North Texans revving up reality TV by fixing old cars

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 11:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 1:14 AM

DALLAS – Behind two men with the drive to bring neglected cars back to life, the show Fast N’ Loud is revving up the reality TV scene in Dallas. 

North Texas natives Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman never expected their passion for cars and their work inside Gas Monkey Garage would turn into a hit. 

“It’s a journey to see it back on the road, to hear it, to feel it again,” Kaufman says.

“It’s a lifestyle, it’s an attitude,” Rawlings added. “Basically it’s just cool.” 

The show’s success fueled the automotive aces to find a new home on Merrell Road, a bigger location for bigger builds. They have to be ambitious, they say, the season’s demands are sky-high: the crew is transforming dozens of vehicles in months. 

“I love the transformation, that’s what we are all about,” Rawlings said. “We bring in something ugly, send it out the door looking good; that’s awesome.” 

Turning wheels and deals on TV each week on Discovery is reeling in a huge fan following. They say they get visitors daily and try to make time to shake each hand. Fans also pass by Phipp’s Automotive, a garage with hot rod history where Fast and Loud first aired. 

“This last year has been awesome,” said Dewaine Phipps. “Since I met the guys, it’s been pretty cool.”

Phipps has a door where fans from all over the world have signed their names. He said he “cannot be any more proud of these guys.”

But the partnership hasn’t always been a thrilling ride. The dream has hit the financial skids –– twice. But Richard’s tenacity and Aaron’s aptitude for mechanics found them celebrity. 

“He will play everything on one hand and so it sometimes, it has bit him in the rear and other times, it’s the difference between us and everyone else,” said Kaufman. “The fact that we played our cards, the right hand, at the right time.” 

And they’re using that timing to spread the love of mechanics to their fans, especially children. They’re two friends, enjoying the ride, hoping to inspire younger generations along the way. 

“When I see the kids, I tell them, go take your dad’s lawnmower apart,” Rawlings said. “I want to see the kids get off the computer and back in the garage.” 

“You can do this, go out and have a good time and still make money,” said Kaufman. “It’s not an easy life, but it’s rewarding.” 

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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