Military Veteran returns Old Cars to Former Glory on Season Premiere of "FantomWorks"

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23 June 2015
Photo: Courtesy of Velocity
 Wednesday, June 24 at 9 PM ET/PT on Discovery’s Velocity Network
          Few people possess the zeal for returning neglected cars to their original condition more than Dan Short the owner of FantomWorks, the East Coast’s largest automotive restoration shop. Dan is a dedicated expert who applies the qualities he learned as a Green Beret – accountability, teamwork, motivation, decisiveness, trustworthiness and intelligence – to thoroughly managing his no nonsense business. For the past two years Velocity has chronicled Dan’s unique style and the work of his highly skilled, bustling shop in the original series FantomWorks. FantomWorks returns for a third season with all new episodes beginning Wednesday, June 24 at 9 PM ET/PT.
          When he was just five years old Dan fell in love with a brand new 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. From there cars became a lifelong passion, and when he bought a 67 Camaro 13 years later auto restoration became a hobby. Dan pursued his hobby during a 25 year career in the U.S. Army, spending free nights and weekend working on cars, taking night classes on how to do body work, and working for auto shops for free just to learn from the mechanics. His second act as a business owner came in 2005 when he retired honorably as an Army Major and then built FantomWorks from the ashes of a burned out garage in Norfolk, Va. 
          “Dan Short is the real deal. Our viewers not only love the cars featured in FantomWorks, but they appreciate the way Dan runs his shop and admire how he successfully turned his passionate hobby into a thriving business after serving honorably in the Army Special Forces,” said Robert Scanlon, General Manager of Velocity. “That combination has turned FantomWorks into one of the most loved series in the history of the network, and we’re excited to share the work the shop has done this season.”
         In each FantomWorks episode Short and his team take on projects for owners who genuinely love their cars. Weekly, old autos come in with new obstacles including budget overages, parts problems, substandard restorations and the goals of naïve, inexperienced car owners. This season FantomWorks features a number of American automotive classics including a:
  • 1960 Lincoln Continental
  • 1939 Hudson
  • 1964 Plymouth Barracuda
  • 1953 Studebaker Commander
  • 1989 Jeep Wrangler
  • 1956 Thunderbird
  • 1964 Fastback Mustang and more
Photo: Courtesy of Velocity
Upcoming FantomWorks Episodes (All Times ET/PT):
“Good After Bad”
World Premieres Wednesday, June 24 at 9 PM
Before Butch brought his 1969 Camaro RS to FantomWorks he was trapped in restoration hell, and this job reveals the worst work Dan has ever seen on a vehicle. The FantomWorks crew embarks on seemingly impossible challenges to fix mindboggling mistakes from Butch’s prior restoration in the hopes of giving Butch the car of his dreams. Meanwhile Michael brings his 1953 Morgan in for a custom convertible top.  Unfortunately, there’s no template for the one-of-a-kind job and no structure to anchor the top, so the job has the FantomWorks team struggling for a solution.
“Speed & Style”
World Premieres Wednesday, July 1 at 9 PM
Al inherited his father’s beloved GTO and immediately asked FantomWorks to restore it in his memory, but engine problems and a bad crank shaft drag Al and FantomWorks to the brink of an all or nothing decision. Gary wants to restore his 1964 Mercedes 230SL while keeping the cost below book value, but as Dan warns “low budget” and “50 year old classic Mercedes” don’t meld. The team does everything they can to save Gary money, but the car seems to have other ideas – starting with a decimated dashboard and a cam shaft that shatters their plans.
“Wrangle This!”
World Premieres Wednesday, July 8 at 9 PM
Gray brings his 1929 Phaeton restomod to FantomWorks because his family won’t ride with him anymore. When Short’s team digs into the car they find a deadly combination of bad work and a structure on the brink of collapse. Tony has tried for years to transform his 1989 Wrangler into a super-Jeep. He believes it’s 95-percent done, but Dan finds a host of issues that start with the biggest wiring tangle Dan has ever seen. For everything they fix there’s another step backwards as a slew of hidden problems are uncovered. Then just when it looks like they’re out of the woods a key member of the team decides to leave the shop.
“Race to the Finish”
World Premieres Wednesday, July 15 at 9 PM
Owner Steve wants Dan to prep his 1954 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 to compete in the Mille Miglia, a thousand mile vintage car race on twisting Italian roads. Steve’s hopes are high, but he gives Dan a triple whammy – a low budget, a quick turnaround and the fact that all systems must remain period correct. Dan has to contend with bad brakes, a dying engine, and loose steering, before he can even start trying to make the Olds competitive in an endurance contest it was never designed for.
“All or Nothing”
World Premieres Wednesday, July 22 at 9 PM
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, FantomWorks has to fight both the age of the car and the way it was originally built by the factory. Another customer, Jay, wants a stunning 1965 TR4, and hires FantomWorks after wanting to do the work on his own.
“Hidden Surprises”
World Premieres Wednesday, July 29 at 9 PM
Emmett brings his 1964 Plymouth Barracuda to FantomWorks to be restored as a tribute to his aunt who bought the car in 1964. 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 kept hidden. Velvet wants Dan to get a 1953 Studebaker Commander running as a surprise for her husband Travis. It hasn’t been driven in 20 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.
“One of a Kind”
World Premieres Wednesday, August 5 at 9 PM
Part One of 2-Hour Season Finale
Mike’s pride and joy is a 1939 Hudson 112 Convertible Coupe – one of only three built – once owned by his father. Mike challenges FantomWorks to restore it to original condition even though there’s no standard for what that is. Dan and the team are put under the gun when the owner decides he wants the pick-up the car at a Concours car show. Jim wants his 1970 Nova to be the ultimate dragster, but his wife Elaine wants a car she can take on the freeway. To satisfy both husband and wife the FantomWorks team must find the perfect mix between power and performance.
“Thunder & Lightning”
World Premieres Wednesday, August 5 at 10 PM
Part Two of 2-Hour Season Finale
Ian wants a 1956 Thunderbird that can challenge million dollar European sports cars in his home city of Monaco. Dan rises to the challenge by creating the most unique baby bird ever seen. The setup is so ambitious that tempers flare and the T-bird is not the only thing heating up at FantomWorks. Nikkos wants a Mustang Fastback that is equally extreme – an all-metal resto-mod complete with side scoops and a Corvette inspired center ridge. The car is a metal masterpiece, but Nikkos’ vision is bigger than his budget.

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