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How real is ‘Car Masters: Rust to Riches’?



The television series “Car Masters: Rust to Riches,” was created when the classic car restoration-themed television shows became such a huge hit on cable. It had been classified as part of the reality-TV genre in which a production crew basically followed the daily lives of regular people. In this case, the Gotham Garage was the star of the series, and the show featured all its car restoration projects. The success of a reality-TV series revolved around its authenticity or on how the producers and directors could present it as real, even if it was make-believe or scripted. Over the three seasons of the “Car Masters: Rust to Riches,” the recurring question in online discussions about the show was – ‘Is the Gotham Garage crew for real?’

We Upgrade and Trade at “Car Masters: Rust to Riches”

The premise of the show was more or less similar to most makeover reality-TV series out there.

The Gotham Garage team would work on several types of old, often rusty classic vehicles, and turn them into polished, great-looking hot rods with upgraded motors. “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” premiered on 14 September 2018, and from the get-go offered something entirely different from other car TV series.  Instead of just flipping bangers and selling them for a profit, the team would enter into a series of trades that would give them a chance at a huge payday at the end of each project that they took in.

The crew’s mantra was that ‘they upgrade and trade by converting $1,000 worth of rusty buckets into six-figure works of art in just a few greasy steps.’ For instance, a rusty, dilapidated 1953 Buick, which cost them less than a grand, would get a Gotham Garage upgrade and turn it into something that would give them $25,000 to $30,000.


They would trade it for a 1971 Chevy Blazer with a fully removable hardtop, and after they restored it including new upgrades, it would give them about $60,000 and they would then trade it for a replica of a 1959 Corvette Stingray concept car. When it came out of their garage looking better than its original form, they could get around $120,000 for it.

Meet the Gotham Garage Crew

“Car Masters: Rust to Riches” never explained how the Gotham Garage crew came together, but it was founded by its owner, Mark Towle. He worked for many years making movie props, including cars which were used by several Hollywood movie and television studios. Even when he was growing up, he developed a talent for fixing broken gadgets or toys. Mark would go to dumpsters with his best friend, and would rebuild anything they found that interested them. Instead of just restoring them to their previous glory, they would upgrade them – he started with non-automotive stuff, and then moved on to all types of vehicles, even boats and helicopters. His resume also included working on some small acting gigs.

Restoring and upgrading old, decrepit cars in a short time would definitely require a bigger team, but surprisingly Gotham Garage was only comprised of five people. The owner had four competent and skilled individuals working with him, who were adept at finishing all their car projects; they might have contracted other people to provide additional work on them, but they were never mentioned. The rest of the crew consisted of Shawn Pilot (The Negotiator), Constance Nunes (The Engine Specialist), Michael ‘Caveman’ Pyle (The Mechanic), and Tony Quinones (The Master Machinist/Fabricator).

Basically, the G in Gotham meant that they worked on gasoline cars, but they didn’t back out from challenges including electric cars if that was the preference of the client. While most of them, especially Mark, had traumatic experiences from working with smart technology, he mostly leaned on Tony to deal with the intricacies of the electricity-based motors – clearly each of the crew had their own specialization and they respected each other’s talents.

In season two, to ensure that they didn’t step on each other’s toes literally and figuratively, they were split into two groups. They could then enjoy working with a wider space, because of the second shop.

Three Seasons of “Car Masters: Rust to Riches”

The first season of “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” had eight episodes, and it attracted a huge number of viewers. Some fans felt that everything was simplified in a way that even those who weren’t gearheads could follow what was going on in the show. The production TV crew avoided showing any over-dramatized situations that made other reality-TV shows such an abomination, even if those scenarios provided entertainment for some viewers. While the team’s well-laid plans sometimes went awry, the team never made a violent fuss. and dealt with the problems professionally. Mark’s team shared a certain camaraderie that connected with the audience.


Many of the conversations were amusing, which made the series more enjoyable, and so overall it became so popular that Netflix ordered another season.

