With the success of the hit series Fast N' Loud on the Discovery channel, there naturally will be stars that are made simply through their involvement as main characters on the show. Aaron Kaufman is by far one of the most influential characters, outside of Richard Rawlings, that you will find on the show.
However, there are quite a few things about Aaron that you may not have known. Especially since his departure from the show, there have been many different things that have affected Aaron and his vision for the future.
This has given him an overwhelming amount of leverage as to where he wants to go with his career not just as a mechanic, but as a businessman as well. However, today we are going to go over 25 things about Aaron Kaufman that we didn't know, until now.
From his departure from Fast N' Loud to his vision for a new shop, and even a new TV series that he stars in, these each will give you a look into the mind of one of the original founding figures in the Fast N' Loud series. Let's take a step into the mind of Aaron Kaufman, master fabricator and rising star in various reality TV car shows.
25 Arclight Fabrication
Soon after his departure from the Gas Monkey Garage and Fast N' Loud, Kaufman went on to start his own shop. This one wouldn't be under the immense stress that the Gas Monkey Garage is, and would be building cars that Aaron is passionate about. Arclight Fabrication was Aaron Kaufman's vision of what he wanted to do after the end of his tenure at the Gas Monkey Garage. This, according to Kaufman, allowed him to be happy doing what he loves and also make money doing so.
24 Father's Passion for Cars
One of the biggest things that Kaufman himself tends to lean towards as the base of his passion for cars is his father. Kaufman's father was the one who was always passionate about cars. This is where Aaron learned to work on them and modify them, as well. However, growing up they didn't have the luxury of having extra cars to toy around with, so Kaufman would work on his own cars whenever they needed anything. This gave him an early start with his mechanical skills, which proved to be his bread and butter.
23 Early Fascination with Cars
Aaron has been someone that always has been fascinated by machines in general. At an early age, according to Kaufman, he always had a fascination with machines, and whether it was anything that moved or worked to do a job, he liked them. This was his early run-in with a burning passion to build these machines, turned into a passion for building some of the most complex cars and trucks that the world has ever seen. Starting from his early age curiosity, this blossomed into some insane builds.
22 Learning the Skills
Believe it or not, the skills that Aaron Kaufman has acquired as a master mechanic and builder for these projects came in a very untraditional way. He didn't go to school to be a mechanic, after all; he actually went to college. However, the skills that he acquired came from extensive hands-on work with his personal cars and his friends' cars around him. From doing builds in his driveway to helping his buddies with modifications, over time, he became equipped with this skillset.
21 The Decision to Leave Gas Monkey Garage
This is one of the most sought-after questions about Aaron Kaufman that you will be able to find anywhere. Aaron decision to leave Gas Monkey Garage not only made waves for the Fast N' Loud TV show but for fans around the world. This decision was something that made more sense than you would think. This decision to leave Gas Monkey Garage was simply due to the differing visions of Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman. That, among strict deadlines and cars that didn't interest Aaron, led to his new fate.
20 First Customized Car
This is something that most of you might not have known about Aaron Kaufman before reading this. He actually customized his first car when he was 16. This car was none other than a Jeep Cherokee. Not only was this car his first car, but, as we discussed earlier, his family couldn't afford to have any of the luxuries of having a project car for him and his dad. However, that did not stop him from making his first modifications on that Jeep Cherokee to make it more like what he wanted to drive.
19 Original Dream Job
Aaron didn't always want to be a professional builder and mechanic extraordinaire. There was actually a dream that he was working on following before he started his first shop with his long term friend from high school. In fact, the dream job that he wanted to do was being a park ranger. This would have allowed him to go off-roading with the truck that he was given and to be outside with wildlife, as well. So, believe it or not, the master mechanic actually had a much different dream in mind from a young age.
