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1-844-477-7707 (US only)
(920) 684-4990 (International) | Contact Us

Land of Wonderment: A Visit to Gas Monkey Garage

Passing from Gas Monkey Garage’s corporate offices into car territory, you might notice a white line painted on the floor. This line tells Richard Rawlings that it’s showtime.

The shop owner explains: “when we were running and gunning and making Fast N’ Loud, [with] all a sundry of things going on, I’m trying to keep up with the money, I’m trying to keep everything moving, and the line to me means TV time. So no matter what pissed off I am, when I cross the line, it’s time to be fast and loud. And it helped me mentally.”

Our Baileigh Biography on Gas Monkey Garage, filmed in 2022, offers a fun peek behind the scenes at the famous Dallas, Texas shop.

Over the years, Rawlings and his crew have brought the world of car restoration to millions of TV and YouTube viewers. “We’ve had so many fascinating cars come in and out of here and we’ve got to tell so many stories… that I’d be hard-pressed to pick just one,” notes Rawlings. “And it’s the same way with everybody that’s worked at the shop. Nobody really agrees that ‘that was the best one’ or ‘this was better.’ Everybody’s kind of got their own pick.”

Rawlings displays a magnificent array of rare, valuable, or otherwise sweet rides. “All my ’32s [Fords] are real, pretty much unobtainium. All-original ’34 Roadster…” You can check out the Thomas Crown Affair Mustang. He also points out a Zimmer Quicksilver: “he thought it was going to be the king of custom cars.” Zimmer’s vision didn’t pan out, but the car itself is a stunning piece.

“That’s my baby right there,” Rawlings affectionately declares about the King T, possibly the most expensive vehicle at Gas Monkey. “It was built by Gene Winfield back in ’63…. He actually took part in restoring it back in the early 2000s, came back, did the paintwork on it, and he came by actually five years ago, because he heard I had it. I let him take me for a ride in it.” 

Among the shiny, gleaming vehicles, Rawlings points out a rakishly edgy car originally built for the Nostalgia Wheel Co. “We were on the forefront of the rat rod patina hot rod scene… and we really embraced it and built a lot of cars.”

Cars have been a major part of Rawlings’s life since his youth. “I’ve been flipping cars since I was like 13 or 14 years old. Me and my dad had paper routes. We’d drive up and down the blocks and throw newspapers, so [we] kind of knew where all the cars were. And then on the weekends I’d have to go ask for the payment. I’d be like, ‘hey, what about that Corvette you got in your backyard?’” 

One car with a strong nostalgia factor is Rawlings’s vintage Firebird: “I worked my way up through high school and graduated high school driving a Bandit Trans Am, so that was cool.”

Flipping cars remained a hobby until 2003 when Rawlings decided to make it a full-time job. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In ourvideo, Rawlings also provides the backstory on some of the vintage signs he collects. The giant letters of GOODYEAR adorn a wall behind a row of cars. Rawlings wanted to buy the 1950s sign from the side of a Dallas building for years. He even toyed with the idea of buying the building just to acquire the sign. One day the owner called and said, ‘Hey, I sold the building. They don’t want the sign. If you want it… you got to take it down.’ So here it is in all of its splendor and glory.”

Rawlings takes us to the Monkey Trap, intended to be a museum someday. Outside the shop, you’ll find a lot that’s lovingly streaked with tire marks. “Here is where we do all the burnouts. Everybody’s seen it a million times,” says Rawlings. But it looks a little different from this viewpoint. “The space is actually pretty small compared to what it looks like on TV!” 

Showbiz conjures many illusions. Space seems to expand. The time it takes to finish a project is neatly condensed to a few minutes. But Gas Monkey Garage’s tools and hard work are the real deal.

The team can count on a wide range of reliable Baileigh machines, from a small shear to a powerful ironworker, from a bead roller to a CNC press brake. Rawling calls the impressive metalworking area “the Baileigh wonderland.” Indeed, it looks like a Baileigh showroom.

“Baileigh’s been a wonderful partner. I mean, when we moved into this building 7 years ago,” recalls Rawlings, “we reached out to Baileigh and they saw the space we had and… made the suggestions of what we should get and here we are. Within and amongst all of this equipment we could pretty much make anything, and I think we’ve proved it over the years.

The Baileigh machines are closely connected to the teamwork and hands-on expertise that has made Gas Monkey Garage a success. “The guys that have come through the shop over the years, they know this equipment. They know what it’ll do and we’ve done everything from recreating the whole bottom third of the vehicle to chopping cars to you know making a fender or a gas tank or whatever. So they do it every day,” says Rawlings.

I’m the business and the brain and these guys are the brawn, so I don’t ever like to take credit for the work and the craftsmanship that those guys know how to do.

Rawlings admires Baileigh’s role in promoting accounts with metalworking skills and building a community online. “What’s really cool about what Baileigh’s done in the social media part of this industry of metal fabricating is they’ve showcased what was normally a hidden talent,” says Rawlings. “They’re out there looking at everyone from, you know, the top name on the list to the guy that’s doing it in his garage and just absolutely killing it…. Getting on that [Baileigh] page is like… ‘I made it.’” 

Baileigh and Gas Monkey Garage make a great team on many levels. Baileigh tools help Gas Monkey Garage get their jobs done. This year, in September 2023, we’re partnering on an immersive metal shaping class in Dallas. We’ve both revved up public interest in automotive restoration and helped intrigue and inspire the next generation of fabricators. We plan to keep our motors running in style.

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