawn Stars” cast, he caught their attention when one of the cast members noticed an advert he had placed in the paper. They initially approached him to enquire as to whether he wanted to pawn the advertised item, but Dale brokered a much more lucrative deal.
Dale was able to earn a spot on the show as an expert evaluator, who would educate the pawnshop owners about the origins and worth of their items, even restoring them from time to time. Rick first started making appearances in the show in 2009, and is still a regular feature today. He and his work became so popular, that History Channel offered him his own show.
With his success on “Pawn Stars”, History Channel was keen to launch a spin-off, which they dubbed “American Restoration”, and which premiered on 25 October 2010. “American Restoration” focused solely on the work of Rick Dale and the other 11 employees of Rick’s Restorations. Although Rick was doubtful about the amount of interest the show would generate, he was stunned when they not only finished one season, but went on for a second. The family orientated business featured Rick, his son and stepson, daughter, wife and brother Ron.
Rick’s Restorations featured six seasons, until History Channel reneged on their initial plan for the show, and completely recast and restructured it.
The show featured five restoration shops, none of which was Rick’s Restorations. By all reports and appearances, Dale felt extremely betrayed, and released a video in which he urged fans to voice their displeasure on the History Channel Website. However, the restructured show only lasted an additional season before it aired for the final time on 1 April 2016.
Rick’s Restorations Today
Today, the restoration shop is still up and running with incredible success. The fame that “American Restoration” brought the shop rendered it a household name, and generated an enormous amount of business. In addition to his gift store and actual store that is open to the public, the business also boasts an online component.
The online store totes its reputation from reality TV, and gives a comprehensive and detailed account of Dale’s career. The online store also has a variety of items for sale – from $3 bumper stickers to $9,500 restored Coke machines.
Rick Dale divorced his first wife in 1993, and although her identity and the cause of the divorce haven’t been released, details remain sketchy. Rick met Kelly very soon afterwards, and he fell for her immediately. The feeling was not mutual at first, and Rick recounts an amusing encounter they had where he thought they were meeting for a date, and she had just been collecting partygoers for a friend’s singles event.
The second meeting was luckier, Rick getting dressed-up and ready for the occasion, and to his relief finding that she had come alone.
All of your clients love you because you are awesome at what u do!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 https://t.co/O8A6qaptGu
— Rick Dale (@_RickDale_) October 18, 2019
Kelly told Hollywood Mask that “I wasn’t interested in his long hair, and I didn’t like the way he dressed,” she said. “When he came in there that night, he looked so good and smelled so good that I walked up to him and gave him a big hug, and then got him drunk.”
The two married in 1994 and have two children – Tyler Dale born 25 September 1993, and Ally Dale Kat, born on 24 April 1995. Rick has also adopted Kelly’s son, Brettly Dale from her previous marriage, who also works at the restoration store. Rick and Kelly recently became grandparents, when Ally gave birth to a boy in July of 2020.
Despite his age, Rick Dale remains fit and slim – looking as different as is possible from the conventional dad. His brown hair and soul-patch-beard have taken on more of a grey tinge, but his blue eyes and shoulder tattoos remain as conspicuous as ever. Rick is 5ft 11ins (1.81m) tall, and weighs 165lbs (75kgs).
Net Worth and Salary
Rick has come so far from the poverty of his youth, building a restoration empire on the foundation of his skill and subsequent fame. Even when he had doubts about continuing his business, his wife Kelly encouraged him to pursue his dream, telling him that she would make the money. Today in mid-2020, Rick Dale has a net worth estimated at over $2.5 million.