Discovery Channel's Fast N' Loud follows Richard Rawlings' Dallas-based Gas Monkey Garage making profits from purchasing run-down cars and restoring them with new custom designs which -- thanks to the skills of the mechanic Aaron Kaufmann -- give the cars a new lease on life.
Fast N' Loud was an instant hit with fans when it premiered on Discovery Channel in June 2012. Several unique aspects of the show, such as the relatable struggles of a small business challenged to create beautifully restored cars, explain its popularity.
Like many other successful reality shows, Fast N' Loud has generated a number of spinoffs, such as Misfit Garage, featuring the former Gas Monkey garage mechanics Tom Smith and Jordan Butler. Smith and Butler later teamed up with Thomas Weeks and Scott McMillan to start a new company, Fired Up Garage.
Rawlings, a former police officer and firefighter, has come a long way since before his success -- at one point, he was so broke he had to spend nights on his sister's couch.
In recognition of the huge success the show's become, we present Fast N' Loud: 15 Awkward Photos Of The Cast That Only True Fans Have Seen.
15 Richard Rawlings: Mid-Air Breakdancer
A behind-the-scenes photo from Fast N' Loud's 100th episode watch party posted to the Facebook page and the official website of Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) on February 21, 2017, shows the GMG proprietor attempting a stunt during the party.
The anxious expressions on the faces of Rawlings' cast mates, including Aaron Kaufmann, as he got funky. They were probably concerned that Rawlings would miss a step and crash on top of the sturdy-looking metal locker he was hopping over. It looks like some break dance move no one's ever seen.
The 100th Fast N' Loud episode watch party offered an opportunity for the cast to celebrate the success of the show, which highlights the operations of Gas Monkey Garage, in the business of restoring run-down and damaged cars for profit.
14 Tom Smith gets too chill
Here's a photo from the September 2013 episode of Fast N' Loud that broke viewership records. This snapshot shows Gas Monkey Garage's former employee, Tom Smith, showing off his beach body. More than 3 million viewers tuned in to see the season 4 episode of the show, titled "Dale Jr.'s Sick Nomad". The episode was ranked as number one on cable (excluding sports) among male viewers in the age range 25-54, and number two for all TV shows (excluding sports).
Gas Monkey Garage's office manager Christie Brimberry caused a stir by showing off her stunning bikini body poolside, which only contrasted with Tom Smith's look.
Rawlings later fired Smith for unrelated reasons, which led to another reality show.
13 Aaron Kaufmann Gets Frisked
Aaron Kaufmann gets frisked by an officer during a week-long road trip from Dallas to Las Vegas in December 2012. Aaron rode a bike GMG built for the Chopper Live: The Revenge build-off, while Rawlings accompanied him on the 1,300-mile journey on his own bike. According to Rawlings, they stopped at as many Twin Peaks and Hooters as they could find along the way.
The also left Gas Monkey Garage T-shirts at several locations along the way for their Facebook and Twitter fans to pick up. A lucky granny picked up one of the shirts in Van Horn, Texas.
Team Fast N' Loud eventually took second place with their bike design, while Paul Jr. Designs won first place. Besides Paul Jr. Designs, other long-established bike builders who participated in the contest included Paul Teutul Sr.'s Orange County Choppers and Jesse James.
12 Rawlings And Kaufmann Spoof Paul Teutul Sr. And Jr. Fighting
Rawlings and Kaufmann once hilariously spoofed Orange County Choppers (OCC) father-and-son pair, Paul Teutul Sr. and Jr., in an episode of Fast N' Loud. The photo above appears to be a behind-the-scenes shot of the Rawlings and Kaufmann warming up for the skit in which they spoofed the fight between Senior and Junior that happened on an April 2009 episode of American Chopper.
In the Fast N' Loud skit, Junior -- played by Rawlings -- has an altercation with his burly father -- played by Kaufmann, who wore a rubber muscle suit adorned with tattoos.
