Fast 'N Loudmouthed

Fast 'N Loud's Richard Rawlings  Photo: Gas Monkey Garage
I've never been to Texas, but I hear its great. There's a lot of open space and the climate is good to old cars. That's what I hear and see on TV when I watch all those cheesy hot rod reality shows on The Discovery Channel. Shows like Fast 'N Loud that just started a new season tonight on the Discovery Channel. You're darn right I watched it since I like most everything from Texas: Roy Orbison, Dr. Pepper and BBQ brisket.

While I've never been there, my wife did bring me back a stuffed souvenir monkey from the airport gift shop during a business trip to Dallas, the home of Richard Rawlings and the folks at Gas Monkey Garage. If you're reading this blog, you know who these folks are, but if not that's okay. I'll sum it up for everyone real quick: they're a bunch of folks who realized there's a lot of money in selling warmed-over old cars and trucks at auction and sold the whole business concept to Discovery. Allow me to rant a little more.

A scuffed & slammed '59 Rambler station wagon after the Fast & Loud treatment. Do these rims make me look phat? Photo: Hooniverse.com

Most of the cars this garage turns out aren't restored, or fully rebuilt...they appear on television to be 'breathed on' by a crew of mechanics. They do have a shop that's capable of some remarkable work, but what makes the cut for the TV show is a little less flash and more CA$H. A 1980's Rolls Royce gets a pinstripe and a set of aftermarket 20 inch rims and VOILA! It heads to auction with a hefty price bump and sells for a profit. Or an old Rambler station wagon is dragged out of a barn, the rat turds are vacuumed out and a crate motor is shoehorned into the engine bay and BAM! Show me the money! Or the episode where a wrecked Ferrari F40 is brought back using an infusion of cash from a wealthy friend named Dennis...who ends up buying the completed car. True to form, Dennis is such a baller that he only deals in straight cash, homey. The common recipie for a Gas Monkey custom is air ride suspension, ridiculous rims, and EFI late-model power. As for the paint & body, well most of the time that work involves a Scotch-Brite pad and a gallon of urethane clear coat. "Patina" is in. Did I mention "in"? Because this show is the coolest freaking thing you've ever seen, brother. At least that's what they'll have you believe.


This Mark VIII was pretty badass. Photo Credit: Quotesgram.com

Richard, Gas Monkey's outspoken owner and reality television star, and his modest chief mechanic Aaron Kaufman make for entertaining television each Monday at 9 Eastern / 8 Central. Its actually fun to watch them quickly redo a custom car in 1 or 2 episodes and do smoky burnouts behind the shop. I get the appeal and I still watch the show when its not in re-runs against the protests of my wife. But I do have a few bones to pick with the show and here they are in no particular order.
          
5 Reasons Why Fast 'N Loud Slightly Irritates Me


1. It Tries To Be Trendy

Gas Monkey's Aaron  Kauffman (left) and pre-Gas Monkey Aaron (right). Beards make you an expert in your field.    
Photo: Starcasm 
Hot rods are big money right now. So are tattoos, beards, and worn jeans with giant cuffs. This show has all of these items. I can't help but think all of this interest in building rat rods and rusty customs is a clever ploy to cash in on what's hot today, just as numerous muscle car dealerships & shops slapped together SS and GT versions of plain intermediate-sized cars in the 1980's and 90's for a quick profit. Remember seeing 70 Chevelle SS 454's all over about 20 years ago? I think the number of Super Sports on the road doubled in that decade, and not in a legitimate way.  I think 20 years from now, Hemmings classifieds will be filled with former customs with saggy air ride suspension kits, butchered frame rails, and lots of bondo...all because it was what was 'in style' at one time. For the record, Richard started off running a printing company years ago, and now builds hot rods. I'm sure the profit margin is higher when you sell a few hundred '32 Fords than selling a few high school yearbooks.

