Richard Rawlings just seems to have the Midas Touch these days. As the owner of Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas Texas, he has proven himself to be one of the premier car restoration builders in America, and with his hit show “Fast n’ Loud” on the History channel setting viewership records, he seems to be sitting on top of the world right now.
As if things couldn’t get any better for him, he steps up his game and produces a new smash-hit show for the History Channel called, “Garage Rehab.” If he wasn’t a force in the car industry to be reckoned with before, he certainly is now; because the show is simply fabulous!
In the show, Richard Rawlings has formed a small team consisting of Russell J. Holmes and Chris Stephens to help struggling garages modernize their businesses and become successful enterprises. The format goes something like this: a garage owner calls Richard to come and save their business, which is on its last legs. Richard and his team walk into the shop to find a dilapidated building, a horror story of worthless cars, and a pile of worthless horded car parts, all topped off with an intrinsically mismanaged business. A deal is struck between the owner and Richard, giving Richard complete control of the business; which is where the fun begins.
At this point, Richard backs off and his team of experts takes over. Russell J. Holmes, project manager, and Chris Stephens, work flow expert, manage numerous construction teams in a week-long race to get the business up to modern standards. Russell J. Holmes, in particular, is the driving force that moves the remodel project forward. Holmes begins each project by cajoling the business owner and staff to clear out their personal and valuable items, before the construction crews arrive.
For me, this is the best part of the show. The clean-out process starts with gutting the existing business; throwing out the old to make room for the new. There is real drama here, as it is clear that the owner of the business has a deep and honest sentimental attachment to the items in the shop. The film crew does an excellent job capturing the true angst of the owner, who is forced to throw away items that at one time had value, and which have now been deemed worthless by a group of people that has just recently stepped foot in the shop.
I can relate to this in my personal life. My ‘real’ day job is as a consultant and I often find myself walking into a massive facility where people have worked their entire careers. Then to have someone they have never met before, and who has never even been at their facility, tells them how to do their job better; and often has the firm spend millions of its hard-earned money in the process! It can be tricky and dramatic for sure.
The show is of course designed to bring out as much drama as possible, which is one of the reasons why it is instantly addictive. In my opinion, the process of having the owner throw out the past, in a literally in the form of real purchased objects, makes for some of the best reality television viewing on any channel, anywhere.
Not to give the farm away here, but by the end of the show the physical transformation of the shop, and the mental transformation of the owner (and the owner’s staff) is tangible. The show even presents life-lessons for the audience. Just watch the show once, and I am confident that you will be as hooked as everyone else.
“Garage Rehab” is smart television and is deservedly an instant smash-hit! Well done History Channel, and well done Richard Rawlings! Keep up the good work!
Keep driving my friends!
My thanks to Larry for all his help with this article.