Richard Rawlings (born March 30, 1969) is an American entrepreneur, auto mechanic and media personality. He is the star of the reality television show Fast N' Loud on Discovery Channel. He is also a proprietor of the Gas Monkey Garage as well as both the Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill and Gas Monkey Live music venues in Dallas, Texas.
Rawlings was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1969. As a child he went to auto shows with his father and constructed cars, having purchased his first at the age of 14. In the next six to seven years, he graduated from Eastern Hills High School and worked as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, and paramedic.
In 1993, Rawlings married Karen K. Grames but divorced the following year. In 1999, he married his second wife Suzanne Marie Mergele in Las Vegas, Nevada; the couple divorced in 2009 but remarried in 2015 in Cabo, Mexico. In 1999, Rawlings started the printing and advertising company, Lincoln Press.
Gas Monkey Garage
In 2002, Rawlings launched Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas, selling Lincoln Press in 2004. The shop created automobiles for customers worldwide. Since 2012, the facility has been the focus of the Discovery Channel series Fast N' Loud.
In May 2007, Richard Rawlings and co-pilot Dennis Collins allegedly broke the famous 1979 Cannonball Run time from New York City to Los Angeles of 31 hours and 51 minutes. The two bet rival Jay Riecke they could beat the time in their 2007 Bullrun entry, a black Ferrari 550, modified with extra fuel cells. The final time is 31 hours and 59 minutes. They were the only pair to defeat the 1975 mark by Rick Cline and Jack May in a Ferrari Dino as all other competitors didn't leave and arrive at the correct locations or took alternate routes that didn't follow the original Cannonballs of the 1970s. Even their personal heroes Dave Heinz and Dave Yarborough in their Jaguar XJ-S that set the 1979 record left from Darien, Connecticut instead of Manhattan.
Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill
In September 2013, Rawlings started Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill in Northwest Dallas and a second location at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport opened in March 2014. Rawlings has indicated a desire to open a third Texas location outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
Gas Monkey Live
On 12 May 2015, Rawlings published his first autobiography entitled Fast N’ Loud: Blood, Sweat and Beers.