Barrett-Jackson 2016 Through the Eyes of a Photographer

Hey, Gas Monkey fans! I’m Mark Karpinski and my partner, Scott Brandt, and I operate a classic cars dealership back in St. Louis, MO, called Motoexotica Classic Cars. I’m happy to be a guest writer for as we gear up for Barrett-Jackson 2017. This series of photographs offers a small snapshot and an insider’s view of the most exciting week in our industry.



First of all, we had an adrenaline-charged week last year, and Scott and I ended up buying 49 cars from the auction for inventory to supply Motoexotica Classic Cars. We always have a blast, because the energy of Barrett-Jackson is off the charts! When you add Richard Rawlings and the Gas Monkey crew to the mix, that energy dramatically increases – an experience tough to describe, actually.


It was amazing to see “The Bandit” himself, Burt Reynolds, rolling up to the block in a Trans Am, followed immediately by the Gas Monkey Hot Wheels ‘Midas Monkey’ Corvette. An epic moment happened when we sold a 1928 Stewart produce truck full of real fruit. In true Gas Monkey fashion, Richard walked up to the truck as it crossed the block and started eating all of the bananas.



I shoot a lot of digital pictures, but I’ve never been able to stop shooting film, especially black and white. We travel all over the country to various auctions searching for and selling cars. You’ll usually see me with a small Rangefinder camera from the late 1950s with Leica and Voigtlander lenses. I love this setup for many reasons, the main being that Rangefinders are silent and quick, so I never miss a moment. I love capturing classic cars in the modern world with the character of a period vintage look.


I shoot mainly Kodak Tri-X black and white film because I can push it to very fast speeds without having to use a flash. Barrett-Jackson is a very exciting place but the environments are dark, so fast film and extremely quick lenses are needed.

I get to do it all over again this week, and I’m super excited to leave for Scottsdale! I plan on shooting twice as many rolls of film as I did last year, so be on the lookout in the coming weeks for photos from this year.


Dennis Collins’ Holy Grail 1967 Camaro Z/28 To Be Sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017

Last week we focused on the Mustangs Dennis Collins’ is taking to Barrett-Jackson. He also has three amazing Camaros heading to the big auction. For this article, we’re going to focus on the 1967 Camaro Z/28 in CC Ermine White, code 717 blue interior and a standard bore MO engine – a true Holy Grail Camaro.


It’s important to note that the Z/28 registry has 194 cars in it and there were only 602 ever produced, and this car is number 12 in the Z/28 Registry.  This car has original engine, transmission and read end, and the original owner added the Rally Sport package.


Dennis did his homework and he researched, compiled the paperwork and found pictures from the original owner — which are necessary steps to be successful in the world of high-stakes car auctions. Camaro enthusiasts and historians can come to their own conclusions about this car, and speculating is half the fun. Here’s a picture of the original owner after he bought it, showing this car had a rear spoiler and gold-lined tires from the very beginning.


Many fans want to know why Dennis is selling these cars after holding onto them for such a long period of time. Well, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Camaro, and Dennis thought it would be a fitting tribute to Camaro fans to bring his to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale.

Dennis believes this car will do very well because the ’65 Shelbys (first year), in similar condition, are bringing $450,000 – $800,000 at auction. Both the first year Z/28s and first year Shelby Mustangs have similar production numbers, performance engines, most were raced and less than half exist today. Regardless, this car is selling at NO RESERVE and will go to the highest bidder, whatever the price may be.


We look forward to seeing what this amazing car brings, as well as the two other Camaros Dennis is bringing to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017. This is car is lot #1041.1 and sells on Friday, January 20, 2017.

Check out this video for more info:



Morgan Wade Interview – Gas Monkey Energy – Athlete Profile

Gas Monkey Energy BMX athlete, Morgan Wade, dropped by during the Gas Monkey Energy Mannequin Challenge and we discussed his 2016 season, toughing out injuries and how he’s been staying in shape for a brighter 2017 season.

GMG: How was 2016 for you?  What events did you compete in?

Morgan: 2016 wasn’t the best year for events for me, specifically BMX Big Air. I’ve done a lot of other type of shows this year as a result, including the Nitro Circus North America tour and shows with Armed Forces Entertainment called Bikes over Baghdad. We go to bases overseas and put on the best BMX show there is for our troops!