In the first episode of season two, the crew indicated that their second shop had just officially opened in California, where the TV show was mostly filmed. They claimed that they were able to afford the second shop because they had a great year during the first season by trading up two vehicles, ending up with $140,000, which they used to open the second shop. The second season never veered away from its initial premise, but the setbacks kept getting bigger, which posed a challenge to the Gotham Garage team. They eventually came out on top, as everyone was mostly on the same page when a problem occurred.

During the last two episodes of the second season, a conflict of interest was shown which divided the team. Mark, Shawn, and Constance agreed to donate the 1960 XNR that they poured their heart and time into restoring, to the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

The Caveman and Tony felt that they were punched in the gut since they were expecting to get a huge payday after sellling it for six figures. They argued that they would be out of business for honor, especially since they just opened up their second shop. Eventually, they all agreed to donate it, since Mark said that he would dip into the shop’s cash reserves so that they could easily recoup the loss. He also said that nothing feels great when you see something you created become part of a world-class collection to celebrate the craftsmanship of the automotive industry. He didn’t want them to regret that they could have done something great in their lives, but let it pass by.

Since Netflix offerings are based on popularity, they ordered another season of “Car Masters: Rust to Riches”, aired from 4 August 2021, and just like the previous seasons comprising eight episodes.

Even those who weren’t car/racing enthusiasts were being pulled into the reality series, because of how it was being presented to the viewers. Instead of just focusing on how they configured the restoration process, they also featured the business side of it. Working on a limited budget could be difficult, and being creative in finding great trades fascinated many viewers.

The team dealt with many unbelievable concepts, such as converting a 1933 Ford replica into an art deco Delahaye that was capable of drifting on a technical track, or working for a demanding client just to finance a costly car project. To achieve their six-figure profit, the projects included a bus, a hot tub car, an International Harvester Scout, and a vintage Ford Pickup, along with a vintage Impala and a Prius, working on these vehicles while trying to get creative, since they also need to follow social distancing regulations during the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus.

Is “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” Real or Scripted?

Generally, the reality-TV show “Car Masters: Rust to Riches,” is well-loved by its fans, and had gained a huge following because it was well put together.


Ironically, it was also for this reason that its authenticity was often questioned. Was it at all possible that for some reason, Gotham Garage had the right people for television? Imagine a garage crew with the charismatic leader, the street-smart guy, the cool guy, and the caveman guy along with the smoking-hot, model-type girl all fixing cars together. It’s like a lite-version of the cast of the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds,” released back in 2000. While it seemed unlikely, all things are possible and sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Nonetheless, people still couldn’t believe that Gotham Garage could be that lucky to have these personalities in one auto shop.

No detailed actual restoration process shown

The main problem with the show when it comes to authenticity, the restoration process with each of the members of the team doing what they were good at was never shown. However, the editing was great, which made the show interesting, but details were lacking. It could be boring sometimes to look at the details, but it doesn’t hurt to once-in-a-while feature how they really worked on it step-by-step, even with just a condensed version.

While the process was being narrated, the actual restoration that was shown on TV was quite vague.

Questionable automotive skills and knowledge

While there weren’t any questions about Mark, Tony and Michael as they had been part of other automotive shops before their stint with “Car Masters,” it was quite different in the case of Constance and Shawn.  For instance, why Constance was referred to as the engine specialist was never shown. They just glossed over it, and narrated stuff for her, but never really showed her skills. It didn’t help that Constance would oftentimes work on these cars with well-cared-for long nails, and looking well-groomed without the usual oil or dirt stains that come with working in a garage. People were highly skeptical that she could still spend time in the garage fixing cars, while having modeling gigs left and right, as indicated in her social media accounts.

While there was no proof to show that she had no skills, the thing that bothered fans was that there wasn’t any evidence to support otherwise, and her resume didn’t include any automotive experience, aside from being a brand ambassador.

In any case, most of the male fans probably treated Constance as eye candy, which was enough for them, but it could be frustrating for women who were fighting for their place in what’s normally a man’s world. Some believed that she’s a really skilled mechanic, since she had a great mentor growing up. Her father was Ernie  Nunes, a known seasoned mechanic and amateur racecar driver. To her credit, she recently opened her own car shop in California called “Cars by Constance”. She announced that she partnered with The Rockstar Garage to get an exclusive space in its new location, so that she can create more cool cars, such as Dangerstang and the Cyberpunk Mustang.

