“Train up a child in a particular way, show him the way to go, and he won’t depart from the ways even as an adult” – King Solomon (King of Ancient Israel 970 -931BC)
It’s not debatable that most children who were trained to follow a specific part from a young age ended up becoming great in that particular field. Take, for instance, the Late Michael Jackson; he started singing at 5 years old with the J5 group and ended up becoming a superstar. So, where are we driving at?
Like MJ mentioned above, Richard Rawlings had a good start too as a young boy who started going to car shows and constructing cars with his father at an early age. He even went as far as acquiring his first car at 14 years. It’s evident that Rawlings has good knowledge about cars, so if he says a car is good or bad, we can give him the benefit of the doubt.
Therefore, we will be sharing with you in this article, 10 of his favorite and 10 least favorite cars of the Gas Monkey Garage Boss. We’ll be showing you some old classic cars we never thought he’d like and some new vehicles he doesn’t like.
You’ll be surprised by Richard’s choices. Do you think Richard’s taste for cars is superb? Share your thoughts and comments!
Rawlings loves the Mustang GT350, and he said that it’s a fan favorite as well. The model was first featured in season 1 of the Gas Monkey Garage; Richard rated the model 10 out of 10 because he built it with his team. He also stated that the model is a recreation of the Thomas Crown Affair from a Pierce Brosnan movie.
According to Jalopnik, it’s a super high-end car that uses a V8 engine which delivers 306 horsepower at 6000rpm and a torque of 329 at 4200 rpm through a four-speed manual transmission. It accelerates from 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph.
Some cars don’t need re-modeling because no matter what you do, they will never look good enough, especially the exterior part, at least that’s what Richard Rawlings thought about the 1950 Oldsmobile 88 Futuramic Custom Coupe.
According to Motor 1, the vehicle came into the Gas Monkey Garage for re-modeling because Rawlings thought it would be a great buy. He and the boys decided to up the car’s engine to 350hp V8 with a 700R4 transmission and repainted the vehicle with the factory paint job. Rawlings was still not impressed with the car.
The reason why the Dodge Challenger is inscribed in today's pop culture is because of the popular franchise: Fast and Furious. The 1970 Dodge is a first generation Challenger that was swapped with a modern Hellcat Supercharged engine. The engine delivers a whopping 707hp.
The engine isn’t the only thing that would mesmerize you because Richard and his crew enhanced the brakes, transmission, coilovers, and the radiators as well. The combination of a classic look in an iconic shell and a modern performance is beautiful. Since Rawlings loves black, a touch of it was used to complete the look of the car.
According to Discovery, Richard Rawlings classified this car as another 70s commuter, like its older brother the AMC Gremlin, in the field of bad looks. Not only is the vehicle ugly looking, but the drivability and style of the car is nothing to write home about.
If you watch the Fast ‘N’ Loud show on Discovery, you’ll notice that Richard Rawlings is a sucker for old and classic cars, but he has a different view, in a wrong way, about the AMC Pacer (like he had for the AMC Gremlin). If such a review comes from a car enthusiast like Richard Rawlings, then we can assume that the vehicle is (probably) crap.
One interesting thing about the Ferrari F40 is the fact that it’s a supercar that was designed to be a legitimate racecar (one that you can choose to drive on the road legally). Looking at the model, it’s apparent that it’s a hero from the ’90s; the many bedroom walls riddled with posters of the Ferrari F40 can attest to that.
The F40 that was available for him to purchase at that time was one that was crashed by the original owner. It was the crash that led Richard, Aaron Kaufman, and the Gas Monkey Garage crew to repair the car. According to Jalopnik, it uses a 2.9 liter twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers 163 horsepower.
According to Speedsociety, Richard Rawlings said if there is any car we should stay miles away from, it would be the weird 1971 Ford Pinto and its explosive backside. The Ford Pinto, also called Mercury Bobcat, was produced and marketed by Ford as a subcompact car from 1971 – 1980.
Even though Ford produced three body styles, which were: a three-door hatchback, a two-door station wagon, and a two-door fastback sedan with a trunk, they still weren’t able to impress users, according to Motor1. So, if they weren’t able to influence users then, do you think they will do anything different today?
The Ferrari 550 Maranello is one of the cars after Richard’s heart. According to Rawlings, the car has gone over 200 miles an hour on US freeways. It was in this model that Richard and Dennis Collins seemingly broke the transcontinental record in 2007; it was broken in 2014 by Ed Bolian, Dave Black, and Dan Huang.
The Maranello is a coupe that uses a 5.5-liter V12 engine that delivers 479 horsepower at 7000 rpm and a torque of 419 lb-ft at 5000 rpm. It accelerates from 0-100mph in 9.6 seconds and has a top speed of 199 mph.
The 1973 AMC Gremlin was one of the three gas-sipping, ‘70s commuter vehicles the automotive industry produced as part of the eco-friendly initiatives. The car was marketed as a coupe in America from 1970 – 1978. Most automotive experts classified the vehicle as an economy car because of its pronounced nearly vertical tail, shortened Hornet platform and its bodywork.
According to Motortrend, Richard Rawlings isn’t a fan of the Gremlin because it faces a lot of electrical problems with the alternator, which causes the car to have charging issues. Also, the nearly vertical tail shape of the trunk gives the vehicle a funny look.
It’s no surprise that Richard loves the 1978 Trans AM considering that he owned one when he was in High School. According to Richard, his Trans AM had honeycomb wheels and T-tops.
The model is a rear-drive coupe that has a front placed engine. It uses an overhead valve, 6.6 liters naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine alongside two valves per cylinder. The engine delivers up to 220 horsepower at 4000 rpm and a torque of 321 lb-ft at 2800 rpm. The Trans AM transmits power to the wheels via a three-speed automatic gearbox. It also features a bore and stroke that measures 4.12 x 3.75 inches.