Junior threw a tantrum and quit. Kaufmann then hilariously spoofed Senior throwing a tantrum by tearing his shirt, Hulk Hogan-style. Junior started his own design business called Paul Jr. Designs after he quit OCC, and won the Chopper Live: The Revenge build-off in December 2012.
11 Snake Charmer Kaufmann?
Aaron Kaufmann appears in this photo of uncertain origin in a Turkish fez cap, and what looks like a python slung over his shoulders. Considering fans know the bearded wonder as a master mechanic and expert fabricator, it is unclear which part of his work as a mechanic requires handling dangerous reptiles.
Fans may rest assured that the photo was not meant to message that he was taking up a new hobby or changing his line of work, however, Aaron is known to be an animal lover. Photos abound online showing him posing with several animal species, including a pig, a camel, and dogs. One photo shows him with is girlfriend Lauren admiring a huge Thanksgiving turkey on their plate.
10 Aaron Kaufmann Without His Beard
Fans have become so used to seeing Kaufmann sporting his trademark patriarchal bushy beard, that the sight of him without one is startling. This photo shows Kaufmann before his first appearance on Discovery Channel's Fast N' Loud.
Most fans thought he looked strange without his beard, while others said he looked unrecognizable.
Kaufmann eventually left Gas Monkey Garage early in 2017, after Rawlings announced that Kaufmann was leaving Gas Monkey Garage and Fast N' Loud in December 2016 in a statement on the GMG website. After Kaufmann left, he started his own company, Arclight Fabrication -- a business that supplies Ford F-100 pickup aftermarket components. He also started his own reality TV show Shifting Gears, which premiered on March 5, 2018.
9 Rawlings' Not Looking So Fresh...
Rawlings was caught on camera looking bleary-eyed, sallow-skinned, and the worse for wear. The Fast N' Loud star is open about the fact that he is a beer connoisseur -- his favorite beer brands are Shiner and Miller Lite. Rawlings' autobiographical work, Fast N' Loud: Blood, Sweat and Beers is mostly about his favorite topics, cars and beer.
He opened his Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill at its first location in Dallas in September 2013. He opened another Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill at the Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport in March 2014, which led to him opening Gas Monkey Live, a venue for live music, in October 2014.
Rawlings partnered with Miller Lite in July 2014 for "Ride With Rawlings" Contest. However, he has more recently been featured on commercials promoting Dodge vehicles.
8 The Ringmaster And The Circus Clown
Although there is no such thing as the Gas Monkey Flying Circus, Fast N' Loud has acquired the reputation of being a part-time circus show, as their unique style of reality TV incorporates skits in every episode of the show.
Even if they dressed up more than once, this circus-themed outfit certainly fits their wrench monkey personalities.
One of the most memorable skits on Fast N' Loud was when Aaron and Richard spoofed the fight between Paul Teutul Sr. and his son. Discovery Channel posted a video of the Rawlings and Kaufmann's Fast N' Loud skit to YouTube and many fans agreed that it was the funniest skit the show ever did. Fortunately, Paul Teutul Sr. also thought the skit was funny.
7 Rawlings caught on the beach
Something about Richard Rawlings' expression in this photo tells us that he did not appreciate having his photo taken at that particular moment.
The photo was one of several paparazzi shots of the Fast N' Loud star taken in June 2014, while he was having fun on the beach in Miami, Florida, soaking up the sun and riding jet skis with friends.
Rawlings certainly deserved to take some time off work. After purchasing Lincoln Printing & Graphics in 1999 with a loan, he launched Gas Monkey Garage in 2002. Gas Monkey Garage had achieved success building automobiles for customers from every part of the world before it became the focus of the Discovery Channel's Fast N' Loud series in 2012.
6 Tony Cano Spoofs Christie Brimberry
No one really got why busy Gas Monkey Garage office manager Christie Brimberry chose to pose in this photo, dressed in a costume similar to a toga.
Whatever might have been the reason, GMG's body man and painter Tony Cano couldn't resist the urge to spoof her as she posed for a photo shoot.