Another point raised by the fans was how Shawn was hired and became part of the team; his resume included a long list of acting jobs from movies and TV. While he was quite natural and believable when he discussed his trades, it seemed that everything he said was rehearsed, and that it came from a script.


Some fans doubted his extensive knowledge about trading cars in the automotive industry. Aside from being an actor, he’s a professional poker player and earned close to $500,000 from the 70 live tournaments he joined. His last public tournament was at the $250 No Limit Hold’em – 1PM Daily Deepstack in Las Vegas in 2019, where he finished at No.44. The fans surmised that he probably needed to step away from the game when the reality-TV series because popular, since he could compromise the validity of his position as the negotiator in the show.

Is there an operating Gotham Garage?

The biggest hint about the show being a sham was when the fans found out that there’s no real auto shop. Other successful car shows such as “Fast N’Loud” featured the daily activities of Gas Monkey Garage, and “Chasing Classic Cars” featured Wayne Carini’s auto shops called Continental Auto Ltd, as well as Carini Carozzeria. Some sites claimed that there is a Gotham Garage out there, which might be true, but some fans believed that it was only being used when they filmed the TV series.

When fans investigated its online presence, its current website doesn’t even indicate that they have a physical address – all of the content on the website was about what occurred in the TV show. There was no information on how they operate, and very little merchandise for sale even if their Instagram account promoted it. The only featured products were three types of T-shirts and a sticker pack. There might be other reasons why the online site wasn’t updated but it’s highly unlikely that a successful auto shop would operate without a well-maintained website. People were also curious as to the reason why the stars of the show didn’t work together in building cars during the off-season. It’s also highly suspicious that when one looked into their Instagram accounts, the cast didn’t seem to have a close relationship with each other, when they were supposed to be working together as a team in a garage. It just didn’t add up, and because of these circumstances, people will continue to wonder about its authenticity.

Did the allegations of being fake and scripted affect the show?

Based on its popularity, in general the fans of “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” didn’t really care if it’s 100% authentic or not. Many people thought that the show wouldn’t be questioned if only they showed some details on TV of the actual restoration process done by the stars of the show. However, most reality-TV shows couldn’t claim to be real in their entirety anyway. Many TV producers would say that these shows also needed to be entertaining, and so there were necessary tweaks here and there.

There hasn’t been any announcement yet from Netflix regarding ordering another season of the automotive reality series, but the good thing for fans was that there was no cancellation news either. Some producers believed that the streaming giant would want the “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” on their roster of TV shows to offer in 2022, as reality/documentary TV series’ became more popular during the pandemic. So expect to see the Car Masters team trade and restore old, rusty, and dilapidated cars sometime in the near future.

As the Editorial Director at Net Worth Post, I steer a skilled ensemble dedicated to producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output. At Net Worth Post, our goal is to furnish our audience with thorough portraits that shed light on the inner workings of industries such as finance, entertainment, and more. By employing detailed investigation techniques coupled with enthralling storytelling, we illuminate the extraordinary paths and achievements of those who lead and innovate. Our work aims not just to inform but to enchant and motivate our readers by sharing the personal and professional odysseys of individuals who shape our society.

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The Untold Truth About Expedition Unknown



Although stories about previously unknown, ancient treasures and unveiled mysteries are usually seen as fictional fantasies, those same topics are exactly what makes “Expedition Unknown” so endearing. While the show takes us to the most fantastic and historically meaningful places around the world, what has really been keeping us engrossed with it for years it’s discovering the biggest secrets history has in store for us, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Expedition Unknown”s premise is very unique and so are the show’s settings, format and approach to topics. However, knowing how well produced and planned it is, it makes us wonder about things we aren’t able to see on-screen.

For this we have prepared a list of the less known facts about the show, including interesting bits about its host Josh Gates, his crew and what they’ve discovered so far. This is the unknown truth about “Expedition Unknown“.