2. Its Kinda Wasteful
The Gas Monkey boys destroy a rusty 1968 Cadillac Coupe DeVille before sending it to the scrapyard.
Photo: Discovery Channel
When you tear into a project car, you don't literally tear into the car. If you won't be reusing a stock part during your rebuild, don't throw it in a trash pile or deliberately break it because its "stock junk" like the Gas Monkey dudes occasionally do. (I blame the Spike TV shows for starting this fad. Most of the PowerBlock shows started chucking OEM parts with good eBay or swap meet potential into a huge pile and then explained why it sucked.)  Some stock parts are actually junk, but most of them have some value to other owners, restorers, and even other customizers. Fast 'N Loud often does gratuitous burnouts with their projects, which is really just played out. I'm not saying I don't appreciate a burnout or have never carried out a smoke show myself. I certainly have. But really? Are we 16 years old? If I owned a car shop and my blacktop parking lot had more black stripes than dead man's curve, somebody's head would roll.

3. It Doesn't Respect The Craft of Automotive Repair and Restoration



Take the first season Fast 'N Loud episode with the '50 Oldsmobile. They originally wanted to keep the factory 303 "Rocket" V-8 in the car. This engine was a marvel of engineering for the time and one of the reasons the horsepower wars began. Once they got into the car, they realized it would have cost too much money to send off to a machinist and rebuild, so they yanked it and installed a small block Chevy motor and called the car good. It sold, and I'm sure its a fun car to drive and is more reliable. I would argue that was taking the easy way out. Now instead of being a conversation piece at a car show, this pioneering Oldsmobile is relegated to 'yet another Chevy 350'. A true craftsman would have accepted the challenge of the 303 rebuild and kept the car true to its roots while still adding a few custom touches from the era in which it was built.

Speaking of craftsmanship, When someone hastily paints over original wood trim in an antique home to make things look 'new and fresh' before they put it on the market, its a travesty. When someone puts a $500 paint job on classic Ford Galaxie before sending it off to auction, the same is true. Catch my drift? There's a lot of painted wood trim coming out of this Texas shop. Its a shame since the original Gas Monkey Garage location had an honest to goodness hot rod pedigree.


4. They Place a Dollar Value on Everything. 

Cash talks, and you know what walks. Photo: Lauramaedesigns.com

On numerous occasions Richard has passed on purchasing a sedan project car since it "has too many doors to be cool" or walked past something newer that's "not worth sinking any money into".  The trouble with flipping old cars (and houses) is that can overlook the significance of the original subject itself for the sake of profit. Sometimes a 4 door sedan is worth saving, even if it commands less on auction day. Vintage cars and trucks don't have to be 'cool' to be given a second chance at life. We get just as many thumbs up and smiles in our sedan as many folks in coupes and convertibles do. Restoring the more popular models just means your profit margin is a smidge less.



And if a hot rod shop, TV show, and merchandising wasn't enough, Richard opened up a restaurant with the Gas Monkey name. It really is all about the cash, and not the craft. They're also no stranger to scandal and they've been called out  a few times over the years, but they bounce back. Then there's the gratuitous shots of Richard with a wad-o-cash, and his signature line, "Gas Monkey only deals in cash.".  For the Gas Monkey crew, cash trumps all else...even common sense at times.

5. They Do Something That Many Of Us Want To Do, And That Makes Me Jealous

Photo: The Truth About Cars
Who wouldn't want to drive all over the country to search out project cars with potential, fix them up, and sell them at a huge profit? That's probably every gearhead's dream. Some of us would have a harder time than others in the actual 'selling them' department, but it would make for a fun career. I think all my negative comments are really just sour grapes because these beardie weirdies are out there making a living and having fun with old cars and trucks. So if anyone from Discovery legal or Gas Monkey is reading this and preparing a lawsuit, all that I'm really asking for is a job at Gas Monkey Garage or on the production team of Fast 'N Loud. I think I would add a whole new layer of depth to the show as a know-it-all Midwestern with a penchant for sarcasm. I also have a beard. That's a plus, right?


