Graveyard Carz was created and is owned by Mark Worman. It is made independently by The Division, a film and television production company in which Worman is also the CEO. The show's relationship with Velocity is what is called "a pre-sale acquisition". The Division retains all creative control but frequently takes notes and suggestions from the Velocity team.
In 2016 TERN commissioned and acquired the global rights for 26 episodes of Graveyard Carz in HFR UHD. These episodes will be aired on Velocity in HD as Season 6 and elsewhere by Insight as Season 6 and Season 7.
Mark Worman wanted to document the restoration of a 1971 Plymouth 'Cuda, painted Hemi Orange, equipped with a 440 three deuces V8, a HD Hemi 4-Speed transmission, and a 3.54 ratio Dana 60 rear axle. On July 5, 1981, the car was wrecked after losing control in a 100 mph race with a pickup truck. After acquiring the car, Mark entered into an agreement with a collector to have the car restored.
To prove to nay-sayers that the car could be restored, Mark had the son of local friend (Aaron Smith) film the restoration. After seeing how entertaining the team was, Mark and Aaron decided to start shooting concept material for a television pilot, and Graveyard Carz was born.
Over the course of the first five seasons, viewers have seen The Phantom 'Cuda undergo a slow transformation. In Season 1, it was dipped, while it's overall condition was assessed in Season 2. Season 3 saw the repair of a fender to determine if the sheet metal was too-compromised to use in the restoration. At the end of Season 4, the 'Cuda was shipped off to AMD Installation, and it returned in Season 5 with all brand new sheet metal. In Season 6 The Phantom Cuda's is completed, restored to factory condition.
The first four seasons of Graveyard Carz featured Mark Worman, Royal Yoakum, Josh Rose, and Daren Kirkpatrick. Season's 2 and 3 featured reoccurring cast member Holly Chedester, who did not return for Season 4.
Season 5 (previously titled Season 4b) brought back Mark Worman's daughter Allysa Rose (who was a reoccurring cast-member in Season 1), his best-friend Royal Yoakum and introduced new painter Will Scott (who had been part of the original concept for the series), and new assembly technician and long-time fan of the show David Rea.
Currently, a 13-episode season takes about 100 days of continuous shooting. Earlier seasons took more than a year, as the original crew would only work Saturdays on Mopar builds. True to the show's premise, the current cast are actual automotive technicians, and the film-crew plans series' shoots around the elements of key car builds.
Once a car is completed, if its owners are willing, a shoot is planned to see the car "revealed" to them. The film-crew takes extra-care to make that "reveal" as true to life as possible.
Due to the nature of how quickly the show must be produced, and how long it actually takes to build a car, the episodes are edited parallel with the filming. Therefore, each episode doesn't have a typical car-show reveal, but instead, emphasis is placed on the smaller yet significant sub-assembly builds needed on a car.
Comedic storylines are often shot separately, away from the actual car work being done. Therefore, every effort is made to place them in episodes as close to when they occurred in real-time in order to avoid continuity issues. Despite popular belief, most comedic storylines are 100% true, depicting events that have happened in the shop. The cast is encouraged to let the film-crew in on any pranks, so as best to capture real reactions.
Graveyard Carz went through a total revamp: new logo, new graphics, and new show format built upon the changes made in Season 5. Rather than focusing on the cast and their daily activities, focus has shifted to the cars and their builds in order to draw in viewers disheartened by the original format of the show.
In early 2016, TERN commissioned 26 episodes to be distributed internationally on Insight as two seasons. On Velocity in the United States, the same 26 episodes were released as one long season.
Season one started on June 14, 2012 and ended on July 19, 2012 for a total of 6 episodes.
Season two started on January 8, 2013 and ended on April 2, 2013 for a total of 13 episodes.
Season three started on January 7, 2014 and ended on April 1, 2014 for a total of 13 episodes. Starting with the second episode, the series now includes trivia questions before and after the commercial breaks and recaps of what has taken place up to that point. A new opening title sequence also debuted on the second episode of the season.
Season four had a premiere in July 31, but the actual season returned on November 18. Holley is absent.
Season Five with new cast and new shop.
Season six started on November 9, 2016.