FANTOMWORKS restoration expert Dan Short and his team only have a heart for those who genuinely love their cars. Every car has a story, but if you can’t prove to Dan that you truly care about your car and want the job done right then he won’t accept your business. Dan’s busy shop, FantomWorks, is the largest automotive restoration shop in America. With years of automotive restoration experience in addition to the qualities of discipline and precision Dan acquired in the military, the FantomWorks team runs a busy production pipeline in order to thoroughly refurbish some of America’s favorite rides. Every week old cars come with new obstacles including irate car owners, personality clashes, cost over-runs, parts problems and walkouts.
Dan Short is the owner of Fantomworks and a fan of classic cars. So, when James brings in a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette AND he wants Dan to add the world’s first convertible split window – the job is too cool to resist. The problem: James needs the car for his wedding in less than two months. While the team wrestle with the near-impossible Corvette restoration, Bill brings in a 1931 Model A Ford that his father converted into a hot rod. Bill is an internet mechanic who has torn the car to pieces. This would normally send Dan running for the hills, but the car is Bill’s only connection to his dead father. Dan agrees to take on the job. Then, he finds that Bill’s budget is only $20,000.
Dan Short is a former Green Beret who saw friends wounded in combat. In their honor, he started Wounded Wheels, a non-profit to make classic cars that are handicapped accessible. Dan thinks that a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS is the perfect car to get the program started. Then, Kyle starts chopping and the team becomes stuck between a near-impossible conversion and a task that is too worthwhile to abandon. The restoration of a 1926 Velie looks to be more straightforward, until Dan learns that the car hasn’t been driven for 50 years and was stored with gas in the tank. With no parts available, the team have to build everything from scratch if the car is ever to run again.
Dan Short knows that cars can cement friendships – or break them. He has concerns when his best friend Charlie asks him to convert his 1965 Ford Mustang fastback into his dream car. Dan’s worries are realized and the friendship is pushed beyond its limits when Charlie buys his own parts and his dream is much bigger than his budget. In contrast, the complete restoration of a 1951 Studebaker truck to a world class show vehicle is a car-lover’s dream. Nothing is impossible, so Dan and the team are challenged to come up with a design that has never been seen before.
Dan Short has learned the hard way that car owners matter as much as the vehicles they bring in. Dan accepts the partial restoration of a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon because Jim is a ‘frequent flyer’ – someone who is restoring the car in stages, whenever he has enough money to get the work done. Dan accepts an insurance repair of a wrecked 1966 Volkswagen Beetle because the car means a lot to Todd and is going to be his everyday driver. Due to a mistake in the shop, the restoration of the Bel Air goes further than intended – and due to challenges with the owner, the Volkswagen ends up on the curb.
When a 1964 Chevrolet Impala arrives in the shop, it looks like it is half a step from the junkyard. In fact, the neighborhood association hid it under a car cover and then insisted it be towed away. Further complicating things, the owner Joe is serving in Afghanistan, so he entrusts the supervision of the ground-up restoration to his mother-in-law, a hairdresser who knows nothing about cars. Dave, the owner of a 1976 Triumph TR6 knows a lot about cars, so he finds it hard to believe when Dan argues against certain aspects of the restoration. Dan wants to make the car a ‘survivor’, with original paint and features. Dave doesn’t believe that it is possible.
When a 1965 Cadillac DeVille arrives, it is so full of rotted leaves and rat droppings that Dale needs a hazmat suit to clean it out. The car is called Betsy, and Ronny the owner wants her restored to her glory days when they went cruising together. Unfortunately, Betsy is in such bad shape that her only hope is a donor car – and any donor they find is bound to be in better condition than the convertible. A 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo arrives in better shape, but its still not the head turner that Kevin is looking for. Kevin plans to surprise his wife with the restoration – but it has to be ready for their anniversary – on New Year’s Eve.
EPISODE 201 Tip of the Iceberg- Avanti & 3100
Dan Short has put everything he has into FantomWorks. So, when Matt shows up with a 1983 Avanti resto-mod that he worked on when trying to form his own car restoration shop, Dan thinks he may be a kindred spirit. Then, the Avanti shows up with $58,000 worth of mismatched parts, an engine that doesn’t fit and an escalating cascade of hidden problems that will push Dan and his team to the brink. While the team struggle with the Avanti; Craig shows up with a 1951 Chevy 3100 pick-up. Craig is a self-taught mechanic and since the truck drives in with rope holding the doors closed – he’s clearly not a good one. The problems increase exponentially and the team soon learns that the doors are the tip of one very ugly iceberg.
