Working at a reputable auto shop building cars alongside some of the most talented mechanics in the industry is a dream for many car enthusiasts. But for those who can’t spend all day with their head under the hood of a car, there are shows to watch like Discovery channel’s Misfit Garage. Starring Tom Smith, Jordan Butler, Thomas Weeks, and Scot McMillan, car builds at the Dallas, Texas Fired Up Garage are almost as entertaining as the mechanics themselves. See what happened behind the scenes of Misfit Garage, plus, find out if the show was really canceled after six seasons.
The Show Is A Spinoff Of Fast N’ Loud, Which Smith Was Fired From
Tom Smith and Jordan Butler originally appeared on a Discovery Channel show called Fast N’ Loud. In the show, they were working and filming at Gas Monkey Garage. You might not have heard of the short-lived show, however, as Smith was soon fired.
Reportedly, he allowed a fan to take a photo of a Rolls-Royce that belonged to the garage’s manager Richard Rawlings. That didn’t go over well with him, and the two engaged in a heated argument that led to Smith being fired. However, the studio was still interested in featuring Smith on a show, and created a spinoff.
A Fake Firing From Fast N’ Loud?
The cast of Misfit Garage originally appeared on Fast N’ Loud, before they were fired from Gas Monkey Garage by Rawlings. But were they really fired? Fans of the show couldn’t help but notice that Rawlings is also the executive producer of Misfit Garage.
It seems more likely that Discovery Channel decided to create a spinoff show, but needed to have the cast members “fired” from Gas Monkey Garage in order to start the new series with Fired Up Garage. Having a cast of misfit troublemakers also plays well with the show’s audience.
Tom Smith Got His First Traffic Violation When He Was 10
Tom Smith was just 10 years old when he received his first traffic violation in Georgia. He was over at his uncle’s house working on cars, as he typically did, when he decided to take one out for a joy ride.
10-year-old Tom got behind the wheel of his uncle’s 1974 Pontiac Grand Ville and drove it down the road, without anywhere in particular to go. An officer spotted the underage driver and tried to pull him over. Instead, Tom crashed the Pontiac right into the cop car. Lucky for him, Tom got off with nothing more than a spanking.
Parts Of The Show Are Staged
As with any other reality television series, there are aspects of Misfit Garage that are staged for the show. While the cars and the humor of the cast are entertaining enough, the show’s producers are always looking for ways to enhance the entertainment and stir up some drama.
In one episode, the garage becomes tense as they near a deadline they might not meet after a painting mishap. Some viewers commented that the whole ordeal looked staged. Yet, a little acting for the camera isn’t enough to cause most viewers to change the channel.
After Butting Heads With Coworkers, Scot McMillan Started His Own Garage
Sometimes it’s just better to go your own way. That was the case for mechanic Scot McMillan. After butting heads with coworkers at both Gas Monkey and Fired Up, McMillan decided to branch off and start his own garage.
Today he’s the head of a garage specializing in custom cars and trucks, Scot Rods, located in Fort William, Texas. McMillan told Voyage Dallas, “We are most proud of the fact that we are a great team and the fact that we do not follow or copy other companies, we make our own path.”
John Klump Had “Seconds Thoughts” About The Show
Misfit Garage has already lost several cast members and hoping to hold onto John Klump. In an interview with Hidden Remote, Klump confessed that he had “second thoughts” about appearing on Misfit Garage and thought about quitting the show.
He felt spited when he was given the job of fixing up a 1959 Chevy El Camino that was well beyond repair, in Klump’s eyes. With his level of skill and talent, why should he have to deal with a vehicle that he doesn’t want to repair?
All Decisions Go Through Richard Rawlings
Although it’s not Fast N’ Loud, as Executive Producer of Misfit Garage, as well as the landlord of the garage that Fired Up uses for business, Richard Rawlings has a great deal of control over every aspect of the shop and show.
Rawlings selects the vehicles that will appear on the show and has creative control over how the shop will update each car. He also approves the show’s budget and decides how much money will go into each vehicle they work on. On top of that, Rawlings controls the branding and marketing of Misfit Garage.
Cast Members Had Heated Arguments At The Shop
Tom Smith and Jordan Butler left Gas Monkey garage after butting heads with Richard Rawlings. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of disputes at Fired Up. Reportedly, the mechanics are prone to arguing at the garage.
Some of the disagreements became so heated at times, the cast began to tear apart. Mechanics Scot McMillan and Jordan Butler were the first to leave Fired Up. Then, Kevin Clark announced he was leaving. Rumor has it that John Klump might have been the next to go.
Tom Smith Loves Cracking Jokes
Mechanic Tom Smith has a wicked sense of humor that keeps things light at the Fired Up garage. Misfit Garage isn’t the only place you can watch Smith crack jokes– he’s also a regular at Dallas Improv in Texas, and has performed at Christie’s in Manhattan.
Smith likes poking fun at people, including himself. He’s the type of guy who always looks for the funny side of things, and doesn’t take life too seriously.
How The Garage Makes Their Money Might Surprise You
While Misfit Garage might focus on the cars and business of Fired Up, that’s not how the garage and mechanics make most of their money. Each vehicle the shop restores brings in around $2,000– not a lot of money considering how many mechanics are working in the garage.
