Despite the suddenness of Aaron’s exit from “Fast N’ Loud” in 2016, his fans caught up with his new project – “Shifting Gears With Aaron Kaufman”- as soon as it premiered. Although his new show still showcased his car-building expertise just as in the old times, seeing Aaron in his then-recently opened business and doing things his own way, was certainly satisfying for anyone who had appreciated his immense talent since his debut on TV.
While “Shifting Gears” was truly Aaron’s element, and the show which actually allowed us see the real extent of his mechanic and building skills, the short-lived series on air undoubtedly surprised us all.
So what happened to “Shifting Gears With Aaron Kaufman”? What’s the reason it ended, and is there any chance of it coming back in the future? What is Aaron doing now? This and more we will tell you in this vid!
- 1 Why Was The Show Cancelled?
- 2 What Was His Show About?
- 3 What Happened To His Businesss had
- 4 Why Did He Leave Gas Monkey Garage?
- 5 Is He Still Friends With Richard Rawlings?
- 6 Was “Fast N Loud” Canceled?
- 7 What Happened To Gas Monkey Garage?
- 8 How Did Aaron Join Gas Monkey Garage?
- 9 Career On TV
- 10 What Is He Doing Now?
Why Was The Show Cancelled?
When the premiere of “Shifting Gears With Aaron Kaufman” was announced in 2018, it was good news for everyone.
Not only did his most loyal fans get to see Aaron back on TV after his sudden and unexpected resignation from his former show “Fast N’ Loud”, but car enthusiasts everywhere could enjoy seeing Aaron’s skillful car building escapades in a more detailed and less rushed way than before.
With 12 episodes aired and a stable audience since its premiere, it’s flabbergasting to see “Shifting Gears” actually didn’t last more than two seasons on the small screen, making all of us wonder what went wrong with it.
However, the reason the show didn’t have a third season was never revealed by anyone, leaving us to theorize that maybe it was Aaron’s choice to end “Shifting Gears” where it was.
Back in 2018 when his show had just premiered, Aaron told D Magazine about his reluctance to return to TV after leaving “Fast N’ Loud”. Although a Discovery executive producer ended up convincing him to return after persisting quite a lot, that didn’t mean Aaron was really alright with it, even confessing that his leading show’s schedule was damaging his personal relationships.
So even if it isn’t confirmed at all, it’s not too far-fetched to think Aaron ended the “Shifting Gears” adventure himself.
What Was His Show About?
By the time “Shifting Gears” premiered in 2018, we had already known that Aaron Kaufman’s car building abilities were virtually unmatched. However, there was still something he hadn’t proved yet in front of cameras, and that was definitely how durable his creations really were.
So instead of going for the safe route of performing a stunning car renovation, and then selling it to someone, “Shifting Gears” dared to go beyond that and show its audience the whole process performed by Aaron’s new business, Arclight Fabrication, starting with buying a rubbish-looking auto and transforming it into a stunning machine, which physical and mechanical resistance was tested by Aaron himself.
Sometimes these autos turned out better than expected, but other times they didn’t pass the exam and went back to its former state. For the second season, things changed a lot, and race cars became the show’s main focus.
Interestingly enough, Aaron’s condition for returning to TV was to showcase projects he really loved: ‘it will be based on the premise fun with cars. Cars built out of imagination and of excitement and cars that move the soul and the body as well’, he told Art of Gears in 2017. However, whether or not the “Shifting Gears” concept was loyal to his own idea is as yet unknown.
What Happened To His Businesss had
Anyone who saw Aaron Kaufman on TV or had the good luck of meeting him in person, knows that he’s a car guy through and through. Knowing that, it wouldn’t just make sense for him to leave his biggest passion after his “Fast N’ Loud”’s exit. In fact, it was leaving his long-time job which led him to establish his own business, Arclight Fabrication.
Based in Dallas, Texas, Arclight was thought to be much more than a car shop. His mission was to change the rules of the game when it came to the business of Ford parts, which had been scarce: ‘we’re going to try desperately over the next couple years to absolutely fill that gap’, he said in a video for the Low Life Video channel on YouTube.
First making his business a specialized Ford auto part shop, then taking many of those to build, and even tasting the waters of the race car world, it was evident that Aaron had built his dream business. Although in recent years people worried that the shop had closed, given Arclight Fab’s quite inactive social media accounts, the business is fortunately still up and running, as seen on Aaron’s personal Instagram.
Why Did He Leave Gas Monkey Garage?
Regardless of all the positive things fame can bring, sometimes that isn’t enough for those who’re driven more by passion than money. Having that in mind, Aaron Kaufman’s exit from “Fast N’ Loud” makes so much more sense.
Although the Texas-based auto shop Gas Monkey Garage gave Aaron the right platform to make his name known in the car world, his time working for Richard Rawlings’ business came to an eventual end soon enough. In an interview with Art Of Gears in 2017, Aaron admitted to have hit ‘the bottom end of the type of cars I want to build’ with “Fast N’ Loud”, given that the limited budget and time provided by TV made it difficult for him to be content with his work. Wanting to build big cars not fitting for TV played a big role in his leaving, amongst other reasons: ‘there were some growing personal issues and professional differences of opinion, and so I decided the time had come, I could see the fork in front of me.’.
While it’s hard to have an accurate idea of everything that happened off camera in “Fast N’ Loud”, it’s certain that Aaron surely took the decision he thought to be the best for him and his career.
Is He Still Friends With Richard Rawlings?
Long-time work relationships occasionally develop into friendships, however, even if many “Fast N’ Loud” viewers assumed that Gas Monkey Garage’s owner, Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman could be included in that category too, the truth is that their relationship was nothing like that.