If I do get hired and things don't work out, I know there's a BBQ joint not too far from their shop in Fort Worth. I wonder if their brisket is any good.

-D

Comments

  1. You and 100,000 more guys want to be hired. Forget it.

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  2. What's wrong with doing burnouts in front of the shop? That shows you're immature enough to do it, yet capable enough to build the cars that CAN do it. 20+ years ago I worked at a shop that specialized in 60's muscle cars and pic #2 is exactly what the front of our shop looked like. It looked better than the wimps in the shop next door that did Porsche's. AMERICAN MUSCLE=CLOUDS OF TIRE SMOKE!!!

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  3. Yea that's not Aaron on the right. Close, but not him. I call BS! Nose, ears, eyes, and cheekbones are slightly different. Nice try hater!

    Also it's obvious you don't know what's in right now, OR how much work it is to build these cars. At least you're somewhat honest about your envy. How about next time you do what my daddy always told me to, and.....

    If you don't have anything good to say...

    Well I'm sure you get the idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...write an anonymous comment?

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    2. I love this show! It has awesome cars, Richard is HOT, and it's in Texas!! What's not to like!! You should really come on down here and check it out. You could go to the Gas Monkey Grill and have an ice cold beer hand delivered by one of Richard's beer assistants!! How could you go wrong...

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    3. its BIG BUSINESS DOLLARS NOT CRAFTSMANSHIP . The great tradition of built and made in America is pretty much gone . The James guy is the only one out there trying to rekindle that flame .

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    4. I agree with the author, the Gas Monkey Garage is fake, phony and pathetic. I can't stand either Richard "show me the cash" or Aaron the "so-called expert".

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    5. There should be a gas monkey in all Pennsylvania. There should be one in pa

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  4. These guys are good at what they do and its a fun show to watch. Just leave them alone. They are having fun.

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  5. But they still haven't given me a job there yet.

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  6. I USED to watch Fast-n-Loud, and it was fun. Now that Richard is a celeb, and success has indeed ruined him, the show has become simply stupid. He never had much personality, was not funny, and now that he has stardom and mostly works with famous people for big and bigger bucks - well, the show is just not the same anymore.

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  7. I think it's a awesome show with a great group of gents..Haters are always gonna hate when their jealous of somebody else and if you don't like them change the channel but remember they must be doing something right if you noticed them!

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  8. I enjoy the show when they are doing builds. Sorry to see Richard seems to have sold his soul to MOPAR but understand. Gas Monkey Talks Cash- if you don't understand that don't watch the show.

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  9. Rawlings is too much of a blowhard. People like me that have restored cars would appreciate a more technical view of the garage work. The clowning around takes away from a more interesting show.

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    Replies
    1. there are plenty of other shows that go into the Tech Mumbo Jumbo... watch them instead

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    2. This is TV !!! things are shot and shown out of sequence .....

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  10. I have a question about the boxwood green Ford pickup, after it was sold at auction,in a later episode is shown again doing burnouts and donuts. Was it returned?

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  11. I'm a Master Tech at a Ferrari McLaren Aston Martin dealer I stop by there today they're actually working on cars they have my respect good job Aaron

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  12. I enjoy the show , but a lot of the weld and fab on the show is bullshit , being a car weld and fab guy myself , who in the hell welds overhead jobs and any jobs for that matter in short sleeves? nothing set up in jigs just throw on and weld, its probably for show then someone comes in and does it off camera.

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  13. To all the gas bagers. Hahaha stupid people with stupid comments. Spend a day in the life of a person that can create a solution after spending five minutes with a problem.
    Then you can whinge and pretend your better then everyone else.

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    Replies
    1. I do actually whinge a lot.

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    2. You talk smack then have the nerve to ask for a job, not smart hater.

