Wrecks to Riches

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Wrecks to Riches TV Poster Image
Turning junkers into speedsters; fun for car nuts.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive work environment showing people doing work they enjoy. Big emphasis on safety. The cast is exclusively Caucasian; some women help out in the shop.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Occasional "hell," "damn," or "crap."


Automotive brands appear in the background, like Castrol. Car brands are mentioned frequently, like Chevrolet.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief scenes at social events may include drinking, but it's not obvious or frequent.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this car-rehab reality show is designed for car enthusiasts of just about every age. Though the rehab team's ultimate goal is to turn a generous profit, the majority of the show focuses on working hard and having fun doing it. Good-natured competition goes along with healthy working relationships. Younger viewers will see positive ways of dealing with disappointment, as well as healthy problem-solving techniques. Occasional mild language ("hell," "crap") pops up in conversation.

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What's the story?

In WRECKS TO RICHES, custom-car builder Barry White and his team turn old beaters (mostly American cars from the 1960s and '70s, with an occasional foray into the '50s) into deluxe muscle cars in four short weeks. During the course of each renovation, the team runs into problems, and they strategize together to find a solution. And at the end of the episode, the renovated car is sold at auction (profits can be anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 -- though sometimes the car doesn't sell and Barry loses money), finishing each tale with closure and a burst of excitement.

Is it any good?

Overall, Wrecks to Riches is a pleasant, straightforward car-rehab show that will appeal to automotive enthusiasts and those with an interest in mechanics, electrical engineering, and graphic design. Though viewers see several steps in the rehab process, this is one of the less technically oriented shows in the car-fix genre.

Instead, the focus is on White and his team. They share a fun-loving, positive working environment. Full of passion for what they do, each team member is a perfectionist, from the designer to the electrician to the gold-leaf-application expert. But they're all able to admit their mistakes, too -- even White himself.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to make a living doing what you love. Do parents love their work? Do younger family members expect to enjoy their work when they grow up? How can you turn hobbies and interests into a career? Are reality shows like this one more or less compelling and fun to watch than those based on competition and conflict? Why?

TV details

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