Fast N' Loud is one of the most popular car-related television shows of all time and has earned a huge fanbase, with Richard Rawlings and his team creating an incredibly popular show that has been nothing short of a hit. However, the Gas Monkey Garage is much bigger than just a TV show, becoming a huge brand that has taken the world by storm with its various different products, including the very popular energy drink.
Within the show, the talented crew focuses on remodeling different cars, fixing them up from duds to sellable beasts, with various different issues being put in their way to add entertainment along the way. Of course, as with any reality-style TV show, there is plenty of drama—both real and scripted—with members of the show quitting, others being fired, and one member of the crew who reportedly acted like a child. Of course, reality TV usually brings the forced drama but many gearheads would have hoped Fast N' Loud would stick to more true-to-life action.
The show has been packed with brilliant moments of TV gold that will stand the test of time, but while the show has some incredibly dedicate and passionate fans, there are some things that not even the most hardcore fans are aware of. Within this article, we will look at 20 strange and interesting facts that left many fans puzzled about the show.
19 Aaron Kaufman's Creative Issues
Aaron Kaufman was always known as the major creative force behind the Fast N' Loud crew, transforming some of the worst cars into incredible, sellable rides, which is why many fans of the show were upset when he ended up leaving the show. However, it turns out that there were plenty of personal and professional reasons for Kaufman's departure.
He believed that the format of the TV show was hindering his productivity, stating he wanted to build cars that were much bigger. According to Kaufman, the show needed cars that were a lot smaller and it was clear that creative problems were the main reason for him leaving the show, despite the fact he was a big star on each episode.
18 Fallout With Jesse James
Jesse James is often known as quite a controversial figure but Richard Rawlings isn't exactly a clean individual either, with plenty of stories being told about him, too, which is why it might not be too surprising to know that they had a big fallout.
The early outset of Fast N' Loud led to some issues between the two men, with each man clearly thinking that there was only room for one of them in this game, refusing to share the spotlight with the other. Both men went on record saying some pretty ridiculous things about each other, with TMZ capturing the vast majority of it and while they both might have had some valid points, neither of them came out looking great.
17 Failing To Buy The Lamborghini Miura
Throughout Fast N' Loud, Richard Rawlings has made some fantastic purchases, picking up some brilliant cars or flipping some total duds into very impressive vehicles, but there has been one car in particular that he has wanted to get his hands on. Throughout the show, Rawlings has made it very clear that he wants to purchase a Lamborghini Miura and he has even attempted to buy one on several occasions but has failed every single time.
Rawlings has been pushing one particular owner in Florida, pushing him each year to try and sell but so far it just isn't happening. With only 764 ever built, it is easy to see why Rawlings wants one, but getting one hasn't been as easy as he might have first thought.
There is no real surprise to seeing spinoffs taking place anymore for popular TV shows as networks look to make as much money as possible from one simple premise, often using the same ideas and people in the hopes that a spinoff will be just as impressive. Richard Rawlings has enjoyed being given several spinoffs due to his work on Fast N' Loud, including being a star on Demolition Theater, Garage Rehab, and Misfit Garage.
And whilst those shows have not been as big as Fast N' Loud, Rawlings has still had huge success. There have always been rumors that many of the former show's stars would create a spinoff and there have been many of them, but that has yet to take place.
15 Computer Help
Every fan of Fast N' Loud remembers the major troubles they had with specific cars, with a big part of that being the computer systems that were on the engine, with the computer not allowing the car to start. Whilst this was clearly a frustrating issue for the team, a group from an automotive electronics company, Diablosport, ended up having to come and fix the issue, with everything seemingly getting fixed incredibly quickly.
Well, the reality is that the tech team had to dismantle the entire computer and write brand new code to trick it into ignoring the modules that were missing, something that took hours of time.
14 Gas Monkey Garage Is Packed With Cars
The idea that the guys in the Gas Monkey Garage have to go from one car to the next in order to survive is absolutely ridiculous and is possibly the biggest lie that the show tells on a regular basis. In truth, the Gas Monkey Garage has up to 40 or 50 cars at a time inside and whilst some are in a very poor state and others have recently been flipped, the fact is that they aren't exactly in a shortage of vehicles.
Rawlings and his team could pick and choose a different car each day and still have some left in the garage unused, which isn't quite the image that is portrayed throughout the show.
13 The 'Prototype' Firebird
Many fans will remember the episode that featured two "original" Pontiac Firebirds. The team "randomly" stumbled upon these prototypes, with the show claiming that their values were $325,000. The cars were found in a barn on the show, with the team seemingly just getting lucky and finding them randomly, but, of course, that isn't what actually happened because that would be ridiculous.
In reality, the cars were actually not prototypes at all, but were standard, consumer-model vehicles that were made and sent to the show—but that doesn't quite have as much of an entertainment factor, does it?
12 Those Commercials
Whilst Richard Rawlings has made the vast majority of his wealth from working with cars, whether that be on the show or away from the cameras, that isn't the only way he has made a living over the years. When he began to gain some fame and notoriety, other outside offers began to fall at his feet, including commercial work.
And whilst you can't blame a man for making extra money, the commercial involving the infamous monkey is horrendously bad. The concept sees Rawlings and the monkey work as allies, enforcing the Dodge Law, with the brand being exclusively for 'real men' with the advert having them frisk motorists and place them under arrest for a variety of situations. You really have to see this to believe it.
11 Gas Monkey Started In A Tiny Shop
It is quite hard to believe now but when you think about how impressive the Gas Monkey Garage and the brand itself are, the fact that it all started inside just a tiny little shop that was around 1,200 foot and didn't even have water or air conditioning is amazing. The idea was a crazy one from Rawlings, with the hope of starting a reality series that would be totally focused on a hot-rod shop that didn't even exist at the time, which is why the small shop was made.
