It didn't take long before Fast N' Loud became one of the most popular car shows on TV, and part of the reason for that was perhaps that it was so raw and real. At least that's how it was in the early days when they were still working out of a tiny shop with no air-con, building low-budget cars.
These days, the production team is absolutely huge, and in reality, there's very little left of the charm that the original show had. It's become a much more streamlined - and scripted - operation, yet they still try to play it off as they're the underdog when it comes to buying, building, and selling cars. And honestly, the whole concept is not making a whole lot of sense anymore.
20 Horrendously Bad Commercials
We get that Rawlings wants to expand his business and gain as much recognition as possible - not to mention make some extra cash. However, the commercials he did with the infamous monkey are horrendously bad. The guy is good for $15 million and appears in several TV shows - we doubt he needed the money and exposure that much.
19 "Random" Clients
This part of the show was real during the early days but faded over time. Previously, Rawlings would buy a car, they'd fix it and flip it. These days, the Gas Monkeys are usually approached by a client with a major job that has to be done in a specific timeframe. These "random" clients are chosen specifically for the show by the producers.
18 Simplified Problems And Solutions
The Monkeys sometimes run into trouble during a build, but they always fix it in no time. However, the problem is often way worse than we were shown - such as the car they built for the Roadkill challenge; They built at least two transmissions and several torque converters from scratch, as well as recoding and modifying the engine computer system. It looked like it was done all in one night but took much longer in reality.
17 Completely Unscripted?
Turns out "reality" television isn't as real as people think. In fact, they employ just as many scriptwriters as any TV drama or sitcom. While the chemistry of the Gas Monkey crew has been critical to the show’s success, the banter between them has become increasingly scripted with time. The crew may be real people but the Fast N' Loud drama is as artificial as any other show on television.
16 K.I.T.T. Car
Basically, Richard's buddy wanted a Knight Rider replica for his birthday, and he would pay extra to have David Hasselhoff show up in person - total bill: $200,000. Richard later claimed he could do it all for $25,000. The focus is then entirely on Rawlings "chasing" The Hoff around Europe in the most scripted episode ever. Neither the K.I.T.T. car build nor the hunt for the Hoff made any sense whatsoever!!
15 Richard Was Stunned When Aaron Left
The departure of Aaron Kaufman from the series was a huge blow to fans. In 2017, Kaufman decided it was time to go and do his own thing. On the show, he breaks it to Richard, who’s stunned and practically begs Kaufman to stay onboard. Except that it was of course completely staged and scripted, and rumors of Aaron's departure had already circulated for some time.
14 Firing Of Tom And Jordan
There has been a lot of speculation as to why Tom Smith and Jordan Butler were fired from Gas Monkey Garage. Some say it was a planned move, seeing as Richard is the executive producer on the spin-off Misfit Garage where the two would later appear. The official explanation was that a fan wanted a picture next to Rawlings’ Rolls-Royce, and the two mechanics were fired for allowing it.
13 The Misfit Garage Rivalry
Discovery Channel wanted to expand on the success of the series with a spin-off: Misfit Garage. The show makes Rawlings a villain who’s constantly undermining the crew at Fired Up Garage and they often challenge to see who can do the better deals. What the shows don’t tell viewers is that Rawlings happens to be the landlord for Fired Up Garage and he's the producer of the Misfit Garage show.
12 They Struggle With Computers
The Gas Monkey team is supposedly among the best in the business when it comes to customizing and modifying vintage vehicles. However, they do seem to struggle a bit when it comes to computers. It doesn't make sense that a well-reputed car modifying shop doesn't hire their own computer guy. They've had to call in an expert several times – although Rawlings insisted that the cameras stopped rolling.
11 Sold Cars Appearing In The Background
This could be a continuity error, or perhaps it's because the show is scripted and fake? Several times we've seen the crew sit and talk us through something that happened on the current episode, only for there to be a car in the background that was supposedly sold a few episodes, or even seasons ago.
10 Firebird Prototypes
Rawlings claimed to have discovered an automotive Holy Grail: two prototype Pontiac Firebirds used as a “proof of concept.” He said they were worth $325,000 each and would be even more expensive once they were cleaned up. Except these “expensive” cars had both sold for just $30,000 on eBay a year earlier and were merely stored in the barn, not abandoned. Why make these claims when viewers can easily discover the truth?
9 Turning A Ford Fairmont Into A Drift Car
This chromed-out 1978 Ford Fairmont was a humble family car turned drift machine. It had the 5.0-liter V8 heart of a 1986 Ford Mustang. It also had a five-speed manual transmission, a heavily upgraded suspension setup, and a stripped out racecar-style interior. So what was wrong with it you wonder? Mainly the fact that it was a chromed Fairmont. Rawlings put over $40,000 into this car, but it sold for just $16,549!
8 On The Spot Car Purchases
Now, it's true that Rawlings does have a wad of cash on him at all times because he never knows when a deal will present itself. That said, the show makes it seem like all it takes is Richard showing up, talking to the car owner for a few minutes, and then the deal is done. In reality, these deals are actually worked out long before filming even begins.
7 The Offroad Camaro
The Frankenstein 1967 Camaro is lifted on a Chevy blazer chassis to run 44-inch tires. The Camaro would give a Jeep a run for its money on the trail with the upgraded axel, gears and lockers. Not only did the crew have to do a lot of restoration work on the car, but they also ended up replacing the majority of the parts with upgrades. It makes absolutely zero sense.
6 How Much Work Is Really Done
The show makes it appear as if the Monkeys work non-stop on a single car until it's done. Apparently, these guys barely sleep in order to get the job done. The reality is very different. A lot of the “reality” of the show is edited to such a degree that a couple of weeks' worth of work was seemingly completed in only a fraction of that time.
5 Running Into Burt Reynolds
Rawlings is a huge Burt Reynolds fan, but the show makes it appear as if the Richard and Aaron just drive up to Reynolds’ mansion and waved to get his attention. Of course, a couple of strangers wouldn't be able to just show up and get past the neighborhood security like that.
4 More Added Drama
Ever noticed that there's always something that goes wrong at the worst possible time? Just before the made-up deadline of a build, they realize something doesn't work and it sets them back. Of course, they manage to pull it off and deliver the car on time with just seconds to spare. Yeah, that makes perfect sense... especially when it keeps happening.
3 It's Only A Handful Of Guys
Discovery loves to have shows that appear to be just a handful of people working in the shop and doing major jobs. In reality, the support crew for this show is massive. Watch the credits for each episode and you’ll see them listed as “support staff” when in fact they do a lot of the real work the Monkeys get the credit for.
2 Living One Car To The Next
Fast N' Loud makes it seem like there are a couple of cars in the shop. In reality, there are typically about 50 cars sitting at the garage at any one time. For some reason, they want us to believe they are living from one car to the next in order to keep the garage up and running and putting those dollars in their pockets.
1 Richard's Weird Behavior Around Big Bucks
We know Rawlings owns the garage. We know he's got other businesses and is an experienced businessman. We know he's the producer of the spin-off shows. Basically, we know he's worth millions. So why is it that every time there's a lot of money on the table, he pretends to get all nervous? It makes zero sense!
Sources: Autoweek, Jalopnik, IMDB, Gas Monkey Garage, Discovery