Brimberry, born March 25, 1972, has been the officer manager of Gas Monkey Garage, and the personal assistant to Gas Monkey Garage founder Richard Rawlings since 2012. Fans were shocked when she revealed in October 20, 2016, that she had undergone a thyroidectomy due to a cancerous tumor in her thyroid. The cancer was found after she complained about a small lump in her throat.
Christie is married to Daren, with whom she co-owns the Dallas-based Muse the Salon, and Craft & Company Salon.
5 Not So Fast, Rawlings
The photo shows the moment that police caught Richard Rawlings speeding. We are able to confirm that he was actually speeding at the time police stopped him, because Rawlings himself pointed it out in his own Instagram post. Some fans thought they had recognized a car the garage had previously worked on, but were not surprised he was caught speeding.
Rawlings was test driving a car GMG just restored. Gas Monkey Garage restored a black 2014 Viper for Fast N' Loud that he later test-drove for Dodge. Although the details revolving around this mishap are clear, Rawlings should have been more careful, especially considering this was simply a test drive. He may be a skilled driver, but it doesn't prevent him from having to respect the law.
4 Did Kaufmann Botch Up A Chevy SS Restoration?
Richard Rawlings and the bearded wonder, Aaron Kaufmann, pose with a restored Chevy SS, possibly an old Camaro SS. It might appear, at first glance, that Rawlings was pleased with the restoration work.
The fact that Kaufmann appears to be covering his eyes in shame makes us wonder what was really happening.
We can't confirm why Kaufmann covers his face in embarrassment, but as the lead mechanic who did the actual restoration work at Gas Monkey Garage, the two might have been sharing a private joke, with Rawlings teasing Kaufmann about his work.
Regardless, we know that Aaron is a superbly skilled mechanic. Thus, whatever it was that caused him to feel embarrassed must have been a minor issue.
3 The Revenge Of Rawlings
This screen shot from a YouTube video shows the moment that Richard Rawlings retaliated for a previous incident when his sister, Daphne Rawlings-Kaminski, celebrated his birthday on March 30 with a confetti cannon to the face. A few days later, Rawlings got his revenge when he launched an unexpected attack against Daphne with an exploding bag of popcorn.
Rawlings' siblings include his sister Daphne and his brother John, the latter of which appears to have been the luckier one. He grew up attending car shows with his father and started buying and building cars when he was only 14-years-old. He married Karen Grames in 1993, but the couple divorced in 1994.
His family life may seem a bit convoluted, but his siblings clearly have a wild sense of humor that keeps fans entertained.
2 Monkey Mechanic
Fans were delighted when this funny photo of the Gas Monkey Garage master mechanic appeared on Twitter in November 2013. Many fans agreed image was a perfect desktop background.
Besides his solid reputation as a skilled mechanic and fabricator, Aaron is also beloved for his comic skits on Fast N' Loud.
Kaufmann, from Crowley, Texas, was born on January 26, 1982. He is widely admired as a highly-skilled mechanic and self-taught fabricator. He played a vital role in the success of Gas Monkey Garage and its Discovery Channel show, Fast N' Loud.
He started his own company Arclight Fabrication in 2017. He also started his own Discovery Channel show Shifting Gears, which premiered to an excited audience on March 5, 2018.
1 When Rawlings And Kaufmann Broke The Internet
Before they became stars on Fast N' Loud, Rawlings and Kaufman had snapped a photo. The image greatly embarrassed them when it went viral after they shot to stardom. Richard later explained in an interview with D magazine that they took the photo to poke fun at a Bullrun team that called itself the Bikini Bandits.
Unfortunately, the joke backfired -- the image was so widely distributed online, that it became impossible to scrub it from the internet.
Rawlings and Kaufman had participated in the Bullrun live rally before they appeared on Fast N' Loud. Rawlings and Dennis Collins claimed to have broken the 1979 Cannonball Run time of 32 hours and 51 minutes from NYC to Los Angeles in their 2007 Bullrun entry; they reportedly broke the record in 31 hours and 59 minutes in a black Ferrari 550.
What was your favorite photo the cast of Fast N' Loud kept secret? Let us know in the comments!