Richard Rawlings' fascination with cars began at a young age; he was heavily influenced by his father's love for anything with 4 wheels and an engine. At the age of 14, he bought his first car and bought several other cars a couple of years later. He is the star of the reality television show called Fast N' Loud, a program in which Richard and the Gas Monkey Garage (a custom body shop establishment opened by Richard in Dallas) is seen restoring or customizing interesting cars they can find. The show has gained substantial popularity all around the world due to its captivating stories surrounding automobiles.
Richard does sell the cars shown in Fast N' Loud but he occasionally keeps a few cars he is specifically drawn to. This ended up in him acquiring quite a collection of automobiles throughout the years that tend to resemble his own personality. Sources say that the value of all the cars he owns would amount to at least a million dollars in total.
We have no doubt that we could find some very special cars in his garage that are worth taking a look at. And being an avid car enthusiast and the owner of one of the most well-known custom body shops in America, we are certain that he knows a thing or two about cars. As we delve into his collection, we will find an uncanny similarity between the cars he holds valuable and his own characteristics.
20 1932 Ford Roadster
As you would expect from a 1930s automobile, the whole thing just reminds you of a seemingly distant time when gangsters ruled the streets of New York. One thing reminiscent of that era is hot rods. People were starting to tinker with their cars themselves, trying to get them to go faster.
Enter Richard Rawlings' Ford Roadster and be met by a rather beige interior fit for a mob boss. Look under the hood and see its flathead V8 engine and three Stromberg 97 carburetors. If you thought that those are the only hardware upgrades on this hot rod then you are wrong.
19 2015 Dodge Ram 2500
We all know that U.S. citizens and their pickup trucks are totally inseparable; this is due to the fact that trucks offer people so much utility. Want to organize a barbecue? A truck can carry everything you need from a decent sized grill to a tray of 3-inch tomahawk stakes and absolutely everything in between.
Richard Rawlings' daily driver is his blacked out Ram 2500.
There's not a lot to talk about except that it's a great all around truck, it has all the comforts of a luxury car, and it's relatively tall with the step boards fastened at about knee high of an average sized man.
18 1968 Shelby Mustang GT 350
This classic '68 Shelby convertible is one of his favorites since they themselves built it. Nothing resembles the connection between father and son like a built car and its builder. Our love for anything with four wheels and unusually high clearances also extends to this Shelby since they've lifted it and installed fog lamps.
It's honestly a cool car with a unique stance sporting bigger off-road tires and a mad sound system, everything you'd want from a car that you could bring to the beach and not worry about sinking in the sand.
17 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline
White walled tires were a thing back in the day and the '52 Fleetline is a great addition for any car collection to add a bit of a retro spice.
It's the first car Richard Rawlings and the Gas Monkey Garage crew ever built together and as you would expect, it would only be proper that Richard kept it.
This Fleetline was in a rather rough shape when they got to work on it, rust was everywhere and that's no surprise since it is more than 60 years old.
16 1998 Chevrolet Crew Cab-Dually
This may very well be the most outlandish car in Richard's collection. With a 496 V8 under the hood, it can give out a lot of power. Technically speaking; it is a truck, as it was named of the "Top 10 Trucks of all time" by Truckin' Magazine.
Never worry about speed bumps in this roadster because it has a hydraulic suspension system which is controllable from the built-in iPad in the dash. The seating positions are quite unique, to say the least as there are 4 bucket seats and a bench all wrapped in leather for a more comfortable cruising session with your posse.
15 1968 Shelby GT Fastback
One could argue that the decade of the 60s was the golden era for American muscle cars; they absolutely embodied the personality of the country and they Shelby GT Fastback is no different. It's a hundred percent original as Richard claims.
Everything from the exterior to the nitty-gritty internals was restored perfectly and it would be extremely hard to find another example of a Fastback as well put together as this one.
The overall look screams beauty which is exactly why he bought this car and gave it to his wife. Nothing turns heads more than a blond driving the most pristine Shelby available.
14 1970 Dodge Challenger
The Dodge challenger is engraved in pop culture today largely because of the excessively popular Fast and Furious franchise. This specific first generation Challenger, however, was swapped with a modern Hellcat supercharged engine which bumped the power to a whopping 707 horsepower.
The engine isn't the only thing new in this bad boy. Richard and his crew improved the radiator, transmission, brakes, and the coilovers too. A harmony between modern performance and a classic look in an iconic shell complement each other so well. Did we mention that it's blacked out as well? Yes, Mr. Rawlings likes his cars black.
13 1974 Mercury Comet
A lot of people outside the United States haven't even heard of the Mercury Comet. This holds a special place in Richard's heart since his first car way back in the 80's was also a Mercury Comet.
Although he wasn't able to hunt down the exact car, he found this near perfect replica of the machine he so loved years ago.
We could imagine that he was thrilled to have acquired this example due to the fact that he gave three week for the Gas Monkey crew to restore this piece of American memorabilia.
12 1965 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback
Another classic American muscle in Richard's collection is the 2+2 Fastback, it is by no means the oldest of the bunch but it certainly is special. He was once shot by a carjacker who tried to steal his 1965 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback; luckily, he survived to tell the tale.
We cannot stress enough how recognizable the car's exterior is even from afar. So much so the three vertically positioned tail lights at both sides of the vehicle, there is a certain charm that this classic gives off that makes you feel all giddy inside.
11 1967 Pontiac Firebird
Now-defunct by General Motors, Pontiac continues to live on within the true classics they have built long before. The brand had been a contributor to what the car market is today.
