Many know Richard Rawlings as the goateed and tattoo mechanic that owns the Gas Monkey Garage, Gas Monkey Live, and Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill – among other ventures. He also stars in Fast n’ Loud, a popular show on the Discovery Channel. He is known for his extensive knowledge of the auto industry, his entrepreneurial acumen, and his versatile marketing skills. These are just a few of the reasons he owns so many businesses. One would think that someone with everything Richard has on his plate would be begging for rest. But, far from being exhausted from his many pursuits, he is a ball of energy. As such, he’s always on the lookout for a new challenge. In 2017, he found his next great show. This is when Garage Rehab first appeared on the scene.
What is Garage Rehab?
Garage Rehab is a show on the Discovery Channel where Richard and friends travel all over the country to help garage owners who are at the end of their rope. The teams work together to make the changes Richard deems necessary to breathe new life into the business and help the owners get back on their feet. Richard’s team consists of two members, project manager Russell Homes and garage designer Chris Stephens. Holmes is a construction expert with over 20 years of experience. His job is to make sure the rehabs are completed on time and on budget. Stephens, on the other hand, specializes in restoring classic European cars. He is responsible for turning Richards vision for the revamped shop into a reality.
What makes the show so great?
Richard chooses a garage in each episode that needs their help. It doesn’t matter if its a hot rod shop, a filthy garage filled with damaged equipment, or worse. As long as the shop works with cars and is in desperate need of help, Richard and his team will help out. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, all expenses are considered a loan that the owners must pay back. Upon arrival, he invests his money (100K to be exact), time, and network contacts into the garage. He makes all the business decisions and, eventually, he and his team revamped the entire company. The process takes about a week, leaving many to say that the timeframe is unrealistic. Giving up control of their shops is often a point of contention for the owners. Change is difficult, even when it’s in your best interest, and this is hard to deal with. People lash out and throw fits. It is partly this drama that makes the show riveting. But, that’s not all. The show is actually quite informative as well. It gives watchers (especially those who own garages themselves) a wealth of valuable tips on how they can improve their bottom line.
Season 2 takes on bigger challenges
This show hasn’t been on the air long enough to make any big changes. But, Rick and his team are trying their best. This season, the mechanics are working on their biggest build yet, a 20,000 square foot collision repair shop. They are also working on, what they consider to be, their most important rehab thus far. With this project, their aim is to revamp a veteran run garage that teaches servicemen and women who are transitioning out of the military automotive repair skills. Richard is excited about this project because it gives the team a chance to give back to our nation’s heroes. He’s filled with gratitude to have the opportunity to work on such a special project.
The fake controversy
Partway through season 1, some of the fans of the show started complaining that it was fake. In their opinions, the show was leaning away from reality and leaning more towards following a script. Richard Rawlings denied these claims but many didn’t buy it. The general consensus on public forums was that the show’s producers were more interested in human interactions, instead of the rehab efforts. It may be because it’s edited to fit into a one-hour time slot but, the naysayers didn’t care. They believed that Richard didn’t do enough to address the real issues, the internal problems that these businesses were facing. In other words, his changes were largely cosmetic and of little use to the shop owners. To prove their show was the real deal, Richard and his crew followed up with several shop owners from Season 1. As can be expected, there were some failures but there were some successes as well. Far from proving the show is fake, instead it shows that failure or success boils down to the individual person and the choices he or she makes on the daily basis.
The Bottom Line
Since its inception a mere 2 seasons ago, Garage Rehab hasn’t undergone any huge transformations. However, the changes that were made are sure to please naysayers who doubt the show’s credibility or the ability of Richard and his trusty team.
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