Three weeks ago, Richard Rawlings shocked gearheads and muscle car-lovers everywhere. In a YouTube video that’s been viewed nearly 1 million times, he stood up in front of his massive hot rod collection and announced: “I’m selling everything. All of it!”
Well, not all of it, he tells D. He’s selling most of it: 23 cars, two motorcycles, a chassis, and a tour of the Gas Monkey Garage.
Rawlings founded his well-known body shop and garage in 2002. His fame surged in 2012, thanks to his popular Discovery Channel show, Fast N’ Loud. Rawlings and his team would seek out and restore old and classic cars. It ran for 16 seasons, ending in 2020. Since then, he’s been posting builds for his 950,000-plus followers on YouTube.
Rawlings says the sale has been several years in the making. In the original YouTube post, he says he first approached online automotive auctioneer Bring a Trailer before the pandemic. But, Rawlings says, the pandemic made people much more comfortable with selling cars online. “Covid shocked the market,” he says. Lots of people are collecting right now, which means lots of cars are changing hands. “We just want to be on the forefront of some of these cars.”
So, he’s auctioning off his collection.
They’re being sold no-reserve, meaning Rawlings is letting the market decide what they’ll go for. “These cars will sell for what they’re worth.” The auction opens today, September 7, on Bring a Trailer and will last a full week. Then on September 14, each car’s sale will close, one after another. Rawlings is planning a watch-party that day at Gas Monkey Garage, which will also be livestreamed on YouTube. He’ll explain each car as its auction is winding down, and qualified buyers in the audience can continue to bid.
The actual collection of hot rods is diverse, including a 1962 Chevrolet corvette, a 1986 Zimmer Quicksilver, a 2022 Ford Bronco, and his “King T” Ford Model T. “I really thought I’d keep that car forever,” Rawlings says. The collection will attract avid collectors who already know what they want, he says, but there is a little something for everyone. “As we say the car business, there is an ass for every seat.”
As for why Rawlings is auctioning off his 15-year collection, he says he wants a new motorcade of hot rods. He wants to get into period-correct, rare American ’80s and ’90s cars. He wants to invest in some European models, too.
“I’ve collected these cars, and they’d been fun. They’re great. They all do what they’re supposed to do,” he says. “But, you know, I’d like to get more into some classic Mercedes and classic Ferraris and Lamborghinis.”
In the meantime, we asked Rawlings to explain in about one sentence or less, what makes each car in this auction special. Scroll through the gallery to learn more.