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Clinton Graduate Debuts Show

Clinton High School graduate Steve Hale, known for his appearances on History Channel’s “American Restoration,” is releasing a new show.

Hale, CCS Class of 2004, is the owner of Steve’s Restorations and Hot Rods. Two years after graduation, Hale opened his restoration garage in Clinton. The shop expanded and moved to the Frankfort-Marcy area in 2007.

Through the 2010s, Hale’s vehicle restoration business grew, becoming successful. In 2016, Hale landed a starring role in the seventh season of “American Restoration” on History.

After the show, Hale continued building his business. He entered and won awards in various car shows, including taking home first place for Full Custom Truck in 2017 for a restored 1936 Chevy.

Recently, Hale was in the local news for the restoration he did of an American flag sculpture on John Street in Utica.

According to a press release posted on Facebook and the City of Utica’s website, “In 1999, Utica Mayor Ed Hanna traveled to Texas and was inspired by a sculpture that encompassed the Texas state flag. Upon coming back to Utica, Mayor Hanna asked Chris Gauthier of Gauthier Fabricating, Inc. to create a similar sculpture with the American Flag.”

The original flag was installed in 2000.

“The state Department of Transportation temporarily removed the sculpture in order to facilitate the ongoing Route 5S safety improvement project,” according to the release. “Over the past several months, NYSDOT, as part of the 5S project, had the sculpture refurbished and constructed a new foundation for it.”

This was not only a big day for the City of Utica, but it was also big for Hale. At the unveiling of the newly restored flag, Hale spoke about the project. Cameras were rolling to capture the moment for Hale’s first episode of “Steve's Restorations Presents A Wild Ride.”

A local crew is producing Hale’s new show in-house at his garage in Frankfort. “‘A Wild Ride’ is a three-part show on becoming the best version of yourself,” Hale said of his new show.

“It will follow me on my journey to becoming the best version of myself, while at the exact same time, giving the viewers the tools to do the same for their own life, regardless of what their goals are,” he said.

Each season of “A Wild Ride” will “consist of three main ingredients: podcasts, how-to videos and main episodes,” he said. The first season will feature 11 episodes, 20 podcasts and 40 how-to videos.

The main episodes of “A Wild Ride” will be full-length with professional editing and presentation. These episodes will be posted to YouTube every other Friday.

“We want our show to be one of the absolute best on the entire platform,” he said. “We’re focusing on creating really high-quality content, and that’s what’s going to be seen in the episodes. We’re treating it like television shows by giving it seasons.”

He explained the first episode “is going to be something that we feel the entire country really, really needs to hear. The episode is the restoration of the John Street American flag. The episode will show how we did the restoration, but it also ties into the speech I gave at the ceremony for it.”

Hale said when he restores a vehicle, as long as it has a good foundation - even with cracks in it - he can restore it and make it “a million times better than it ever was from the factory.” He used the analogy for the country.

“America has this great foundation, our Constitution, and on top of that, we are very blessed to have this diverse group of people who are skilled in all these aspects.

“To tie it all together, the key is to be proud of who we are as individuals and proud of who we are as a team and come together to prove we really are a united people. And that’s what it means to be the greatest country in the world,” he said.

Hale said while America works through its hard times, “We’re going to come out triumphant as a united group of people. And that’s the message of the first episode.”

The first episode will debut on YouTube in the coming days. The first season is expected to run until the day after Thanksgiving, Hale said.

One aspect about releasing “A Wild Ride” on YouTube is someone can watch the show anytime, he added.

“When a viewer watches the episodes, it’s going to be just like watching a television show, but an awesome television show. It’s going to be super inspirational and exciting, but also valuable,” he said.

“Why the show is going to be so interesting is because a good majority of the viewers will think the things we’re trying to attempt to do are impossible. Then they’ll see that some of this stuff was possible and see the steps to doing it,” Hale said.

The podcast aspect of “A Wild Ride,” like a radio show, will feature Hale interviewing various people about different topics. He said he plans to interview guests “who have primarily overcome difficulties in their life and accomplished something huge that was a goal of theirs.”

He’ll ask them about the tools they used and the steps they followed to beat hardships to become successful. “These are going to be conversations that people will want to listen to because it’s just going to be exciting, inspiring and very interesting, as well as valuable,” he said.

A studio was built at his garage in Frankfort for the podcasts.

Hale said the how-to videos will show his audience a wide array of how-to topics. For example, he said one video could feature how to play the piano, and another could be how to paint a vehicle.

He said he wants “A Wild Ride” to be a show for all audiences. “I want to show that there is a wide array of topics in my life,” he said. He added that being a modern-day Renaissance man is one his “ultimate goals.”

A Renaissance man, in Hale’s opinion, is a person who is “highly skilled and developed in multiple fields.” That idea is what he hopes guides the show.

He wants to showcase a multitude of skills for his audience. “There will be things they enjoy watching and learning about,” he said of the audience.

Hale said whether it’s how to become a musician, build a business from scratch, develop a business brand or create a podcast - all things Hale has accomplished - there will be something in the show for everyone.

“Some people might not want to try to build the world’s best podcast and YouTube channel, but there will be lessons the audience can take from that and apply it to their own life. On top of that, it’s going to be super interesting,” he said of the show.

A large part of the show, Hale said, is mental toughness. He’s been following the 75 Hard program, which is a program focused on mental toughness.

Hale has applied the program to his life, including for arm wrestling. In addition to Hale’s many skills, he’s a professional arm wrestler. His goal is to be the world champion of arm wrestling.

“One of the things we are going to touch base on is how I’ve used this 75 Hard program to get myself out of a rut I was in, literally reshaping everything that I was doing. And to now apply it towards conquering all these goals that I have and becoming the best version of myself.

“Professional arm wrestling is a huge part of my life, but now I’m going to take it to the next level, where my goal is to win a world championship. Throughout the series, people are going to follow me in all the training that I’m doing.

“I’m basically going to be teaching people all these tactics and skills that I’m developing and how they can apply it to their own life,” Hale said.

Hale plans to feature local residents on “A Wild Ride.”

Hale’s idea for the show is something he has been putting together for years. He said he originally wrote the show in hopes to sell it to a large television network.

YouTube proved to be a better platform for the show because Hale can control the content and decide who to bring on the show.

“The show shows people that we all go through hard times, and we all have these difficult things that we face in our life, but we can get through them and create new chapters in our story,” he said.

One more part to “A Wild Ride” is clothing. Shirts for the show will be offered. When someone purchases a shirt, 50 percent of the profit goes to one of 12 local charities. The purchaser gets to pick which charity to support.

For the premiere date of the first episode of “A Wild Ride,” check Steve’s Restorations and Hot Rods on Facebook and Instagram.

To watch Hale’s new show on YouTube when it’s released, look up “Steve's Restorations Presents A Wild Ride.” From there, viewers can subscribe to Hale’s channel and get notifications when a new episode is posted.

For more on Steve’s Restorations and Hot Rods, visit

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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