EPISODE 202 Fast & Dangerous- Corvette & Cobra
When a 1977 Corvette Stingray shows up for an estimate, Dan Short knows it is a waste of time. Every system on this Corvette is riddled with problems, from bad accident repairs to fourteen coats of cheap paint! And there is no way anybody will pay to restore a car that simply has no value. Then, Dan meets Franco and he learns that the money doesn’t matter to a son looking to resurrect his deceased father’s pride and joy. While the team wrestle with the Corvette, Clay shows up with a 1965 Cobra kit car. The job starts out simple, but spirals out of control when Clay decides to wrap the car like a fighter jet – right down to three machine guns that Dan and the team have to build.
EPISODE 203 Mach Speed- Mach 1, Fiat & Tiger
Mike scoured the country for a restoration shop for his prized Mach 1 which hasn’t run in ten years. He wants Dan to make it even more powerful – which also means upgrading the safety systems to keep it on the road. For Dan and the team, it’s a non-stop struggle between power and performance. Richard brings the first ‘his and hers’ restoration to FantomWorks – a Sunbeam Tiger for him and a Fiat Spider for his wife. The Tiger will be a top class build, but Richard wants the Fiat to be done for a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, the Fiat reveals hidden problems that will test both Richard and Dan.
EPISODE 204 Ticket to Ride- Buick & Kawasaki
For Dan and the team, it’s déjà vu when the 1941 Buick Coupe rolls into the shop. The owner, Jerry, had them start the project a few years ago before he got cold feet. Now, the car is in even worse shape and Jerry still wants to spend next to nothing. To make matters worse, the engine needs a complete rebuild – or if Dan can find it – the donor car from heaven. Janelle, the owner of a Kawasaki KZ-750 Motorcycle is also on a tight budget. She wants a cool stripped down ‘café’ bike with a monoshock – a task that opens up cool design possibilities and a ton of problems to solve.
EPISODE 205 Size Does Matter- C10 & Heinkel
A C10 pick-up arrives in good condition. Dan recommends that they leave the body and paint alone, but Warren wants a full frame off restoration for his daughter. As Dan predicted, when they peel off the paint, they find that the truck needs a LOT of work. The owner is undeterred so FantomWorks set out to deliver the perfect truck. The Heinkel that came in a year ago with mismatched Vespa scooter parts. But, when Dan digs into Penelope’s Heinkel he learns that the cheap add-ons were hiding an incredibly rare car. It will be an amazing project – if Dan can find parts for a model that is 1 of only 20 ever made.
EPISODE 206 Buyer Beware- Overland & Camaro
When Dan Short bought the warehouse that FantomWorks now occupies, part of the deal was that Dan would restore a car of the former owner’s choice for free. Now, Dave is calling in the favor with a 1917 Overland – the oldest car that Dan has ever tried to bring back from the dead. When it arrives, it is a jigsaw puzzle of wood and metal with half of the pieces missing. When Dan buys a 1968 Camaro online, it arrives intact – but in much worse shape than Dan imagined. Dan can’t pass the car on to an owner so he decides to turn it into a high octane gift for his wife, Melissa.
Episodes 207 All Or Nothing
Fantomworks has restored dozens of Mustangs, but never a Coupe because there is almost no value to the car. Brad wants to go forward with the build because the car belonged to his father and will be passed on to his children. To give Brad the brand new fifty year old car he wants, Dan has to fight both the age of the car and the way it was originally built by the factory. Jay wants a stunning 1965 TR4. He starts out wanting to do most of the work himself. But, when Fantomworks solve problem after problem, Jay asks them to do more and more work. Jay’s goals are larger than his time frame – so something has to give.
Episode 208 Hidden Surprises
Emmett brings his 1964 Plymouth Barracuda to FantomWorks to be restored as a tribute to his aunt, who bought the car in ’64. It’s all original – even the paint – so the restoration seems clear cut. But this Barracuda shows its bite when Dan discovers hidden corrosion and extensive damage from old accidents that Marge hid from her family. Velvet wants Dan to get a 1953 Studebaker Commander running as a surprise for her husband Travis. It hasn’t been driven in twenty years, the budget is tight and she wants it in time for their annual family reunion. Fantomworks get started and the surprise is on Dan when Travis finds out and wants to micromanage the build.
Episode 209 Wrangle This!
Gray brings his 1929 Phaeton in because of gas smells and cracking sounds. When Dan digs into the car- he uncovers deadly dangers that lead to lifesaving repairs. Tony believes his 1989 Jeep Wrangler is 95% done, but the car is a rolling disaster of bad work, tangled wires and incompatible parts.
