Richard Ray Rawlings is a business owner, writer, and television personality from America. The Discovery Channel’s reality television series ‘Fast N’ Loud’ is centred around him and his several entrepreneurial ventures, including the Gas Monkey Garage, Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, and Gas Monkey Live music venues. A Texas native, Rawlings’ interest in cars developed early. He used to attend auto shows with his father and built cars. He bought his first car when he was 14 years old. In the next few years, he obtained a high school diploma from Eastern Hills High School and went on to serve as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, and paramedic. In 1999, he set up the printing and advertising company Lincoln Press, which he sold five years later. In 2002, he opened Gas Monkey Garage, a car shop that constructs customised vehicles for their patrons worldwide. ‘Fast N’ Loud’ premiered on Discovery in 2012 and has since become one of the most popular cars shows in the world. Rawlings stars in another Discovery series, ‘Garage Rehab’. In 2015, he put out his autobiography, ‘Fast N’ Loud: Blood, Sweat and Beers’, through William Morrow publishing company.
After graduating from high school, Richard Rawlings worked as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, and paramedic for several years. In 1999, he launched Lincoln Press, a printing and advertising company in Dallas, Texas. It gradually transitioned from a $600,000 offset shop to a $6 million offset and digital print provider. Rawlings sold the printing company in 2004.
In a 2017 interview, Rawlings admitted he had gone broke twice in his life. Things were so bad that he had to reside temporarily at his sister’s house. In 2002, he established Gas
Monkey Garage in Dallas. Their business model revolves around purchasing old cars, restoring them, and then selling them for a profit. Although Rawlings and his crew generally restore cars that they acquire from various parts of US, they serve an international clientele.
The show ‘Fast N’ Loud’ began airing on the Discovery Channel on June 6, 2012, and revolves around Rawlings, his crew at the Gas Monkey Garage, and some of his other business ventures. It is one of the most prolific car shows in the world and is broadcast in over 200 countries. The show spawned two spin-off series, 'Misfit Garage' and 'Fast N' Loud: Demolition Theater'.
In September 2013, Rawlings opened Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, an American restaurant and live-music bar, in northwest Dallas. In March 2014, a second location was inaugurated at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Rawlings has expressed his desire to start a third one outside of the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area. In October 2014, he set up Gas Monkey Live, a predominantly live-music venue, in Dallas. Rawlings had also launched Richard Rawlings' Garage, his second restaurant venture. The first location was set up in Harker Heights, Texas and started operating in 2016. It was shut down in 2019.
In May 2007, Rawlings and co-pilot Dennis Collins reportedly created a new record of Cannonball Run time from New York City to Los Angeles, breaking the previous 1979 record of 32 hours and 51 minutes. It all started when the duo challenged rival Jay Riecke that they could register a better time in their 2007 Bullrun entry, a black Ferrari 550, modified with extra fuel cells. They completed the run in 31 hours and 59 minutes. Rawlings and Collins are the only pair that beat the 1975 mark by Rick Cline and Jack May in a Ferrari Dino, as the rest of the challengers did not start and end at the correct positions or drove through alternate routes that were not taken during the original Cannonball Runs of the 1970s.
Rawlings, along with former GMG employee Aaron Kaufman, took part in a motorcycle build-off challenge with renowned customised bike builders Orange County Choppers, Paul Jr. Designs, and Jesse James. Paul Jr. won the competition with Rawlings and Kaufman coming in 2nd.
Since 2017, he has been starring in ‘Garage Rehab’, in which he and his crew help struggling car shops by investing time and money in them. He has served as an executive producer on several episodes of both series, as well as two episodes of ‘Misfit Garage’. In 2015, he executive-produced the fantasy comedy-drama film ‘Welcome to Happiness’.
Since 2014, Rawlings has appeared in several Dodge commercials.
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Scandals & Controversies
In 2018, Rawlings was sued by his own business venture, Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, for defamation and attempts to get out of his contract by “deliberate and deceitful” means. The lawsuit demanded $6 million in damages and was filed on behalf of the bar and its managing member, Daniel Flaherty, against Rawlings, the production company for ‘Fast N’ Loud’, and Gas Monkey Holdings. In 2019, Rawlings countersued Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill for copyright infringement, seeking $1 million in damages.
Family & Personal Life
Born on March 30, 1969, in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, Rawlings was always passionate about cars. He accompanied his father, Ray Rawlings, to various auto shows.
Rawlings was married to his first wife, Karen K. Grames, from 1993 to 1994. His second wife is Suzanne Rawlings. They have been married twice. Their first marriage lasted from 1999 to 2009. They remarried in 2015 but parted ways once more in 2019.