"The Car Chasers," an auto-themed reality show on CNBC, comes back for a second season of wheeling and dealing on Tuesday. Jeff Allen, the owner of Flat 12 Gallery in Lubbock, Tex., roams the countryside looking for bargains that he and his team—including his bottom-line-oriented wife, Meg Bailey; his fixer, Perry Brandt; and a master mechanic, Eric Ables—can flip for a profit.
Providing dramatic tension, the gallery's chief competition is Mr. Allen's car aficionado father, Tom Souter, also known as "Roundman." A major theme in the first episode is Mr. Allen's $17,000 purchase and subsequent over-the-top restoration of a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, which he (unconvincingly) argues has nothing to do with an attempt to equal or outdo his father's pristine example.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Allen said that what distinguishes "The Car Chasers" from, say, "Counting Cars" on History, is an emphasis not on transforming rusted wrecks into showpieces but on how much money is made or lost when a car is sold. On-screen graphics give viewers the numbers—from offers on the table to the profit or loss.
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"We're on CNBC, so it's more about the investment," he said. "We mostly deal in cars that are $25,000 and below, because for prices like that people will say, 'Yeah, I could own that car and drive it on the weekends.' On the higher end, a Camaro might be $75,000 or $80,000, and very few can pull the trigger and write a check to us in an amount like that. Sometimes I'd rather have five $20,000 cars than one $100,000 car."