Gas Monkey was eventually opened and it quickly managed to gain an impressive reputation, and he eventually decided to travel around the country to help make that happen, which eventually worked as Discovery created the show.
10 The Crazy Work Schedule
When fans sit down and binge watch the show, it might seem like it is all done very quickly and is a lot of fun, with a lot of people thinking that it could be a dream job. But in reality, it takes an incredible amount of work and dedication. When the crew talks in interviews about how much time they actually put into the filming of the show, as well as the time in the build-up, it is pretty crazy!
The group has admitted that they have spent up to 120 hours each week inside the garage. This is an insane amount of work and is double—if not triple—the amount that a lot of people work and will likely make even the most enthusiastic car fan question if that is what they want to do as a job.
9 Beating Roadkill
Earlier on we mentioned the infamous car electrical issue and how much trouble that is caused behind the scenes, and whilst it was played down on the show to help make the team look even more skilled, the situation was actually very stressful for those involved. The reason for this was because the guys were undertaking a challenge that the hosts of Roadkill put to them and that is why the team worked so hard off-camera in order to make sure it all worked perfectly.
In the end, it was all worth it for the Fast N' Loud crew and they actually beat the Roadkill team on an eighth-mile stretch, which might not be a particularly long race, but was a memorable one for the Gas Monkey boys.
8 Crazy Success Of Gas Monkey Energy
You would think given everything that Richard Rawlings has accomplished in his life— whether it be on television or simply focusing on his work with cars—that it is quite crazy that the biggest success he has had is a product called Gas Monkey Energy. For some reason, Rawlings decided to launch an energy drink brand, naming it Gas Monkey Energy and it is unlikely that even he managed to think about how successful this particular product would become.
Earning a contract with the military to sell the product in every base in the country was a major help for him and there are also countless sponsorship deals that also push out the brand, helping it to be one of the top energy drinks on the shelves.
7 Tom Smith's Special Rules
Tom Smith was always known as the most interesting member of the Gas Monkey Garage team during his time there and often, that meant that he happened to be one of the more annoying people in the garage. The rest of the crew often referred to Tom as a big kid, which is why he was difficult to deal with (in their opinion) and this led to the rest of them creating specific ways of dealing with Smith when he became an issue.
His co-workers literally had to implement special rules in moments where he acted like a child in order for them to stay sane and keep everyone calm.
6 Tom Smith Fired
Speaking of Tom Smith, one of the most surprising moments for many fans was when he was fired from the show, with no real explanation happening on the show. Smith just appeared on one episode and then the next, he was gone and his time on the show had come to an end.
As we previously mentioned, Tom Smith was very difficult to work with in the eyes of his fellow co-workers and had to be treated like a child in order for them all to get along because he would often act out and cause issues. In the end, it seems like Rawlings had enough of the situation and decided it would be better for everyone involved if Smith was taken out of the garage.
5 Studios Didn't Want Rawlings
While Rawlings made the decision that the garage would be better off without Tom Smith, it was almost decided that the garage would have been better off without Rawlings himself, with the studios originally not wanting him at all.
While Rawlings knew that the show and its premise would be a huge hit with petrolheads and reality TV fans, it seems that television networks didn't have the same thought and it took him eight years of pitching to get the green light. Discovery Channel's Craig Coffman eventually admitted it was the sheer persistence of Rawlings that forced him to crack—although he will also likely admit it was a good decision to do so.
4 The Mustang
Not everything that happens on a show as wild as this can be all fun and games—and sadly the Mustang incident was not one of those fun experiences, even though it was never actually captured on camera for the show. However, the aftermath was well documented, with all of the crew getting involved as they ran down the street to see a stunned Tom Smith standing with a prized Mustang which had just been rebuilt and had been bashed in at the front end.
Rawlings held nothing back and he called out the other driver for running a red light and hitting the Mustang. Even though nobody was hurt, thankfully, it was clear that everyone was still enraged over the situation and many true colors were shown.
3 The Size Of The Crew
While you get used to seeing the same familiar faces on the TV show, the fact is that the size of the crew is way more significant than what is portrayed during the show, with the Gas Monkey garage having as many as 10 people inside at a time. It is the main personalities who get the screen time and, obviously, rise to fame and fortune but there are plenty of unsung heroes behind the scenes putting in a lot of time and work to turn the cars around as quickly and efficiently as they do.
Sadly for those mechanics, it is only the stars that get the TV money and the time to relax and unwind, while they are responsible for working some crazy hours to help the show run as it does.
2 Rawlings Always Carries Cash
You would think the last thing that a celebrity would do is carry around wads of cash with them and brag about it because it leaves them vulnerable. However, Richard Rawlings clearly doesn't have those worries. Rawlings was given advice when he was learning the ropes in his dad's garage.
He was told a story about how a $20,000 car could be bought for as little as $5,000 if that deal was able to be done in cash, on the spot. From then on, Rawlings has carried an unknown amount of cash around with him, meaning that if a deal opens itself up, he can make the most of it, despite how dangerous the idea might seem.
1 Car Buys Are Staged
This might not be the news that the most diehard of Fast N' Loud fans want to hear but the supposedly "random" buying of cars that takes place during the show is not as random as you might think. While Richard Rawlings might appear to be talking to a buyer for the very first time when the camera starts rolling, the fact of the matter is that he has often sorted these deals out long before and the whole situation is just scripted for TV's sake.
The vast majority of people are aware that this is a scripted situation but the reality element of the show is often confused for some when they aren't aware it is scripted. But the fact is, if he had to make the deals he does on a whim, the show likely wouldn't happen.
Sources: AutoWeek, IMDb, and Wikipedia.