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  14. sounds like whoever wrote this is jealous

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  15. I really like their style of building for most of the cars they put together for several reasons. I worked in the auto body business for many years & the tedious nature of it could drive a man to drinking.
    Although I understand & agree with you on many of the things you dislike, for example the 303 Olds motor. I love the idea of having a classic vehicle with modern a drive train, suspension ect. This technique builds safe & practical daily drivers instead of trailer queens.
    I love seeing rolling pieces of history built to the smallest details but, they're so perfect that it's too risky to enjoy them.
    When that 50 Olds was done no one was worried about it getting scratched. I didn't like the 350 but, it is much easier to maintain & repair whenever needed. I hope they sent the 303 home with the new owner so it can be utilized in the future if the car ever goes through a complete restoration.
    I like their style & I hope they build more trucks on future episodes.

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  16. I have watched the show, but it's fake. For one, if Rawlings drank as much as he claimed, he's going to need a rebuilt liver. I know--I'm his age.

    I do think Aaron know's cars. It's too bad he isn't getting any of the Discovery money. Rawlings claims Aaron doesn't won't/need money. I guarantee this will not end well.

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    1. How do you know Aaron gets no Discovery $??

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  17. What I respect about Richard Rawlings is he got to where he is through (God forbid) blood,sweat and tears aka good ole fashioned HARD WORK. I have read endless comments from other men bashing how he dresses. What they can't seem to comprehend is ALL successful people make it because any criticism or "you CANT do it" bla bla bla goes in one ear and out the other. As for how he dresses with the "rock star" look, what non gay man dresses to impress other men ? You can learn a lot from Rawlings. He has the attitude of a WINNER and his bank account reflects that. He put in the endless hours of hard work to be where he is. He went into the business with big dreams and that is how it eventually paid off. He deals with clients who have the money to lay down. They know exactly what they are buying if the frame and metal has been blasted and the cancer cut out and replaced. Wiring needs to be removed and replaced ?duh The "patina cars" sanded and clear coated ? If i buy this car should i include the cost of a quality paint job and other repairs as my total investment? You can rest assured a lot of the show is tv BS but Rawlings didnt build a business from ripping people off. If I had 20-30k to spend on a classic my common sense would tell me to bring an expert with me, which he welcomes. What you see is what you get. Many other people in his business DO attempt to hide major issues with body filler or primer or bald faced lies. Maybe thats why he made it and they stay at the bottom with all the other losers. Haters live to hate.lol

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  18. wow, you whine like a little girl, the only thing with what i kinda agree; too many of these butcher top cars will be on the market later with no resale value above who butchered it... other than that, stop your whining, it's embarrassing...

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    Replies
    1. If I stopped whining, what else would I write about?

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  19. Daryl Scott. I agree with you on some of the things that you said( personally I don't like him much)he's penny wise and dollar foolish but in all reality he's doing something right. Otherwise where would he keep getting fat and deep pockets from ? Just my two cents...

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  20. My personal view is that it is my favourite tv programme, I'm a big car fan and the gas monkeys not only produce some awesome cars but they entertain us all while they do it, would you rather some serious straight faced mechanics make the car quietly in a pristine gargage, where would the fun be in that?
    you've gotta remember its tv and tv has to have an entertainment factor otherwise it wouldn't be on tv.
    Their carachters have developed over the different series and ive gotta be honest they entertain me every time I watch it, but I'm not one of those people who has the need to watch something and nit pick it to death, I watch tv for enjoyment and fast n loud does it all for me, and I also agree with an above comment, bad comments are probably just from guys that are jelous that they aren't doing the same thing, I for one would love to earn a living with amazing cars and have a lot of fun along the way.
    10 out of 10 for me, if your gonna dis it then don't watch it and leave it for us true fans to watch, nuff said!

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  21. Every piece of junk he drags in does endless smokey burnouts straight off the trailer.
    I never seen so many vehicles that had non operating rear brakes..
    Sorry kiddies, I have spent too many years in garages the past 35 years to believe every thing these tv wonder boys try to pass off as reality,,

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