Josh Has An Impressive Career

Just in case you have missed it, Josh Gates has an impressive career both in and outside the entertainment industry. A native of Massachusetts and born into a British-American family, Josh graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Archeology and Drama.

Although the fields are an uncommon combination, his professional background has allowed him to incorporate both. His debut on TV happened back in 2002, when he made short appearances in the ESPN’s game show “Beg, Borrow & Deal” and other TV productions. His big time finally came in 2007 with “Ghost Hunters” and “Destination Truth”, which became Syfy’s most watched show for a while.

While his career as an actor is less well-known, it’s not non-existent either, having played roles in low-budget movies such as “Party Foul” in 2003, and “Hard Cell” in 2007.


Josh has also been involved with the production of many of the series he’s hosted, including “Stranded” and “Legendary Locations”.

Though Josh’s background as an archaeologist has allowed him to develop the proper experience to be his show’s investigator, his involvement with paranormal-related and myth-hunter shows make him a very multi-faceted TV personality as well.

Filming Takes A Long Time

As expected, when it comes to a show so well planned and shot on location like “Expedition Unknown” is, filming could take unexpectedly long periods of hard work.

As it happens, in “Expedition Unknown” we’re used to seeing Josh and his experts travel around the world. Though that would be genuinely enjoyable for almost everyone, transporting the camera crew and production staff to those places usually takes weeks or even months of preparation, besides the normal time filming takes.

All in all, it’s said that to produce every season of “Expedition Unknown”, the crew take 200 days a year, out of which hundreds of hours are spent in airplanes and other transport, as Josh affirms.

The Most Dangerous Place

For those who are used to seeing Josh Gates shenanigans in the show, it’s hard to think of naming only one place as the most life-endangering.

However, Josh’s closest call was definitely in Myanmar. It happened back in 2015, when he and his crew were filming the episode “Curse Of The Golden Bell” in the search for an ancient and lost artifact which took him to the depths of the Yangon River. While Josh is a professional scuba diver, he didn’t consider the difficulties that entailed swimming in such muddy waters.

The lack of visibility caused by the heavy pollution and strong currents made his mission to find King Dhammazedi’s Great Bell impossible.

As he affirms, diving there was like ‘working with a blindfold on, feeling around underwater’ and despite his initial enthusiasm, the conditions were not only just too dangerous, but actually the worst he’d ever experienced.

All in all, desisting from it was a good idea, especially considering how many people have actually died in the Yangon River while looking for the Great Bell.

Unexpected News While Filming

It’s nothing out of the normal for TV casts to be in contact with their families while filming, especially for shows like “Expedition Unknown”, in which the crews have to spend long periods traveling and away from their loved ones.

As it comes, Josh Gates was given one of the best news items of his life while filming the show. It was back in season two, when Josh and his crew were in Portugal filming the episode “Secrets of Christopher Columbus”, as he was phoned by his wife to tell him they were having a baby.


The exact moment in which an overly excited and emotional Josh informs people around him that he was going to become a dad for the first time, was filmed and included in the episode.

Later in season four, again while on the road with the “Expedition Unknown”s crew, Josh was informed that he was going to become a father for a second time; he wasn’t filmed, we can clearly imagine his reaction.

Humor Doesn’t Always Go As It Should

Despite being an investigation-centered show, “Expedition Unknown” always has a little touch of humor to make everything lighter.

However, despite how entertaining and light-hearted Josh Gates’ jokes are to us, he affirms that being funny isn’t his strongest skill. According to him, his attempt at humor ‘falls flat all the time’, but it’s admittedly his way of not only keeping the audience’s attention, but to make the work environment easier to endure during situations hard to deal with.

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A post shared by Josh Gates (@gatesygram)

Despite the extensive planning the show’s staff does, things in “Expedition Unknown” don’t always go as they should while filming, so joking and trying to lift everyone’s spirits on set is considered important in Josh’s perspective. That positive approach is probably appreciated by his fellow co-workers, and the audience surely enjoys seeing  and hearing it.

Food Is Not Always Safe To Consume

For a show such as “Expedition Unknown”, unexpected problems related to environmental factors occur quite often. As is obvious, the crew usually deals with problems just fine, but there are times in which things get so out of hand that it could endanger the cast’s wellbeing.

