Five Questions With New ‘Search & Restore’ TV Show Host Tim Strange

Apr 19, 2011

Tim Strange, award-winning rod builder and owner of  Strange Motion has been announced as the host of “Search and Restore,” a new RTM PowerBlock automotive television series premiering May 7 on Spike TV.

“The show is a feel-good, give back kind type of show,” said Strange. “We build projects for deserving people with touching or hard-luck stories. Each project we build gets four half-hour shows. We are building four projects this season so there will be 16 episodes.”

Strange will act as the show’s main host as well as the lead builder on the project vehicles. In addition to street rods and hot rods, the show’s build team will also build trucks and 4 x 4s for viewers who couldn’t finish the projects because of financial, health or family circumstances.

“There’s no better feeling than helping someone regain that sense of hope after they feel like they’ve lost everything,” Strange said. “Thanks to our volunteer build teams and the hosts of the other PowerBlock shows, we’re able to help someone pick up the pieces, turn a dream into a reality and have fun doing it.”

Strange has been building one-off hot rods, street rods and customs, as well as motorcycles and trucks, at his shop for over 18 years. He’s a well-known builder in the custom car industry, having been named the 2002 Goodguys Trendsetter. He also heads the SEMA Show‘s Best New Product selection committee. However, his first love is building one-off creations.

“I love building round tube chassis and [doing] crazy metal work and paint,” said Strange. HRR talked to Tim Strange about his new hosting job.

HRR: How did you get chosen for this show?

Strange: I did a guest appearance on the [PowerBlock TV show] “Trucks!” last year and when a new show came up they contacted me and sent me in to do a screen test. They had around 1,200 applicants for the spot. There was talk about two hosts and the other guy [they wanted] would have been great to do it with. You never know, maybe they will add another.

HRR: What’s it like being on camera and having everything you do filmed?

Strange: I am getting a little more used to the cameras. At first I was a little stiff, but I’m getting better talking and doing everything [in front of the cameras.] It looks to be a cool show, with no fake or forced drama. All the other guys at RTM Productions have been great. I come fresh from running and building hot rods all day to TV [and they] help me get more comfortable with the TV thing.  When they offered [the show] to me, I had more questions for them about the basis of the show. I think a lot of the automotive and motorcycle shows are too fake and add drama for no apparent reason. I wouldn’t want to be a part of a show like that.

HRR: What concerned you the most about doing the show?

Strange: I am concerned that possible clients of my shop, Strange Motion, may think I am done building one-off hot rods and that is not correct. I am still building projects but I’m picking and choosing the stuff I want to build instead of taking in everything. I’ve have some killer projects running around in my head for a while [that] I’m hoping to start shortly for a couple of clients.

HRR: How will appearing on this show help spread the word about your shop?

Strange: I’ve been lucky to have my work appear in over 250 magazines worldwide and have won numerous national awards, but more exposure never hurts anyone. Right now the PowerBlock TV shows get over 5 million viewers each weekend, so that’s great exposure. I also hope it helps us sell more merchandise, shirts, and hats through our website. I just got another clothing company. Midwest Clothing Co., to carry the Strange Motion line, and they should have our stuff on there very shortly. The TV exposure should help with that. I know not everyone can afford a high-end, one-off hot rod but most people can afford a cool shirt!

HRR: How does “Search and Restore” differ from other car-building shows on the air right now?

Strange: This is not like the normal how-to-type shows they normally do for PowerBlock. This is a new thing for them. [It’s] kind of reality but more about the story of the families that we are doing these [projects] for. It’s pretty cool. We are currently in about the sixth episode and there has been some awesome stuff done project-wise and people-wise. “Search and Restore” premieres Saturday, May 7. The first episode will feature the build of a 1967 Chevy Nova II. The car belongs to a man who lost his wife to colon cancer.

For more information on the show, go to For more information on Strange Motion, go to, or check out the Restorer Profile HRR did on Strange Motion in 2009.