Richard Rawlings Bio

I am pretty sure everyone is familiar with the logo representing the brand Gas Monkey. But you might wonder who is behind that chimpanzee portrait.

Well, I can tell you exactly who that is. His name is Richard Rawlings. Because I am fascinated with the world of branding and business strategies, I was so drawn to Richard that I thought he would be a great person to learn more about. In this Richard Rawlings bio, I also wanted to inform others about the ins and outs of his career, personal life, and other exciting ventures he’s led in the food and music industry.

Since his career kicked off, Richard has become a worldwide name in automobiles and hot rods. The chances are, you’ve seen or heard his name somewhere around, and the Gas Monkey brand is now so big that it is no longer just a car customization company but involves live music venues and restaurants. So let’s look at where it all began and how it grew into the brand it is today.

Richard Rawlings Bio Quick Facts

Full Name: Richard Rawlings
Birth Date: 30th of March, 1969
Birth Place: Fort Worth, Texas
Nick Name: No known nickname
Nationality: North American
Siblings: One brother and one sister, John Rawlings, and Daphne Rawlings Kaminski
Children: None
Partner / Spouse: Katerina Rawlings
Profession: TV reality show, proprietor of Gas Monkey, car builder, racer
Salary: $18 million
Net Worth: $15,000 – $17,000 per episode
Social Media: Richard Rawlings – Facebook
Companies Associated With: Gas Monkey
Last Updated: August 2022

Richard Rawlings Key Facts Summary

  • He is a cross-country racer.
  • He is the star of the reality show “Fast N Loud.”
  • As well as being the owner of Gas Monkey Garage, he also owns Gas Monkey Live and Gas Monkey Bar N Grill.
  • He published his autobiography “Fast N Loud: Blood, Sweat, and Beers on the 12th of May 2015.
  • He has appeared as a co-host on the TV show Garage Rehab on the Discovery Channel
  • In 2007, he broke the run time for the 1979 cannonball from New York to LA.

Richard Rawlings Birthplace and Early Life


Richard was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on the 30th of March, 1969. There isn’t much information about his parents, but I believe that his father, Ray’s, interest in cars first got Richard interested in the automobile industry.

As a child, Richard would often go and help his father with vehicle construction and go with him to car shops.

When Richard was only 14 years old, he already owned his first car, a 1974 Mercury Comet, which of course, he wasn’t legally able to drive, but was clearly already showing a keen desire to buy, sell and collect cars. In fact, by the time he was 16 years old, he had bought and sold numerous vehicles.

While attending Eastern Hills High School and finally able to drive, he had a 1977 Pontiac TransAm.

Not much else is known about his school life or education, but some of his classmates claim that during school, Richard wasn’t exactly the most athletic or sporty boy and wasn’t very popular when it came to the girls either, with a funny hairstyle and strange fashion sense. However, I don’t think he was ever aware of this and always thought he was a pretty cool guy.

He was also always a confident kid, which was reflected by his ability to ignore what others thought of him and leave school to be a pretty influential person in the car world.

He graduated from high school and went on to work numerous jobs before deciding cars were where his heart lay. Which I think deep down he probably already knew.

Richard Rawlings Early Business Success

After leaving high school, Richard dabbled in various other careers before settling into the automobile industry.

He tried jobs such as printing adverts onto paper towels, firefighting, being a police officer, a truck driver, and a paramedic. The last job he did before becoming a hot rod entrepreneur was running his own business, the Lincoln Press company, selling printing and advertising. He claims that he was pretty good at this, and the company lasted around five years, and when he sold it, he used the money he made to fund his new venture, Gas Monkey.

He said that the printing company put him in good stead to become a thriving businessman in the future.

Gas Monkey

Gass Monkey

The original Gas Monkey Garage was established in 2002 and was purpose-built to custom-make cars. They had orders coming in from all over the world, and within ten years, they were headhunted by the Discovery Channel, where the TV series Fast N Loud all started.

Fast ‘N’ Loud

On the popular TV show, Richard is often seen working with his three employees, Aaron, Scot, and KC. They go on the lookout for rare and unique cars, which they then restore.

Restaurants and Live Music

Grass Monkey Restaurant

In 2013, Richard started to expand Gas Monkey by opening a restaurant in Dallas called Gas Monkey Bar N Grill. A second one was then opened at Fort Worth International Airport in 2014.

In 2014, he also introduced his first live music venue, Gas Monkey Live, but the venue closed in 2020.

In 2016, Richard opened a third restaurant called Richard Rawlings Garage. It was located in Harker Heights but was only open for three years.

In 2019, he licensed the drink’s range, Gas Monkey Energy Drinks.