The latter situation happened during the fourth season, when the crew was in Ecuador filming “Hunt for the Metal Library”, and had to spend a long time enclosed in a cave. While the crew was prepared beforehand to successfully face the conditions of said environment, having to eat in a place where there were many animals had its consequences.

This resulted in three members of the show’s crew falling sick for consuming bat’s excrement that somehow had fallen on their food. While their health’s condition didn’t worsen and their sickness was actually not as serious as it sounds, it’s enough to give us an idea of how far the show goes to keep the cameras rolling.

Josh Married A Co-Star

As should be obvious, Josh Gates’ work schedule has been very hectic since he made his TV debut. Knowing he spends a significant part of his life on set, it’s understandable that he ended up meeting his significant other half there as well.

As it happened, Josh and his then wife-to-be Hallie Gnatovich met on the set of his formerly-hosted show “Destination Truth”, for which she worked as an off-camera researcher. Though details about their relationship are unknown, in 2014 they tied the knot, and have since welcomed two children together.


Despite Josh’s celebrity status, he and Hallie have carefully kept their children’s privacy, by not revealing their names or faces to the public. Regardless of their choice maintaining their private, their relationship always looked blissful from the outside, that is until Hallie announced in August 2021 that she and Josh had been separated for ‘a year and half’. In her words, their divorce had been officialized just a couple of months before, and both of them were still trying to figure out their shared parenthood and separate lives.

Josh Gates Famous Necklace

One never gets surprised enough when it comes to celebrities and things their fans do for them. Although Josh Gates’ personality is pretty much on the humble and chill side, some of the weirdest aspects of being famous is the fact that his necklace, which he usually wears in the show, has become quite popular as well.

If you don’t believe us, you only have to look up “Josh Gates Necklace” on Facebook, and see it for yourself. As it turns out, the page is very active and usually updates “Expedition Unknown” fans on Josh’s shenanigans.

While the aforementioned accessory has been described as ‘not magical’ by Josh, seeing that its page has over 3,000 fans and keeps growing, it makes us question if his words are actually untrue.

How Topics Are Selected

Seeing that “Expedition Unknown”s main premise is that of pursuing and unveiling ancient mysteries, it’s only expected that a lot of research takes place prior to letting its crew adventure into often unknown territory.

There are certain aspects which play a big role while choosing what and where the show’s crew is going to explore. While every myth could be interesting enough to be considered, what catches the show’s research team’s attention is if the stories indeed have substance, or as Josh describes it, if they have ‘meat on the bone’.

With the help of international archaeologists and experts in other fields, Josh and his crew follow the leads that actually lead to something instead of simply being completely unproven.

Besides the obvious pre-research that they go through, logistics and resources are factors not to be left aside. However, according to Josh, he and the show’s crew go on their adventures without knowing a great deal about what is going to happen in the end, which obviously makes the whole deal more interesting for both them and the audience.

What Josh Has To Say About William Shatner

Throughout the years, “Expedition Unknown” has surely given us many memorable moments. Out of those, one of the most interesting was shown in the series’ spin-off, “Shark Trek”, featuring William Shatner.


Of course, this sort of tribute to “Star Trek” was unexpected considering the show’s usual concept. Despite that, the challenges encountered by Josh Gates’ crew along the way turned out as an extraordinary experience for everyone.

However, if there’s something that stuck in our heads it was how easily William adapted to the show. It wasn’t only us who noticed it though, as Josh admitted himself that besides being an amazing co-star, William’s genuine interest made everything more enjoyable.

According to Josh, what made William’s a memorable partner was definitely his willingness to ‘tackle and understand’ his fear, in order to ultimately conquer it. Those are qualities which surely an expedition expert such as Josh appreciates a lot, and will make us remember the special show with a smile for a long time.

The Reason They Went On Exploring Sharks

As entertaining as “Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek’ was, at first many people were surprised to find that the series would continue exploring sharks, which was an admittedly unusual topic for a series mostly focused on uncovering other types of mysteries.