Episode 210 Race to the Finish
Steve wants to run his 1954 Oldsmobile in a thousand-mile road race. Fantomworks face a tight budget, a tough schedule and race rules that restrict them to parts from 1954. Jim wants Fantomworks to bring his 1977 Spitfire out of a coma; but Dan puts his foot down when safety issues are discovered.
Episode 211 Good after Bad
Michael wants a new convertible top for his 1953 Morgan, but the Fantomworks team have no reference, no template and no anchor points. Burch entrusted his 1969 Camaro to a restoration rip-off artist. Can Fantomworks fix the worst work they’ve ever seen and give Butch the car of his dreams?
Episode 212 Expect the Unexpected
George wants his 1967 Chevelle to be perfect, but his car has had more rats than repairs and the engine bay is too small for his dreams. Brian’s 1960 Lincoln is a classic car has see much better days. The car is full of surprises, and the moment something else is fixed, a new problem surfaces where it is least expected.
Episode 213 Speed & Style
Gary wants to restore a 1964 Mercedes 230SL, but his tight budget launches Dan into a headlong battle with original paint, a fifty year old interior and a shattered cam shaft. Al wants to restore his father’s GTO, but Fantomworks discover it’s not the car Al thinks it is.
Episode 214 Wet & Wild
Joe Pushes Fantomworks off the deep end when he challenges Dan to build a replica of the legendary 1953 Timossi hydroplane that set a water-speed record. Fantomworks battle cold weather, warm wood and hot water as they struggle to adapt their car building skills and deliver the ultimate speed boat. Andy wants the perfect split window top for his 1963 corvette. Dan finds hidden problems that launch a cross country search for an impossible to find part.
Episode 215 One of a kind
Mike’s 1939 Hudson Coupe-Convertible is the only survivor of three that were built. He wants Fantomworks to undo previous repairs and restore it to original condition-even though nobody knows what that looks like. Jim wants his 1970 Nova to be the ultimate dragster. His wife wants a daily driver. Fantomworks are caught in the middle.
Episode 216 All Metal Mustang
Niccos wants a Fastback Mustang that combines the best features from some very different classic cars. He gives Dan free reign to design an all-metal masterpiece, but Nicco’s hopes are bigger than his budget. When another car owner falls in love with the Mustang, the build takes an unexpected turn. Arlene and Jim want to enjoy their 45 anniversary in the same 1969 Firebird they rode on their wedding day. Dan takes on the challenge, and immediately regrets it when the car reveals its dark side.
Episode 301 Throwing Heat
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Tim Collins has a cannon arm and a lead foot. He purchased a restored 1968 Mustang Fastback and then blew up the engine in under two hundred miles. When Dan digs into the car he uncovers a nightmare combination of bad repairs, old parts, mismatched add-ons and unsafe systems. Rob is a WW2 veteran with a deep and personal connection to the 1950’s Willy’s Jeep that he has done thousands of hours of work on. When the car needs more skill than he can provide- Rob turns to Fantomworks and the reality check needed to bring his beloved Jeep back to life.
Episode 302 Damaged Goods
Bo put his beloved 1970 Corvette into storage more than thirty years ago. He was confident the car could be quickly restored, but the corvette needs a ton of work- including repair of decades old vandalism that will break any car lover’s heard. Steve’s 1964 GTO was smashed in an accident and totaled by his insurance company. He was turned down by several garages, but Dan agrees to try and bring his mangled GTO back from beyond the grave.
Episode 303 Now You See It
Jerry is a self-taught mechanic who put years of his life into his Plymouth Business Coupe. He shows up with a car in pieces, a U-Haul full of parts and a dream that desperately needs Dan’s help. Bill doesn’t even have a car. He asks Dan to find him a 1972 Gran Sport- and to then restore it with hard-to-find features that now have to work together on the same car.
Episode 304 Thunder Time
Ian is well over 6 feet tall and wants the impossible- a 1956 ‘baby bird’ restomod that he can drive comfortably while outperforming the million dollar sports cars in his home town of Monaco. Dan’s solution- a never-before-attempted GTO Thunderbird combination that looks original but drives like a bat out of hell. Doc Pellerin’s pristine 1937 Volvo PV52 was a regular winner at Concours car shows – until a metal shelf fell on the car in the trailer. Now, it’s on Dan to repair the damage, fix unsuspected mechanical problems and restore the car to its winning ways.
Episode 305 High Impact
George brings what he thinks is a near perfect 1971 Mustang Mach1 to Dan for a few repairs. The job skyrockets in complexity when Dan realizes the car has been jumped- Dukes of Hazzard style. Mick hired a restoration shop in Texas to help him realize his dream of owning a 1952 Mercury Woody restomod that he could drive down Route 66. The shop went bust, so FantomWorks is challenged to pick up the pieces. Literally..