The cast makes most of their money from the success of the show, with an average of 1.3 million people tuning in to watch each episode. Thomas Weeks receives $25,000 per episode, Jordan Butler $22,000, and Tom Smith $17,000.
What Happened to Jordan Butler?
One cast member that fans rarely hear about these days is Jordan Butler– he seems to have dropped off the map! While his former coworkers have moved on and started their own shows and garages, Butler has been noticeably quiet.
Updates on his Facebook page suggest that Butler might have left the auto shop entirely, as he admitted that he didn’t have a desire to work on cars anymore. Fans are still holding onto hope that he’ll appear on another show one day, if not Misfit Garage.
It Started With Toy Cars and Model Car Kits For Kevin Clark
When he was a boy, Kevin Clark would smash his Hot Wheels toys into pieces, just so that he could put them back together again. Well, he couldn’t always manage to get them back together, which led to begging his mom to buy him a new one each week.
Eventually, he started working on model car kits. Clark preferred to toss the instructions aside and put the car together as he saw fit, complete with his own modifications. He was also known for repairing other neighborhood kids’ bicycles.
Thomas Weeks’ First Truck Has An Interesting Story
A love of cars runs in Thomas Weeks’ blood, as his father is a die-hard car enthusiast as well. Weeks’ father was a mechanic himself, and was the first one to teach Weeks how to work on a car. He gifted Weeks his first vehicle, a 1955 Chevy truck, when he was just 15-years-old.
However, Weeks didn’t have his license yet and there was a catch: the truck didn’t have an engine in it! His father had Weeks make an agreement that he could have the truck if he was able to put the engine in himself. Of course, he did.
Aaron Kaufman Left Fast N’ Loud To Start His Own Show, Instead Of Joining Misfit Garage
When Aaron Kaufman announced that he was leaving Fast N’ Loud, viewers assumed that he would be joining his former castmates at Fired Up, appearing on Misfit Garage. Instead, Kaufman started his own spinoff show on the Discovery channel called Shifting Gears.
While viewers can tune in to watch Kaufman on Shifting Gears, as well as his second show, Aaron Needs A Job, many fans were disappointed that he didn’t follow Tom Smith and Jordan Butler at Fired Up.
Misfit Garage’s Thomas Weeks Has Had His Fair Share Of Accidents
Fans of Misfit Garage may notice that mechanic Thomas Weeks wears a wrist support while working on the show after an injury that led to a herniated disc. That’s one of the many injuries that he’s experienced while working on vehicles.
Even before he was turning wrenches, as a young boy, Weeks climbed up and leaned in to get a better look under the hood of a car that his dad was working on and ended up falling in. The incident led to a trip to the emergency room, but Weeks’ curiosity for cars remained true.
Cars Have Been Smashed On The Show
While the intention of Fired Up garage is to restore cars, oddly enough, other cars have been destroyed in the process. In Season 1 Episode 3, a Fired Up customer’s car was totaled when a tree landed on it. Then in Season 3 Episode 20, the cast intentionally destroyed a 1971 GTO, using a tank.
This might come as no surprise to some viewers, given Kevin Clark’s passion for destroying cars just to see the parts fall to pieces.
Tom Smith The Whiz?
A talented mechanic today, Tom Smith grew up as the local whiz kid. In elementary school, Smith made it all the way to the state spelling bee, and finished third place. When asked about his accomplishment, Smith brushes it off, and says it’s not too big of a deal, considering that the state was Georgia.
In another career, Smith patented a kill switch he invented for operating large-scale television towers, including the World Trade Center.
Is The Show Canceled?
The last time fans saw a new episode of Misfit Garage was the season finale for Season 4, which aired on July 11, 2016. Since then, Discovery hasn’t made any announcements as to whether the show was canceled, or if there are plans to film another season.
So is it canceled? The answer: no. While the Discovery channel has not renewed the show for another season, they also haven’t formally announced that the show has been canceled. There’s still hope! Especially since the network listed Misfit Garage available for streaming online, as of January 15, 2021.
Richard Rawlings’ Net Worth is $20 Million
Before appearing on the Discovery channel, Richard Rawlings had built up quite a bit of wealth for himself as a Texas businessman. Born in Fort Worth, Rawlings also owns several businesses around Dallas, including Gas Monkey Live music venues, Gas Monkey Garage, and Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill. He’s also appeared in car commercials, and licensed Gas Monkey as an energy drink brand.
Before all that, Rawlings owned a printing and advertising company and worked as a firefighter and paramedic, as well as a law enforcement officer. Today his net worth is an estimated $20 million.
Thomas Weeks Would Have Been A Pilot If It Weren’t For One Thing
Undoubtedly, Thomas Weeks has a passion for cars. But what the mechanic really wanted to pursue was planes. Weeks obtained his pilot’s license when he was just 16-years-old.
He had plans to earn his BA in aviation and sign on as an officer in the military. However, those plans fell apart when Weeks learned that he was color blind. Turning lemons into lemonade, he let his passion for cars lead him, and the rest is history.