While the reaction is understandable, there were actually good reasons for this objective. As Josh explained, more than just going on a trip looking for sharks, his main focus was to explore human’s fearful attitude towards the unknown. In his words, the common fear towards these animals is partially caused by the media’s influence, films such as “Jaws”, and prejudices based on their appearance. However, by examining these sea creatures, Josh wanted to not only understand them, but to debunk the many misconceptions surrounding the species.

Needless to say, Josh’s intentions with the show are well appreciated by the audience, and surely by environmentalists as well.

The Reason It Has Many Spin-Offs

“Expedition Unknown” has spawned several spin-off mini-series over the years, including titles such as “Hunt For The Yeti” and “Egypt Live”, which makes us feel happy to see it becoming a successful franchise.

However, while these aforementioned series were meant to show specific expeditions made by the crew in a deeper way, for the last couple of years, long-running spin-offs “Josh Gates Tonight” and “Expedition X” have also been released.

The reasoning behind creating these series in this new format, is a matter of adapting to the several regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult to produce “Expedition Unknown” in the same way we were used to.

Traveling and filming is also a big concern for the show’s production team for the same reason, but they’ve at least continued to produce content for the franchise until the situation improves. That’s a relief for fans, who still wait for “Expedition Unknown”s return to TV screens as it was previously.

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What happened to Christie Brimberry from Gas Monkey Garage?



For a time, fans of the reality-television series called “Fast N’Loud” were worried that one of its stars, Christie Brimberry, wouldn’t appear again in their favorite automotive restoration TV show. Due to health issues, she couldn’t perform her duties as the office manager of Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage, which was the focal point of the reality-TV series. She took a break from managing the business in 2016 to focus on getting healthy, with the blessing of everyone in the shop. Loyal fans were relieved when she was seen again in the 15th season of one of the most-watched car shows on Discovery Channel.

Christie’s Early Life and Family

Not much information about her family and early life was revealed to the public. All that was known about her was that she was born on 25 March 1972, in Dallas, Texas, because Christie was very careful about what she shared in her social media accounts and during interviews.

On her social media pages, she was proud to post that she had a good relationship with her parents, most especially her mother who passed away in 2015. She also shared some rare photos with her sister, and said that she was her ‘ride or die until the tires fall off’.

Christie has been married for many years to Darren Brimberry, a professional hairstylist with a hair salon in Dallas. She has six children, and some featured in her Instagram account, although some fans wondered why she has children of Afro-American descent. A fan complimented her for adopting them, but another said that she didn’t adopt any of them, but without offering any other information; much speculation formed but she never addressed the isue. Some of her children have graduated from college, and some are already married. When she posted a tribute to her mother during Mother’s Day in 2020, she mentioned that her old lady was about to be a great-grandmother soon.


From Gas Monkey Garage to “Fast N’Loud” reality-TV

The Gas Monkey Garage is a Dallas-based custom auto shop founded by Richard Rawlings. After seeing automotive shows on TV, he realized that there was a chunk of the untapped market that those TV shows hadn’t taken advantage of – he noticed that his wife and kids wouldn’t stay and watch an auto show with him. The businessman in him knew that he needed to have a garage first to get to that point of creating a TV show. It was like hitting two birds with one stone, since his passion was automotive restoration and customization, so he sold his printing and advertising business to open up a garage in Dallas. Christie was hired through her husband, Darren, who was Richard’s hairstylist.

For many years, he had been pitching the TV show concept to Discovery Channel, until the cable executives eventually accepted the idea and “Fast N’Loud,” was born.

Unlike other automotive shows on TV with overwhelming machismo, Richard toned it down and made it appealing to women and kids without turning off the male viewers. The premise of the TV series was that he would look for worn-down classic or vintage cars all over the country, and purchase them for his team to restore them at the garage. After the fabrication and restoration process, Richard would sell the vehicle at a higher price, creating a significant profit for the business.

All through this, Christie was responsible for assisting Richard in dealing with all the chaos and drama involving the various people in the team – even shouting at her boss – to make sure everyone stayed on course so that they could meet the deadline. The first episode aired in June 2012 and the final episode in June 2020, all in all 155 episodes over the course of 16 seasons, produced by Pilgrim Studios for Discovery Channel.