Richard Rawlings Videos

Richard has decided to sell his 20-year vehicle collection and start all over again.

Richard goes to the UK’s biggest car show of the year and hangs out with Peter Hickman. They are checking out English pubs and good old-fashioned British food.

Find out why the TV show Fast N Loud ended after a whopping 16 seasons.

Richard Rawlings Business Failures

Richard has many successful careers, including his printing company and the Gas Monkey brand. Some of his ideas may not have exactly been as successful as he planned, such as two of his restaurants closing after a short time.

I don’t think any of Richard’s failures over the years have phased him, as he always seems to have another venture lined up.

After 16 seasons on the hit show Fast N Loud, the series came to a rather abrupt end, though the Discovery Channel has never given any specific reason why the show was slashed. I believe that Richard had stepped away from the channel, which left them with a show without the primary host, and what is the show without Richard Rawlings?

Richard claims he left the show solely because he wanted to move on to bigger and better things after being tied to the same show for over ten years.

Richard also claimed that when he signed his contract with the Discovery Channel, he signed a contract that prevented him from using any form of social media or even posting photographs anywhere in the public eye. The decision didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but as the years have gone on, and social media is now a staple in business, I imagine this contributed significantly to him not signing a new deal with the channel.

There have also been some controversial topics surrounding other employees of Gas Monkey, who have all left or been fired from the company after personal differences with Richard.

Richard Rawlings Family

Suzanne Marie Mergele

Richard doesn’t share much about his personal life and marriages, of which there have been three. We know he has no children with his previous wives or current partner.

His first marriage was to Karen Grames, they got married in 1990, but it only lasted a year before ending in a quick divorce in 1991.

His second wife was Suzanne Marie Mergele. The couple was married for ten years before remarrying in 2015. Four years later, it was announced that they would be divorced for a second time.

In 2019, shortly after his third divorce, Richard proposed to Katerina, and the couple got married the following year in Key West. They had initially planned to marry in Greece, but their plans were thwarted when coronavirus hit.

There are rumors that the two have a daughter after being seen with a child in public. However, it has never been confirmed that this was, in fact, their child. There is also nothing on social media that suggests they have a daughter.

Richard Rawlings Net Worth and Career Earnings

Richard has slowly earned his millions through hard work and perseverance, and although some of his revenue models may not have turned out the way he expected, he has still always moved on to something else.

A lot of his money has come through the vehicles which he has collected, restored, and sold, and also from his contract with the Discovery Channel, which he was in for ten years.

Other sources of income include his remaining restaurants, podcasts, and recently selling his 20-year collection of classic cars.

His net worth currently stands at around $18 million.

Richard Rawlings Real Estate Holdings

Richard owns a stunning home just four miles away from the original Gas Monkey Garage. It was built in 1960 and boasts its own private lake and multiple decking areas, one of which has a sunken bathtub, an outside bathing area, two large bathrooms, three bedrooms, and a mid-century style bar.

Richard bought the house back in 2015 for $1.7 million, though it’s unclear what the home is worth today.

It will come as no surprise to you that Richard has an extensive and impressive car collection. Although he is selling a lot of his collection, some cars amongst the multitude include a Ford Mustang, a Lamborghini Countach, Ferraris, and a 1950s Porsche.

If you want to read about someone else with an impressive car portfolio, you should check out our Vitalik Buterin Bio.

Richard Rawlings Quotes

Richard Rawlings

Being such a prominent TV personality and influential person in the motor world, Richard has had a lot of things to say over the years. Some include his passion for cars, some about how he got to where he is today, and, more recently, some behind-the-scenes topics he was prevented from discussing during his time with the Discovery Channel. Let’s take a look at some of his most inspirational quotes.

“The secret to Gas Monkey has been to move fast. I opened my first restaurant after a year and a half. A lot of people wait five years. I always move fast, and in today’s market, no matter what you’re into, you can recover from a mistake faster than you can recover from not doing.”

“If you don’t feel like it’s going to work, do it. If it doesn’t, get out as fast as you can.”

“I like the art of making money more than the money.”

“If you do something you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

FAQs – Richard Rawlings Bio

Question: What is Richard Rawlings Doing Now?

Answer: Richard is currently focusing on other motorsports, such as motorcycle racing.

Question: Does Richard Rawlings Have Children?

Answer: It has been rumored that Rawlings has a daughter with his current wife, Katerina. Though there is no proof to suggest this is true, he has never personally spoken about any children.

Question: Why Did Richard Rawlings Leave Fast N Loud?

Answer: Many reasons led to Richard leaving the hit TV show, and many of them boiled down to discrepancies in his contract with the Discovery Channel.

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