Believe it or not, Richard Rawlings acquired the first two Pontiac Firebirds ever produced.
Call it a godsend or just sheer luck, he got in touch with Chuck Alekinas, a retired professional basketball player, and managed to purchase both cars for $70,000. The serial numbers are even 100001 and 100002, though some work had to be done, they are one of the coolest cars he has on his already amazing collection.
10 1932 Ford
The 1932 Ford is "the quintessential hot rod" as Richard Rawlings would say. These were produced in large quantities and people wanted them to go faster, outlaws also wanted to make their cars faster in order to outrun the police. This is what sparked the hot rodding fad pre-WWII, the average consumer could make some changes to produce more power from the early engines; worlds apart from the motor designs drawn up nowadays.
The car looks like it came out of a child's Hot Wheels box. It doesn't hurt that Richard drives this '32 Ford regularly with the peace of mind that if something breaks, they know how to fix it.
9 1967 Mustang Fastback
There is no other 1967 Mustang Fastback that has been preserved as well as this one was. For starters, most of the Fastbacks were raced at the drag strip or modified to crank out insane power, but all they used were the manual transmission models. This means that the automatics were pretty much left alone by the speed freaks.
The engine is a 6 cylinder instead of a V8 and was built at the San Jose plant; this would be our guess as to why the 43,000-mile car hasn't broken down yet.
8 2005 Ford GT Custom Coupe
Nobody in their right mind would dare to alter an appreciating automobile like the legendary Ford GT in fear of breaking something or diminishing its reliability.
However, the original owner of this Ford GT hit a fixed object and damaged the front of the car. This prompted Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman to purchase it.
After repairing and replacing the damaged parts, they decided to have a go at improving the already blistering fast supercar. They installed a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger and a set of MMR cams among other things but most of their upgrades were meant to improve the handling.
7 1975 Datsun 280 Z
This nimble little fellow was the first Japanese import the guys at Gas Monkeys built. For those who aren't familiar with the brand, Datsun was Nissan's name before and the 280Z is kind of like the grandfather of the ridiculously popular 350Z and 370Z.
Richard paid only $8,000 to own the 280Z and with the help of renowned tuner builder "Big Mike" made the SR20 engine produce an incredible 400 horsepower. The 280Z is also named the Fairlady in Japan and is featured in many video games including the beloved "Wangan Midnight."
6 Jaguar XK120 Roadster Replica
Yes, you read it, right fellas, it says replica. Richard's team built the body on top of predominantly Ford components, including a Ford V8 engine for ample power and a 4-speed manual gearbox.
Something amazing about replicas is they are insurable and any decent mechanic can repair them without a problem.
Having fiberglass as the body has its advantages such as it will never rust, add a glossy black paint and the car looks a lot like an antagonist's vehicle in a Batman comic book. Feel the wind in your hair riding this charming convertible around town and watch as people wonder what the heck you're driving.
5 1966 Saab 96 Monte Carlo Sport
An engine displacing only 841cc will leave many wanting for more but when you put it inside an incredibly lightweight body then you've got yourself a rally car. The Gas Monkey Garage built this vicious little machine complete with a roll cage, solid mount steering column, and a MOMO bucket seat for spirited driving.
It's about as small as the classic Volkswagen Beetle and handles one as well since you can throw it around tight corners on loose surfaces. Now that is one way to experience a true rally car, it even reaches the red line when you give the gas pedal a slight nudge.
4 1933 Chrysler Royal 8 Coup CT Imperial
Again with the white-walled goodness, why can't just manufacturers bring back white-walled tires? Richard has yet another hot rod in his collection in the form of the 1933 Chrysler Royal 8 Coup Imperial, it had been stored in a private and secure location, protected from the elements before Mr. Rawlings had the chance to buy the car.
Although it has been dormant for a very long time, the V8 engine does start thanks to the installed electric pump. We're quite sure that the two-tone color scheme of this Chrysler will dazzle even the hardest to please observers.
3 1915 Willys-Overland Touring
Ford was selling the most cars at the turn of the century and close behind was Willys-Overland. This barn find was not too far from the Gas Monkey's very own shop and was acquired in its unrestored condition together with all the gathered dust and cobwebs. Sitting inside the cabin could make you feel like you're back in time.
To start the engine, one would have to crank the lever at the front of the hood.
Richard Rawlings' collection just shows that technology has evolved leaps and bounds since the automobile was first made available to the public.
2 Ferrari F40
The Ferrari F40 was a supercar designed to be a legitimate racecar you can drive on the road legally. It's quite simply a 90's hero. A testimony to that is the countless bedroom walls riddled with posters of the F40.
All Ferrari F40's were painted red from the factory but Richard Rawlings' is actually black. The reason is that the original owner actually crashed the car, which led to the guys from Gas Monkey Garage along with Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman buying the crashed F40, repairing it, and repainting it in black.
1 1989 Lamborghini Countach
Another flamboyant Italian car sits in Mr. Rawlings' car collection in the form of the Lamborghini Countach. When it first came out in 1974, the world was taken aback by its wedge-like body with the front sitting a lot lower than the rear of the car.
The V12 engine sits right behind the driver which sounds like a match made in heaven.
Richard Rawlings' Countach actually has a different, bulkier front bumper to adhere to the stricter American safety specifications. To be honest, it does ruin the streamline effect look from the tip of the front bumper to the top of the windshield.
Sources: gasmonkeygarage.com, inventory.gasmonkeygarage.com