Meet Christie’s Co-Workers at Gas Monkey Garage

It might be Richard Rawlings who owned the garage, but it was his team of experienced professionals who were responsible for the actual restoration and customization of each car. He had the final say on the overall plan, such as choosing the car to be restored, the schedule, and approval of the budget for the proposed project, while Richard’s sister, Daphne Kaminski, worked as the Head of Operations.

The main mechanic and chief fabricator, Aaron Kaufman, was there almost from the start until he left the garage to open up his own fabrication shop in 2018, and subsequently starred in his own TV show also aired on Discovery Channel. He was with Richard for 14 years, but they maintained a friendship afterwards, as Richard respected him not only as a fabricator but also as a person. Christie even promoted and congratulated Aaron when he finally launched his own online shop.


The rest of the team was comprised of Tony Cano, Mike Coy, and Kennan Hons (Paint and Body Tech Team), Chad Isbell (Automotive Parts Expert), Russell Holmes (Mechanic), J. Cheatham and J. Freeman (Fabricators), Jon Rodriguez (Wiring Expert), and Jason Aker (Firebird expert),

The Real Reason Why Christie Left Gas Monkey Garage in 2016

Ignoring potential health problems was one of the reasons why Christie had to leave Gas Monkey Garage abruptly and indefinitely. It was revealed that back in October 2016, she went through life-threatening surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node from her thyroid. Initially, she didn’t want to share her experience with the public, as she was a very private person. However, she eventually thought it best to educate people about the importance of getting a medical examination when one’s body didn’t feel right.

Apparently, before August 2016 ended, she felt something like a small knot in her throat, but ignored it, thinking that it just had something to do with her Hashimoto condition, a disease that attacks the thyroid and creates nodules in the throat. When it became annoying and felt like having a finger shoved down her throat, Christie had it examined; she had an ultrasound, and when the doctor saw the size of the nodule, a biopsy followed. Somehow she knew deep inside that it could be something worse and dangerous, and 12 days later, her suspicions were confirmed. She had thyroid cancer and the only good thing about it was the doctor saying that it had only affected one lymph node, but it had to be treated right away because it was aggressive.

Christie was assured by her doctor that it would be an easy surgery, that the removal of the thyroid and the cancerous lymph node was done in one day, however, when they operated on her, it was discovered that cancer had spread and a cluster of lymph nodes was removed.

The doctor also had to remove a part of her trachea because it was affected as well. Unfortunately, during the process of removing all of it, the nerve in her voice box was cut, which resulted in her having no voice at all, and she was informed that the condition could last for about six months or so. Christie also had chemotherapy to help fully remove the cancerous cells from her body.

In November 2016, the tube that was inserted in her throat and the stitches were removed, however, the doctor identified that the left side of her voice box was still paralyzed, which made talking and swallowing difficult. Instead of the initial prognosis of six months, the doctor said it would take around eight months to a year before she regained her voice.

Christie went back for a follow-up after a month, and there was an improvement. She got her voice tone back, but she lost a lot of volume.


She was advised to stop taking her thyroid medication so that she could receive Radioactive Iodine treatment; this created an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, that left her emotionally drained, such that she would cry often, and had little control over her emotions. Being on a low iodine diet, which meant no bread, no dairy and no commercially processed food, made it even more unbearable.

However, after a year of non-stop treatment and a disciplined lifestyle, Christie was declared cancer-free by her doctor in December 2017. She posted on her official Facebook page, ‘I went through the last of my treatment last week, and had my one-year bone scan on Friday! The results came back today and I am CANCER FREE!!!’

Back on Gas Monkey Garage and “Fast N’Loud”

While Christie was never fired from Gas Monkey Garage, as Richard was very supportive of her, she wasn’t physically able to join the rest of the cast of “Fast N’Loud.”

She totally regretted that she wasn’t part of the filming of the Mannequin Challenge that Richard and the rest of the team did in December 2016, however, she made sure to be active on her social media platforms Instagram and Facebook to help promote the TV show. There was even a time when she went live while an episode was being aired, just to stay connected with the fans.

