This book wasn’t what I expected. I had no idea that Richard Rawlings actually pulled the whole Gas Monkey-empire together from scratch. I thought it was an up and running garage before the show even began.
I’ve always loved Fast N’ Loud, and Richard Rawlings is one of the reasons why – he’s entertaining to watch and obviously has a knack for running stuff. Losing Aaron Kaufman was a shame, but the show seems to be bigger than ever these days, even without him. The book was done before he left, so there’s obviously no information on what happened. It would have been interesting to read the book had it been written post Aaron.
The book brings us right back to the start; we get to follow Rawlings growing up in under privileged circumstances, learning the tricks of the trade purely by being surrounded by cars and watching his dad take care of his.
Just by watching the show, it’s probably easy to write him off and suggest he’s a lucky guy who struck gold by chance – having a car show that just blew up. That couldn’t be further from the truth. His book takes us through all of his business ventures, from less successful to the great, with GMG being the greatest. And who would have known that Richard Rawlings was a master of the printing business?
I’ll try not to spoil too much of the book, but he takes us back to the days when he was a police officer (yes, it’s true), getting shot in the shoulder and almost losing his life. There’s a story with a chain of events that happens to keep him at home, which ended up with one of his friends tragically being killed on a night out.
This is one of the books I finished the quickest, it’s a flowing read to get through and quite literally a transnational road trip through the States.
Gas Monkey story
“Then it hit me: somewhere along the line I’d come up with a term for guys like me and those weekend tinkerers – guys and gals who loved nothing more than messing around with cars every chance they got. I called ‘em gas monkeys.”
Aaron Kaufman has been in the picture for years, several years before the show started. And so has the Gas Monkey Garage. Richard tells us how he brought “the most talented guy around” along with him across America, building up the brand and showing up at car shows nation wide.
The book isn’t only entertaining though. There are a few lessons in there as well. It teaches the reader some of his tricks on how to be successful at buying and flipping cars, plus a few business tips in general. There are a couple of gems in there.
For all you car nuts out there, pick up a copy of it, or, “get you some of that”, as he would put it. It’s a fun read and it’ll probably change your perception of Richard Rawlings and the whole show. There are some wild stories in there that will make you glad you aren’t in his shoes, and perhaps even a few that will give you a push to try out the business for yourself.