I wasn't a big fan of the Unique Whips show as far as content goes, and wasn't really a fan of the type of cars that came out of the shop, but it brought it up because it was the first reality show that I remember that was based on a working automotive shop, where the personalities of the shop were as big of a storyline as the actual work the shop produced.
Now there has to be at least 15 other car/truck/custom shows on now that have that theme (where the personalities are a big part of the show), but the original (Unique Whips) just seemed to go away.
Speaking of car shows, more in line with straight repair, I remember "Two Guys Garage" with Sam Memello and Dave(?) as being one of the first how to repair your car show (not hot rods/customs.) Seems all of the shows that have come along since then are how to customize stuff, and again, the show that might have been the originator went away. Another early one from years ago that I remember was Goff's Garage (out of Maryland maybe?)