The Garage Squad episodes are filmed in locations all around Illinois, depending on where the owners keep their cars.
The Garage Squad team takes old and forgotten projects and turns them into the classic cars of the owners’ dreams.
Since these projects often no longer start, the Garage Squad team travels to the owners to film every episode on location.
The Garage Squad premise
Most of the automotive restorations programs on television rely on forgotten projects and broken down hunks of metal which have gotten the best of their owners in order to score a good deal on a classic car. But Garage Squad is different.
Instead of buying these often disassembled and rusting cars for cheap to flip them for a profit later on, the Garage Squad team actually helps these backyard mechanics get their projects back up and running by the end of each episode.
Where is Garage Squad filmed?
There are plenty of things that can throw a passion-project like a classic car restoration off track. Garage Squad has shared plenty of stories about small budgets, rare parts, and even injuries that have come between the DIY mechanics and their dream rides throughout its eight-season run.
And while these stalled projects are a fairly common occurrence in the car enthusiast space, it can be heartbreaking for both the owners of the vehicles and their friends and family to watch these projects being slowly abandoned over time.
In most cases, these projects are in such a sad state by the time that the Garage Squad team arrives that the cars will no longer start (or if they do start, they are not nearly reliable enough to travel long distances).
For this reason, Garage Squad is also shot quite differently than other car restoration shows. Garage Squad is actually filmed on location at the garages, back gardens and sheds of the owners who have submitted their projects to be on the show, or who have had their projects submitted to be on the show by a frustrated family member or friend.
This means that instead of bringing the cars to a shop, the Garage Squad team actually travels to garages all over the Chicago, Illinois area with a fully customized Garage Squad equipment truck in tow.
This unique travelling shop certainly presents its own challenges when it comes to the scope of restorations, but it does allow the Garage Squad team to get up close and personal with each of the cars and the owners who appear on the show.
The Garage Squad team works on a tight schedule
At any given time, the Garage Squad team consists of the two co-hosts of the show, Bruno Massel and Bogi Lateiner, as well as the lead builder, Joe Zolper, and a whole bunch of mechanics.
Although this is a decent number of people for every project, the Garage Squad team is still only able to work on one single project at a time.
Since this team does not have the luxury of having a shop in which multiple projects can be worked on and filmed simultaneously, they need to keep a strict schedule.
One of the show’s executive producers, Ted Lega, has revealed that the team only has about seven days to complete each project.
The Garage Squad team does their research
When the Garage Squad website was still up and running, it was the only way for owners to apply to be on the show.
However, Lega also revealed in his 2018 interview with Reel Chicago that the show’s producers meet with the owners and their families before the filming of each episode begins.
Lega then uses the insights he gains from these discussions to help guide the team in their restoration efforts and to give every episode its genuine heartfelt backstory.
The Garage Squad restorations are not all business all the time
It may seem quite chaotic to think that the Garage Squad team (and its entire shop-on-wheels) pulls up to the driveways of the families featured on the show, only to get cracking with the restoration work and filming. But Garage Squad remains an educational show at its very core.
Lega also confirmed that although they do like to include some of the more comedic elements of every project in the show, their focus is still on getting these projects up and running, or, as Bogi calls it “changing lives one car at a time”.
This is also why, even though the owners do not have to make any financial contributions to the restoration work, the Garage Squad team does expect the owners to get involved with the restoration work.