The boys at the garage discovered this 1978 Cutlass and decided to do something unique with it, but it turned out that they failed in their plan because it didn’t bring a smile to Richard’s face.
They re-modeled the Cutlass to become a traditional low rider snugged with a set of custom coil covers which was extremely low. To make matters worse, they added a hydraulic setup to the car and finally nailed the coffin by adding a weird paint job which ruined the look of the vehicle.
According to Motortrend, Richard Rawling saw the car re-modeling as a weak attempt to produce a Cadillac lowrider.
The Ford 3 Window is one of those cars that Richard has regrets about because he sold all the models that came through the Gas Monkey Garage. Richard admitted that he loves the car because it’s cool and it’s on his bucket list.
The Ford 3 Window is a coupe that has two doors and a front mounted power plant. The power plant is responsible for transmitting power via the rear wheels. It uses a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter, eight-cylinder engine. According to Motor Trend, the engine produces 85 horsepower at 3800 rpm and transmits power to the wheels through a three-speed manual set of gears.
When Richard’s boys at the Garage got the 1970 Datsun 280Z for $8,000, he thought it was a steal to get such an old and classic car for that amount, until it was remodeled and lost. How did that happen? The boys at the Gas Monkey Garage upgraded the car’s engine to an SR20 that produced 400hp.
Unlucky for them, some things went wrong, and the $8,000 investment went up into flames, according to Motor Trend. Of course, Richard wasn’t happy with the developments, because he had thought the car would turn out to be a good buy, but it wasn’t.
Even though Richard rated the 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline eight out of ten, it doesn’t change the fact that he loves the car. Richard stated that it was the first car he built at the Gas Monkey Garage and when the opportunity of repurchasing it came, he went ahead. He intended to build the car and take it to the road for people to see what his team could do.
It’s apparent that his plan worked out fine because it propelled his business. According to Richard, he chose the car for its practicality. It uses a 3.9-liter engine that produces 105 horsepower.
You may be wondering why this 2005 Ford GT is on the list of the least favorite cars of Richard Rawlings. Well, before you start judging him too soon, it’s important for you to know why this car is part of his least favorites.
According to Jalopnik, the car was bought for $250 million by Richard and his team who planned to remodel it and get the best market value. The car saw the light of day, but it wasn’t able to cover the tainted parts of the vehicle. For this single reason, Rawlings counts the 2005 Ford GT as one of his least favorite cars.
Richard loves the 2015 Ram 2500 because it provides excellent performance and a remarkable towing capacity when it’s equipped with a diesel engine. The Ram 2500 also has outstanding off-road capabilities. It uses a 5.7-liter V8 engine that delivers 383 horsepower at 5600 rpm ad a torque of 400 lb-ft at 4000 rpm (via a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission). According to MotorTrend, the vehicle is easy to drive, and it doesn’t feel as long and wide as it looks.
When it comes to the quality of the ride, the model is rough. It has tech features like cooled seats, bed camera, rearview camera, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that makes the cabin feel premium.
According to Speedsociety, Richard Rawlings believes that the 2001 PT Cruiser is a front-wheel drive with a failed attempt to be a truck, even though NHTSA classifies it as one. Another thing the Gas Monkey Garage boss can’t stand is the looks—He believes the vehicle has the look of an old Bedford truck merged with a present-day Sedan car.
There are a lot of reasons why he ranks the 2001 PT Cruiser as one of his least favorite cars, but the two reasons mentioned above are enough to blacklist the vehicle. To make matters worse, re-modeling the car with a wooden trim didn’t help.
Richard has mentioned that he particularly loves the 30’s Ford model; it shouldn’t be a surprise that the 1934 Ford Coupe is one of his favorite cars. The model is a rear wheel drive road car. It comes with a power plant placed in the front and a two-door coupe body shell.
The Ford coupe uses a 3.6 liter naturally aspirated 90 degrees V8 cylinder petrol engine. The engine produces 85 horsepower at 3800 rpm. This power is supplied through a three-speed manual transmission. It’s a model that has a beautiful styling with power and economy to back it up. The model weighs over 2,500 pounds and rides on a wheelbase of 112 inches.
If you feel like you haven't seen ugly cars, don’t conclude until you’ve seen the 2001 Pontiac Aztek. According to Jalopnik, the car is one of the ugliest cars to be made by any automaker, at least that’s what Richard Rawlings thinks. It’s funny how the automaker aimed at producing the vehicle for active consumers, and it got executed in such a weird way.
To add salt to injury, the vehicle faces a lot of overheats, wheel issues, brake issues, and electrical issues. All these issues can be managed, but the ugly interior is a real write off, considering that the exterior is the same.
The 1932 Ford 3-window hot rod model is not only Richard’s favorite but his prized possession as well. He refers to the model as perfect and 100 percent original. Richard also said that the 1932 ford model started hot rodding in America for the average consumer. At the time of its release to the market, it was cheap and abundant which initiated customization and hot rodding in America.
Richard also said that he shows it off when he drives it because it turns heads. He also claims to take it everywhere because if anything breaks, he knows how to fix it: the advantage of owning a shop.
With how old and classic the 1959 Rambler Cross Country Wagon is, you wouldn’t believe that the vehicle is part of Richard Rawlings' least favorite cars. Of course, before ranking the car as one of his least favorite cars, he bought the “work of no-art,” and thought he and his boys at the garage would do something to make it a masterpiece, but it didn’t meet expectations.
The vehicle’s engine was upgraded along with other key features that made it an air ride, according to Motor Trend. However, the exterior and interior of the car didn’t meet standards because of its ugly looks.
Sources: Motortrend, Speed Society, Jalopnik, Heightline, Discovery Channel