18 Before Fast N' Loud
Believe it or not, there was a Gas Monkey Garage before the show Fast N' Loud began. This was Aaron Kaufman's home before there were cameras running around the shop capturing hundreds of hours of footage. The duo of Aaron Kaufman and Richard Rawlings actually started working on the Gas Monkey Garage before the show. This was the first step for Aaron to achieve his newfound dream of being a master builder. However, just before the show aired for the first season, the Gas Monkey Garage nearly closed down.
17 Traveling Across the Country
One of the things that Aaron recalls being the best part about working with Richard in the Gas Monkey Garage is the trips they would take across the country. According to Kaufman, they would go from town to town during the trips and simply have a good time. Richard would wake up early and start driving, then Aaron would drive starting around 2 pm, which made for a perfect balance. The memories that they had on the road were very much worth the time they spent together.
16 The Near Demise
This was something we touched on slightly earlier, but before Fast N' Loud, the Gas Monkey Garage nearly stalled enough to close down. This left Aaron looking for work outside of the garage, including at 4 Wheel Parts, an off-road customization shop and retailer. Finding out that there was going to be a show that showcased what the Gas Monkey Garage does was actually the turning point for the shop and Aaron alike. This brought him back to the shop, where he ultimately got to build awesome cars.
15 His Best Mechanic
One of the best mechanics that came to the Gas Monkey Garage and, ultimately, Arclight was a long term friend. This was actually the same guy that Aaron went to high school and the start of college with. From there, they both dropped out and started up their own business doing mechanical work. He actually has been on the crew since the start and has made some very interesting points when it comes to working with Aaron that we are going to go into now.
14 Working for Aaron
One of the most critical things that was important for Aaron's long-standing friend while working at the Gas Monkey Garage was his one condition: he worked for Aaron, not Richard. One of the things that has circulated pretty often is the struggles of working for Richard Rawlings. While he might be an amazing businessman and marketer, employees of his tend to start getting upset over time due to his nature of the work that he does. This was true when Aaron's friend came to work with him at the Gas Monkey Garage.
13 The First Season
The first season of Fast N' Loud emerged with many different controversial aspects. Not only was it an effort to create a TV show that showcased something that was never done before, but it had to draw the eyes of the audience. For Aaron, this meant building 12 cars in 24 weeks. Sometimes, there would be 110 hour work weeks, as well. Not only was this extremely exhausting but this was the start of the downturn that would lead to Aaron leaving the show. However, this was just the beginning of what was to come for the show.
12 Aaron and Richard's Split
Another thing that ended up being extremely controversial for the Fast N' Loud duo was tension between Aaron Kaufman and Richard Rawlings. The two ended up parting ways after a decision to step down by Aaron. Fortunately, there was no real bad blood between the two. Richard, actually, was more supportive than negative about his decision to leave the crew. Granted, Aaron had been working with Richard since Aaron was 20 years old. However, this decision rocked the fan base of the Fast N' Loud show.
11 From Surgery to Filming
After the split from Fast N' Loud, Aaron ended up getting his own show, Shifting Gears. This would make him the star of the show and the complete boss of the shop that he now was in charge of. However, Aaron spoke of a time where he actually had emergency surgery and ended up taking only three days off of filming before coming back to the set. Talk about determination! This shows the character of Aaron and the type of worker he is, in general, as well. To do a feat like that surely takes strength.
10 No Plans to Return to TV
Contrary to popular belief, Aaron Kaufman actually did not want to return to the TV screen. This was a decision that he stood by ever since leaving the set of Fast N' Loud. However, one of the Discovery executives approached him and after a 6-hour dinner, convinced him to stay on for his own show. This show would be completely his to run, as both a producer and as the star. However, it would be completely different than Fast N' Loud. It would have the spin on it that Aaron would want, showcasing more than just cars and builds.
9 The Pressure of Being Boss
This is something that Aaron didn't completely expect when he opened up the new shop, Arclight. However, he quickly found out that the new show and the new shop had been slowly affecting his relationships. Starting with his girlfriend, his dogs, and his employees, he found that his time was being completely taken up by being a producer of the show and a shop owner. However, his lack of sleep and motivation didn't phase him from creating a successful show for each episode.
