One of the best must-see channels on YouTube is ‘Vice Grip Garage’, an entertaining hour of car guy fun and misadventures hosted by Derek Bieri; a well-known automotive celebrity on Youtube who added a cable TV show (‘Roadworthy Rescues’) in 2022 to his list of accomplishments.
‘Vice Grip Garage’ has followed the same perilous path on Youtube for the past five years and launched Bieri as a car guy’s car guy along the way. Initially, Derek’s YouTube episodes were recorded with his cell phone and showcased his road adventures in short episodes, while relying heavily on his funny daredevil style.
There were many winning ingredients in the ‘Vice Grip Garage’ success story. The main ingredient would be Derek Bieri himself because he is the right combination of mechanical talent and entertainer in a world where many car guy TV shows have too much of the one and not enough of the other.
Every car guy has crawled around in dirt underneath a broken vehicle, but most would not attempt to make it a weekly habit and record the festivities, mainly because most attempts to revive a long-abandoned pile of junk is filled with heartache, pain, frustration and despair. Somehow Derek Bieri managed to find his inner comedian under these trying conditions.
In fact, the only other YouTube car guy program to combine solid mechanical ability and a remarkable sense of humor is ‘Cold War Motors’ star Scott Newstead, so Derek Bieri is in rare company in our opinion here at MyStarCollectorCar.
Derek owes his car guy talents to good DNA and family influence because he grew up on a farm where he learned from his father and grandfather as a young kid. One would assume Bieri also acquired his ability to entertain from his family mentors.
MyStarCollectorCar has written two previous articles about ‘Vice Grip Garage’ and touched on a YouTube episode in which Derek traveled to Texas and bought his late father’s 1956 Buick Special-then he drove it 1500 miles back to his home. Derek and his family lived in the northern United States at the time, so a late November trip in an old car was indeed an adventure for him.
However, most of the ‘Vice Grip Garage’ YouTube episodes involve inert piles of metal with terminal rust and mechanical issues. The vehicles are beyond repair for most people, but somehow Bieri has been able to breathe life back into the mechanical carcasses and coax them back onto the road.
‘Vice Grip Garage’ viewers cheer on Derek every time he starts a long-forgotten vehicle that may not have run since the dawn of disco. Bieri’s large collection of fans also celebrate every time he is able to pilot the resurrected rolling disaster zone home.
‘Vice Grip Garage’ is a winning formula that Bieri has taken to cable TV and enjoyed the same level of enormous success with ‘Roadworthy Rescues’. He has also created his own comic language along the way and given his loyal fan base another reason to tune into both ‘Vice Grip Garage’ and ‘Roadworthy Rescues’, a solid program that has taken the car guy cable TV show market by storm.
BY: Jim Sutherland
Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.