Car buffs have more reason to be happy this summer as History Channel brings in its latest reality TV series that deals with car restorations. What better way to get the latest ideas on car restoration than from people from Motor City itself, which is the Mecca of American auto manufacturing. Beginning this April 17, History Channel will premiere Detroit Steel, a TV series about the classic car builder Adam Genei and his team working at Mobsteel, which specializes in vintage car restoration.
The show centers on Mobsteel, the Detroit-based car restoration shop that was founded by Adam back in 2002, just when the American automotive business was starting to experience a slump. Through hard work, dedication and a lot of ingenuity, Adam built up his business from a one-man operation, to what now is a team of automotive artisans. To date, Mobsteel has turned hundreds upon hundreds of vintage cars and trucks into new masterpieces.
Born and bred in Detroit, Adam and his team at Mobsteel takes worn out, rundown cars and trucks into full throttle, high-end masterpieces. From ’50s and ’60s classic restorations to monster-sized, vintage trucks and decked out, ’70s low-riding dream machines, each episode of Detroit Steel is a bigger challenge than the last.
Adam supports his city and American engineering by transforming vintage cars into custom, modern rides that mix Detroit’s celebrated past and its evolving future. He demands perfection and won’t stop until each car is transformed into the best Motown has to offer.
Explaining what the show is all about, Adam said, “We’re going to show how people (in Detroit) have a deep connection with building automobiles. The show explains why I love cars so much and why it’s called the Motor City.”
According to Adam, the most challenging part in restoring vintage cars is the procurement of spare parts. Luckily, Adam knows all the best places to find long forgotten pieces and parts, giving each and every car build a unique piece of Detroit car history. However, if no part is available, Adam’s trusty crew will start pounding on raw steel and re-create the part from scratch. “A lot of cars we restore, they don’t have parts for it anymore. A lot of the vehicles, we have to make every part, here at our shop. We make it for them by hand. A lot of the sheet metal and parts, we actually make.”
The cars that come out of Mobsteel aren’t your typical makeovers, like having a new set of wheels and a slick paint job. Mobsteel’s creations are head-turning rides that sell for big bucks. In each episode, Adam and his crew take on a new job for a new client. It could be building a slick Ford pickup for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford or an old wood panel wagon into a tire-shredding shop car. With such crazy requests, they have to get inventive and search out hard to find pieces of motoring Americana.
When asked where he gets his concept in restoring a car, Adam said, “When we first see the car, I get to know the customer and find out what he likes. From there, I try to put my touch on it, the Mobsteel touch. The cars that we start with are great cars that were built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. They’re great cars already. The men and women who built them did a great job. It’s just a great opportunity for us to make that car the way we want it, and make it look good again and put it back on the street.”
At Mobsteel, Adam is in charge of concept and design plan of what the car is going to look like. Aside from running the business, he also does everything from fabrication, welding and building. His team includes Ron Coan, who is the painter; Steve Ryan, the all around fabricator, welder and right hand man; Doug Hanes, who is the mechanic who works on the transmission and driveline and Pam Genei, Adam’s wife who pretty much runs the show and makes sure that they have enough money to stay in business.
Talking about how different Detroit Steel is from other shows, Adam explained, “I think our show is different because Detroit is where the automobiles are made. You get to see our personal connection with the cars because it’s our lifestyle and that’s how we were raised. We also get to share the great history that is connected with these vehicles and the people that built them. It’s a little bit more of a journey about the cars, where they came from, the people that built them, and why they are very exciting to us. It’s about how we enjoy what we do and how we enjoy the hard work. It gives people a look in what drives us here at the Motor City.”
Detroit Steel premieres on April 17, airing on Mondays at 9pm on History (Sky Cable Ch 67, HD Ch 165 / Destiny Cable Ch 57, Ch 67 / Cignal HD Ch 125 / Cablelink Ch 43 / Dream Ch 30).