Ultimate Restorations Season 1
The Ahrens-Fox Fire Engine: A Kansas City Treasure
In the expansive 20's, when only the best would do, Kansas City ordered seven Ahrens-Fox fire engines. They were the finest, most expensive fire engines ever conceived or built. Like many objects from that era, they were magnificent pieces of functional art, never to be duplicated. At his own fire engine museum in Estes Park Colorado, volunteer fireman Doug Klink and a small group of volunteer experts are restoring the last Kansas City Ahrens-Fox to operating, showroom condition. Once completed, the engine will be welcomed back to Kansas City in a big ceremony. Klink and his crew are as disarming and likable as they are knowledgeable, and this hour promises to be filled with fascinating "how-to" segments.
Badger #2: The Last Remaining Fish Car
At Avalon Rail in Wisconsin, we follow the intricate, multi-million dollar restoration of one of the world's rarest railroad cars. During the Depression of 1911, when the West was expanding at a rapid rate, bringing fingerling fish out West from the East Coast and Midwest to stock lakes and streams as food sources was a huge business. Railroad cars were designed with tanks to carry the small fish, and elegant Victorian accommodations for the crews delivering them to the waterways. Over the years, trucks became the preferred mode of shipping. The ornate "fish cars" disappeared -- all except "Badger #2". It's story, and the story of it's unique and difficult restoration, are a glimpse into a rarely seen chapter of American history. From duplicating lost patterns in floor coverings to rebuilding the ornate heating stove, the research is as astounding as the work itself. The drama of getting this massive and priceless piece of history back onto the tracks is riveting entertainment.
The Illions Supreme: The World's Most Beautiful Carousel
From the turn-of-the-century until today, there has been one carousel that has stood out from all of the rest--The Ilions Supreme Carousel, the ultimate creation of the renowned master carver, Marcus Charles Ilions. The lead horse, known as the "American Beauty Rose Horse", unbelievably carved from a single piece of wood, is the most famous carousel horse in the world. But after some years of operation, the carousel went into a private collection where it remained, unseen and in pieces, for almost 60 years Ilions' three most spectacular carousels are known as the "Supreme" models. The company produced only three of these grand machines. Of the three Supreme Carousels, only this largest and most spectacular machine has survived. Its multi-million dollar restoration at Brass Ring Entertainment for another private collector will be both dramatic and complex, and eagerly awaited around the world. We'll also take a side trip to see another restoration on the Yerba Buena Gardens Carousel in San Francisco, California.
The Sierra #3 Locomotive: A Star is Reborn
Having been featured in hundreds of films and television shows, with stars such as Gary Cooper in "High Noon", and Clint Eastwood in 'The Unforgiven", the beautiful 100 year old engine finally needed a complete overhaul so it could keep operating. This is a two year, ground-up endeavor, requiring complete disassembly of the now frail locomotive, and reconstruction using traditional and modem methods. The restoration team is as unforgettable as the locomotive itself, and this "Ultimate Restorations" hour is a suspenseful, yet heartwarming adventure in living history.
The Midmer-Losh Pipe Organ: Breathing Life Into the Beast
With over 34,000 pipes, and blowers requiring hundreds of horsepower, the now deteriorating goliath is still the largest musical instrument in the world, as well as the world's most complicated mechanical system. The restoration itself is monumental, requiring removal of huge pipes and massive wind chests that were never designed to be removed. Atlantic City's colorful and single- minded restoration team is being buoyed by our story and its attendant press, which is helping to provide the nearly $10,000,000 cost.
The Lysander: Canada's Unsung Hero
At the Vintage Wings Museum in Ottawa, Canada, a priceless spy plane from WW II is being restored by first-time restorers, young and old. Under the direction of experts, we are with them as they "learn as they go". The Lysander will be one of only 4 remaining in the world, and as with all "ULTIMATE RESTORATIONS", is being restored to fly again.
The Schooner Coronet: Racing into History
Bob McNeil and his crew undertake another massive yacht restoration. The 1885 schooner "Coronet" has a colorful history and was one of the first US Registered yachts to circumnavigate the globe and make the passage around Cape Horn. The goal is to restore and make that passage once again.
Ultimate Restorations Season 2
1927 American La France Fire Engine Part 1: Seagrave Surprises
Audience favorite Doug Klink and his crew at Reliance Fire Museum are restoring this American La France which isn't really all American La France. Seagrave fire engine parts were incorporated giving this fire truck its interesting history. In part 1, we learn about how goes back together in preparation to run once again!
1874 Des-Arc Springfield Bridge Part 1: Moving Day
These restorers are removing one of the oldest bridges in the U.S. from its decrepit state over a creek to disassemble and restore at its new location. Moving a bridge of this size is no easy task because it is 140 years old and very frail. It is almost lost as it's suspended in the air. But all ends well and the disassembly begins in preparation for the restoration.
1874 Des-Arc Springfield Bridge Part 2: Another Hundred Years
In part two, the team has successfully cleaned and inspected all the many pieces of this iron masterpiece bowstring bridge. Now it must be put back together in its new and final location, and they discover it was put together wrong 140 years ago. But now it's ready for another 140 years.