Just as Rawlings told D Magazine in 2018, he and Aaron’s weren’t even friends in the first place: ‘actually [Kaufman] was just my employee from the time he was 20 until two years ago. Fourteen years. But we didn’t hang out outside of work’.
Making that clear, it’s necessary to point out that Aaron and Rawlings aren’t on bad terms either. As Aaron affirmed in the aforementioned 2018’s interview, he and his former employer just naturally drifted apart after he left Gas Monkey Garage: ‘It’s not that we have an unfriendly rapport. We do. Or did. Do. We just don’t have much of one at all these days’.
Regardless of looking quite flabbergasted when Aaron told him he was leaving, in front of “Fast N’ Loud” cameras, reportedly Rawlings actually didn’t put up much of a fight to let Aaron go when he wanted in real life.
That being said, it’s far-fetched to say both men are friends, but at least we know that there isn’t bad blood between them.
Was “Fast N Loud” Canceled?
If you haven’t seen new episodes of “Fast N’ Loud” as of late, that’s because the show was actually canceled in 2020. Even if this comes as a surprise for many loyal viewers, who never failed to tune into the show during its eight years on air, the truth is that the show’s end was long due.
Although “Fast N’ Loud” wasn’t really the same after Aaron Kaufman’s exit, Richard Rawlings and his staff did their best to keep the show entertaining, and Gas Monkey Garage active and running for several years. However, after airing 16 seasons and over 150 episodes, the show came to its natural conclusion, as Rawlings explained in an interview with The Joe Rogan Experience podcast back in late 2020: ‘I kind of got to the top of that mountain being at Discovery. There wasn’t anything else for me to do there’.
Explaining he wanted to expand his horizons after being in the same place for so many years, Rawlings then disclosed that he’d become a free agent, and was creating ‘some cool things’ the following year.
Since then, he hasn’t appeared in any TV show, but his YouTube channel has become his favorite platform on which to share his car adventures, including restorations and his auto-hunting trips all around the US.
What Happened To Gas Monkey Garage?
Long before the idea for “Fast N’ Loud” even crossed the mind of Discovery’s producers, Richard Rawlings’ Gas Monkey Garage already existed, and now that the series is no longer on air, the business continues on its own.
That being said, Gas Monkey Garage has always been involved with auctions, exhibitions and any car-related event which could gain Richard money. One of the most exciting projects the business was ever involved in was The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), acting either as a sponsor, featuring some race cars built in the show, or even to let Richard drive a brandish Cup Series car in 2017.
However, the good times Gas Monkey Garage spent in NASCAR are now in the past. As it happens, the event suspensions caused by COVID-19 in 2020 left Richard without much to do for several months, leaving Gas Monkey Garage to sponsor other events such, as the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, and in the National Hot Rod Association.
Richard’s impetuosity to get his business into all these motorsports-related events, is caused by his wish of joining the race world after working for so long with builds: ‘I would like to have to be a driver or a rider or whatever’, he told Forbes.
To keep updated on anything Gas Monkey Garage is doing nowadays, Richard’s and his shop’s social media accounts are always available.
How Did Aaron Join Gas Monkey Garage?
Unsurprisingly, Aaron Kaufman’s interest in cars started in his teens. Often attending car shows, and learning from his father, a hot rod builder, ultimately had the right effect on him, leading to him building his own cars in high school, and overall having the typical experience of someone who had the luck of finding their call in life very early on, as he told Restomod Films in 2021.
Despite loving car building and having enough experience in it as a rookie, Aaron went to Texas University for a while before realizing academics wasn’t for him, then spent the following months taking small jobs everywhere, until finally being noticed by Richard Rawlings, who already owned Gas Monkey Garage back then.
Turns out, Richard and Aaron made an unexpectedly good duo, going around the US for car events, races and exhibitions, becoming the best showman and car mechanic team.
Unfortunately, all good things had to end at some point. Gas Monkey Garage closed a couple of years later, and Aaron resumed car building as before. That is until Discovery got its eyes on a sizzle reel Richard sent them, leading to the re-opening of Gas Monkey, Aaron’s return to the shop, and starting the “Fast N’ Loud” adventure.
Career On TV
Although Aaron Kaufman’s debut on TV came with “Fast N’ Loud” in 2012, he was also a behind the scenes collaborator in “Bike Build-Off”.
Both experiences helped him to establish his own business financially some years later: ‘we gained some wonderful sponsors that really helped us outfit the shop’, as Aaron recalled in an interview with Restomod Films.
Leaving “Fast N’ Loud” resulted in getting his own show “Shifting Gears With Aaron Kaufman”, despite his initial reluctance of coming back to TV. However, the short-lived latter project made everyone assume Aaron’s career on TV had ended, until the surprising premiere of his second show, “Aaron Needs a Job” in 2019.
In this new show, Aaron’s long-time followers saw him touring the whole country, exploring the most overlooked sectors of the national car industry. Though “Aaron Needs A Job” lasted only one season, it was quite compelling to see such a talented and skill-driven man doing whatever he wanted on TV, even if for a short time.
What Is He Doing Now?
As seen on Aaron’s personal Instagram page, he spends his time managing Arclight Fabrication, joining car races both as a driver or as a team member, and often promoting automotive products. As well, it isn’t rare to see him being featured in some online car-centered projects, such as YouTube channels or mini documentaries.
While this isn’t the same as seeing him on TV, it’s nice to see Aaron is still following his path in the auto world at his own pace, and under his own rules.