Episode 306 Road to SEMA
Donnie is a man who knows what he wants. So when he decides that he wants his newly restored 1968 Fastback to be shown at SEMA, Dan and Fantomworks are thrown for a loop. Now, they need to get the Fastback and a 1964 Corvette to the prestigious show, with a crushing time frame and a nearly impossible standard as the target. The pressure is on because as Dan knows its not enough to get to SEMA – the cars also have to stand out among the very best in the world.
Episode 307 85 in the Fast Lane
In the vein of the hit series “24” – we follow a typical day in the life of Fantomworks and the real world controlled chaos that is everyday life for Dan Short when there are 85 cars being worked on and multiple owners who expect miracles. While Steve wrestles with a cantankerous 1965 BSA motorcycle, Bobby has to solve the mechanical problems of a 1969 Camaro that has been in other shops for four years AND to also get a 1970 GTO ready for a returning veteran. Meantime, a 1963 Valiant and a 1987 Grand National threaten to upend the shop and force Dan to make some tough decisions.
Episode 308 Because I Can
Mickey is an owner who knows what he wants and neither Dan nor reason can change his mind. Mickey’s Chevelle is that rare car that Dan and his workers love – but Mickey still wants them to upgrade everything to make it his own. Thom bought his 1963 Studebaker to be a project car, so he doesn’t want FantomWorks to dig too deeply. Unfortunately, Dan finds one bad thing after another – from leaks to bad parts, failing safety systems and a rusted out floor held together by glue and carpeting.
Episode 309 Nightmare on Hampton Blvd
Rick is the proud owner of a garish 1972 Caddilac Hearse who comes to FantomWorks for gadgets, gizmos and upgrades. From fold down seats (to make room for a coffin), a PA system to wake the undead, smoke, skeletons and flamethrowers – this is a one-of-a-kind build that everyone in the shop loves or hates. Merlyn and Lynn are farmers from Minnesota with a 1959 Chevy Apache that they have only driven down their driveway. The truck was so dangerous that Merlyn hid it in the barn for three years before Lynn challenged FantomWorks to resurrect their dream.
Episode 310 Cold Day In Hell
Scott and Nanette ask Dan to restore their massive family heirloom 1953 Cadillac Fleetwood. One of the most complex builds that FantomWorks have ever attempted takes a turn to the crazy when Scott demands rare features and air conditioning that the car never had in the first place. John blew up the engine of his 1967 Mercury Cougar while racing. After rescuing his car from another restoration shop, John has turned to FantomWorks to complete a half-finished restoration; undo the damage from his lead foot and get the Cougar running more fiercely than ever.
Episode 311 Tough Act to Follow
When Rich and Kathy tried to get their beloved 1951 Buick Super back on the road they were taken for a ride. It’s been through four different shops but the problems have only been covered with paint. For Dan, this is the worst case scenario. FantomWorks are following bad work on a car that needs to be torn into and can’t be. Jim brings in a classic 1961 Corvette with an ailment that doesn’t add up. Dan and Robby are left scratching their heads as they try to solve a mystery that may require major surgery.
Episode 312 Beast Mode
Nick is a former drag racer who wants his 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle to be the fastest thing on the road. FantomWorks enters prototype hell to give Nick a spectacular street-beast, built around the first supercharged LT4 motor ever dropped into a 1969 Chevelle. Barlen wants mother’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air to run like a dream for her birthday in 30 days. Problem is – it’s a 60 year old car and the deeper they dig – the more problems they find.
Episode 313 If it Sprays, It Stays
Dan takes on a project of behemoth proportions when he agrees to fix a 1947 Mack Firetruck owned by the Flossmoor Illinois Volunteer Fire Brigade. The job takes FantomWorks into wet and unchartered territory as they try to get the massive firetruck spraying and driving better than it did in the old days. Ken’s 1971 Malibu Chevelle comes to FantomWorks as a garage ornament that hasn’t run in five years so it’s up to Dan and the team to bring this family heirloom back to life.
Episode 314 All Revved Up
Dan is a fierce competitor who loves Camaros so when Nick challenges him to a Chevelle vs Camaro supercar showdown – Dan is all-in. Unfortunately, Dan still needs to build his 1969 Camaro Pace Car and along the way figure out how to make it outperform the fastest Chevelle he’s ever built. Pete’s had his Mustang Convertible in three different shops so Dan hopes that he’ll be following up on good work. Instead, the car arrives with a ton of problems, and Dan expects to find even more when they start digging in.