8 Arclight's Plan
Since this is something that is completely new to Aaron especially, there has to be some sort of plan put into place for success, right? Well, there is, and much more, as well, by the Shifting Gears star. For Arclight Fabrication, the goal is to specialize in Ford F-100s and the F-Series, in general. This means providing conversion parts, restoration parts, and even wheels that are custom to the line of trucks. Also, with a strong branding sense, there will be an even bigger brand built, as well.
7 Kaufman's Vision
Aaron is the type of person who always humbles himself. He doesn't have to dress a certain way or drive flashy cars to be successful. For Shifting Gears and Arclight Fabrication, he wants to create something that isn't like Fast N' Loud. This will be a show that gives him the sense of passion for the cars that he desires. Not only that, but they will be providing a service that no other builder in the country does: restoration parts for Ford F-100 trucks. Along with automotive shenanigans, he wants to just have fun doing what he loves.
6 Humble Beginnings
Before Gas Monkey Garage and Fast N' Loud, Aaron Kaufman was someone who always had a passion for building things. From doing builds for his buddies in the driveway to modifying his Jeep Cherokee, he always wanted to get his hands dirty. Plus, being from a family of hard workers, Aaron always would put his best foot forward. Being a straight-A student in high school and college, his decision to drop out of college and pursue his dream was something that was more than bold.
5 Building a Passion for Cars
His passion for cars started with his dad at a very young age. His dad was a mechanic that worked on all sorts of cars and always had a passion for motorsport, as well. However, it wasn't until Aaron was driving that this passion exploded. The passion for cars really ignited when he started to modify his Jeep Cherokee at an early age. However, it didn't stop there. From crazy builds at the Gas Monkey Garage to doing his own builds during his free time, the passion for cars and motorsports has continued to grow within Aaron Kaufman.
4 Early Career
During his early career Aaron Kaufman wasn't completely keen on being a big TV star; in fact, this was something that never crossed his mind. Starting from scratch, he worked on cars, essentially, as a mobile mechanic to gain experience. This allowed him to pursue working with Richard at the Gas Monkey Garage, which from there, helped build an empire that is today Fast N' Loud and the Gas Monkey Garage. However, Aaron wasn't keen on being the star; he wanted to be able to continue to grow his skills with each build.
3 Finding Success as a Mechanic
This stems from his burning passion for cars but Aaron Kaufman didn't get there easily. There were quite a few hurdles that he had to cross as they came during his career. However, as a mechanic, he managed to find success on many different levels. Starting from his diving into work with Richard, to the personality that he is on Fast N' Loud, and even Shifting Gears, his new show on Discovery, there have been many challenges sent his way. However, he still finds a way to showcase his over-the-top skills on any build.
2 A True Car Guy
Aaron Kaufman isn't just another builder that specializes and likes only one style of car. He is someone who wants to stretch his skills as a fabricator and a mechanic. Not only this, but he also finds time to go out and hit the track with some of the cars. This gives him a dynamic that allows Aaron to be on another level to other mechanics. However, there are very few cars that Aaron can truly say he dislikes. But being the kind of guy that he is doesn't allow for him to do such a thing, as he always keeps everything professional.
1 The Future of Shifting Gears
Aside from the fact that Aaron Kaufman has found his success through many different avenues, he still has to maintain a vision for his current TV show, Shifting Gears. Kaufman wants to keep the show about the cars and not personalities. Each build will take place over a various amount of episodes, with things happening that won't just be about cars. Sometimes there will be ATV's on the trails or even racing on a road course. He wants to keep the show fresh and not get burnt out from the pressures of the success that he has taken on.
Sources: Discovery, Speed Society, Motor Trend, D Magazine, Driving Line, and Hot Rod Network.