Richard Rawlings is Fast N’ Loud
Fast N’ Loud, a television show that took viewers on a thrilling ride through the world of classic car restoration and custom builds, captured the attention of automotive enthusiasts and casual fans alike. Airing on Discovery Channel from 2012 to 2020, the show followed the adventures of wild Richard Rawlings and his crew at Gas Monkey Garage as they transformed cars and trucks into stunning, high-performance rides. Fast N’ Loud was on for 16 seasons and continues in reruns.
Fast N’ Loud showcased the high-stakes world of car restoration and flipping. Richard Rawlings and his skilled team at Gas Monkey Garage searched for hidden automotive gems to restore and sell for profit. The show provided an in-depth look at the restoration process, from initial acquisition and disassembly to the meticulous rebuilding and final sale. Fast N’ Loud captured the excitement, challenges, and mega-money-making possibilities of the custom automotive business. It was a must-watch show as much for the possibility of another Richard Rawlings train wreck as it was to see some pretty cool cars they produced.
Richard Rawlings Rolls the Dice
Richard Rawlings, the charismatic entrepreneur and car devotee behind Gas Monkey Garage, brought his passion for classic cars and business acumen to Fast N’ Loud. Rawlings began his career in the automotive world by working in various car dealerships and eventually started his own advertising and printing business. His lifelong love for cars led him to found Gas Monkey Garage in 2002, which would later become the focus of Fast N’ Loud.
Rawlings often appears like he is out of touch in some ways, especially when it comes to mechanical talent. Yet, he is an astute businessman with his hand on the pulse of the custom car world. He is a salesman, but he’s nobody’s fool. The Celebrity Net Worth website pegs his fortune at $18 million as of this writing. He is a brilliant guy even though it does not always show.
As most viewers know, Rawlings holds the world record for the fastest Cannonball Run, a cross-country road race from New York to Los Angeles. He completed the journey in just 31 hours and 59 minutes with his buddy Dennis Collins. He is the owner of Collins Brothers Jeep, a well-known Jeep restoration and customization shop located in Wylie, Texas, and has made many appearances on the show.
Rawlings and Collins partnered and profited on many cars. At times, Collins seemed to be the one with the deep pockets that saved Rawlings from financial catastrophe.
Aaron Kaufman, the Man with the Creative Skill
Aaron Kaufman, a master mechanic and fabricator, played a crucial role in many of Fast N’ Loud’s most impressive builds. As the lead mechanic at Gas Monkey Garage, Kaufman was responsible for overseeing the restoration process and ensuring that each project met the highest standards of quality and performance. His technical expertise, common sense, and creative vision made him an integral part of the Fast N’ Loud team.
Kaufman is that he is an accomplished self-taught mechanic. He began working on cars at a young age and honed his skills through years of hands-on experience, eventually becoming one of the most respected mechanics in the custom car scene.
Like many of Rawlings’ employees, Kaufman felt over-worked and under-loved and parted ways with Rawlings. Some think Fast N’ Loud went downhill after that. Kaufman tried to host shows on his own, like Shifting Gears, but he did not succeed. The interaction between the hyper Rawlings and the sensible Kaufman was the secret sauce of the show, and neither could survive over the long haul without that ingredient.
Fan Favorite Builds
Fast N’ Loud faced some controversy during its run, primarily related to the authenticity of certain aspects of the show. Critics claimed that some of the car acquisitions and restoration timelines were staged or exaggerated for dramatic effect. Despite these controversies, the show maintained a loyal fanbase and continued to captivate viewers with its exciting builds and behind-the-scenes look at the world of automotive restoration.
- 1967 Ford Mustang GT500. This iconic muscle car, also known as “Eleanor” from the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds,” received a full Gas Monkey Garage makeover. The team meticulously restored the car to its original glory, upgrading the engine and adding modern touches to create a stunning, high-performance machine.
- 1932 Ford Roadster. This classic hot rod underwent a complete transformation, showcasing the Gas Monkey Garage team’s attention to detail and commitment to quality. The build featured a custom chassis, upgraded suspension, and a powerful engine, resulting in a beautiful and powerful roadster.
- 1959 Chevrolet Corvette. The team restored this classic American sports car to its original beauty while upgrading its performance capabilities. The end result was a stunning blend of vintage style and modern performance, making it a true standout among Fast N’ Loud’s many impressive builds.
Fast N’ Loud spawned several successful spin-off series, including Misfit Garage, Fast N’ Loud: Demolition Theater, and Aaron Needs A Job. These spin-offs allowed fans to explore different aspects of the automotive world and follow the careers of some of their favorite Fast N’ Loud personalities. None succeeded like the original Fast N’ Loud.