When the doctors cleared her to return to work, she was welcomed back in the garage. On 13 June 2018, Richard posted on his official Facebook page, a photo of him sitting behind his desk in his office at Gas Monkey Garage with Christie looking on while pointing out something on a ledger. It was business as usual, and he captioned it with ‘Working hard and havin’ fun’, while Christie posted the same photo with the caption, ‘I love my job.’ Fans were able to see her once again in the last two seasons of their reality-TV series.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Loyal fans were shocked that Richard announced during a guest appearance in the podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in December 2020, that the 16th season that was aired earlier that year was the last from his team. He didn’t renew his contract with Discovery Channel, saying that it had run its course. However, he assured the fans that he had many plans for Gas Monkey Garage on other media platforms.

True enough, Gas Monkey Garage has been continuously uploading videos on their official YouTube channel, which has over 800,000 subscribers. They also created a podcast called “Monkey Trap with Richard Rawlings”, with their Facebook page having close to five million followers. Recently, the Gas Monkey Garage online merchandise shop launched Richard Rawling’s Car Sweepstakes, in which anyone who purchased $1 worth of merchandise automatically received a raffle ticket for the vehicle giveaway. For instance, a $35-trucker hat would mean 35 raffle entries into the giveaway contest.

A federal-regulated sweepstakes agency was tasked to draw the winner each time the giveaway countdown ends.

Christie Brimberry net worth and financial difficulties

According to authoritative sources, Christie has an estimated net worth of $2 million, some earned from her participation in the reality-TV series and her involvement with the Gas Monkey Garage business. This assess thatment must be true before her battle with cancer, because in some of her social media posts, she shared that she had a hard time paying for the medical bills she incurred for her cancer treatment, saying the insurance coverage that she had wasn’t large enough to cover all the expenses. To alleviate some of the expenses, she marketed events and brands through paid sponsorship on her social media accounts, and was even accused of being a sellout through the comments she received. One time, she was fed up with them that she told everyone that it was her way of surviving, and if they didn’t approve, they could unfollow.


When “Fast N’Loud” ended its run, fans were worried that Christie lost another source of income. After a while, she announced that she’d opened up an account in While some of her fans were apprehensive about this, the move no longer surprised them and they suspected it was to be used for a secondary source of revenue. Most of the celebrities and regular folks joined this web content subscription service, so that they could earn money from subscribers. It was one of those social media platforms that allowed content creators to receive funding from their fans for exclusive pay-per-view photos or videos. It actually created an uproar over the Internet, as most of the content offered consisted of sexually explicit videos and photos.

When Christie posted a teaser showing a photo of her wearing an unbuttoned shirt revealing her cleavage down to her tummy, the fans expected racy content from her.

However, she clarified many rumors that went around after her OnlyFans announcement, debunking what most of the fans thought was her reason for joining, saying that it wasn’t for financial reasons because she wasn’t broke. She also said that she wasn’t getting a divorce, that the OnlyFans idea came from her husband. Christie said she was just happy and that the timing was perfect as she was in a place where she’s most comfortable with her skin. Not everyone believed her because of her previous posts about her problems with finances due to her surgery and all that came with it. For $24, a subscriber could access the 165 digital media she posted about herself for three months on her OnlyFans account, however, the controversial crowd-sourcing site announced that it would prohibit account users from uploading explicit images and videos, as of October 2021.

Her profile on her official OnlyFans account showed ‘I used to be that girl from that show but now I’m the girl from that website! No porn, I’m not a porn star.’ However, her sexy photos in which her nipples were in full view were leaked to the public, even if there was a warning on her page that said, ‘Any images/videos re-uploaded elsewhere online will be sent a DMCA from my lawyer, and legal ramifications will be enforced.’ Some of her subscribers said it was like Christie posted for racy magazines such as Playboy or Penthouse.

“Fast N’Loud” fans were wondering if she’s still connected with Gas Monkey Garage, because based on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, she hasn’t posted anything about them in 2021. The pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus has surely created problems for all types of businesses all over the world, and it would not be impossible at all if the auto shop undertook some reorganization of its staff and crew.

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