GMG: So, what happened during the 2016 X Games, specifically the BMX Big Air Contest?    

Morgan: There was a bit of wind this year at the X Games in Austin; more so than in previous years. The wind actually made us cut a few of our practice sessions completely which made a handful of the other riders not happy. At the end of the athlete meeting, it was decided to push the contest off to the next day. The problem was that they pushed it to the last possible time slot of the weekend. The wind got worse, we got no extra practice, and there was no room to push the contest back any further. ESPN ended up completely cancelling the contest on us. I was totally blindsided by it as were most of the other guys. It was definitely a bummer, but on the bright side it did shine a light on a big issue that us riders have had with that event for a long time. That issue being is the ramp and the contest belong inside a closed stadium! Thankfully next year they are moving the entire event into the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. It’s going to be a good event!


GMG: What’s your preferred event? 

I’m actually more of a park rider than anything, but I also ride Dirt and Street. MegaRamp still seems new to me even though I’ve been competing on it since 2006. I have a ton of fun riding the Big Air ramp, but I’m a park rider at heart!

GMG: You’re known for being a really tough guy and continuing competitions despite crashing and losing teeth – what’s your best story of when you truly toughed it out despite the blood and existing pain?

Morgan: In 2009 the late great Dave Mirra held a contest in his personal ramp warehouse in Greenville, NC called the “Animal House Jam”. It was a fun idea; prelims were run as a “cash for tricks” so it was basically an all-out battle to do cool enough stuff in the allotted time to rack up a bunch of cash! Qualifying order was based on how much cash each rider had. In practice, right before qualifying, I managed to hang up on a quarter hard enough to get tossed over the bars right to my shoulder + head. I thought I had snapped my collarbone again, but it turned out all I did was re-separate my shoulder. I just taped it down as much as we could and I took some ibuprofen and ran it! I ended up qualifying 2nd in that one! Good times! Haha


GMG: How do you stay in shape?

Morgan: When I’m home I don’t ride as much as I do during the contest/show season so I do CrossFit 4 – 5 times a week to keep my cardio up. I’m also in a local Olympic Barbell Club called “Athleo”.

GMG: Does Cross-fit and Olympic weightlifting help prepare you for big air, hard landings and the occasional crash? 

Morgan: I think being in shape and strong in general prepares your body to take slams better across the board. I do think both of those activities help me out, but more so than that I actually enjoy them and all the friends I’ve made in the process. It’s like having another family away from home and BMX.

GMG: Do you drink regular or light Gas Monkey Energy?

Morgan: I honestly prefer the Light Gas Monkey Energy Drink over the Regular. It has nothing to do with it being “Light”, and everything to do with the flavor.


GMG: What competitions do you look forward to in 2017?

Morgan: X Games is going to be big next year! I’ve got big plans for my runs on the BigAir ramp so be on the lookout! Every year holds something a little different, and we’ve already started planning the next Bikes over Baghdad tour in 2017. Hopefully I’ll be on the Nitro Circus tour again too so look out for your local listings. Those shows are bananas!


Building the Hot Wheels Hi-Po Hauler – Behind the Scenes

For our final installment of behind-the-scenes content of the Hot Wheels Hi-Po Hauler build, we’ll take you through how an old 1963 Ford Econoline pickup became a badass hot rod that was approved to be a Redline Edition car for Hot Wheels’ Red Line Club (RLC).

As seen on Fast N’ Loud, the Monkeys disassembled the base Econoline pick-up and stripped out anything and everything, minus the body. Once the existing frame was cut away, the Monkeys added a chassis back half built by Chassisworks and combined it with a custom front frame designed by Jeremy Cheatham. The cabin fabrication included moving the driver’s position from the left position to the center steer position and reconstructing the inner floor around the center drive seat. The dash is a great example of Monkey teamwork. Jeremy Webster cleared away the existing dash early on, Jason Aker created the dash supports and Jeremy Cheatham cut out and recessed the lip for the fiberglass panel that sits flush on the dash that supports the gauge cluster that Charles Cimino designed and created.


For the new bed, Cheatham created custom finishing panels and Aker and Cheatham cut and fabricated the custom rear wheel tubs to cover the massive tires. The outer bed panels were completed by Aker and the front wheel tubs were designed and fabricated by Jeremy Webster and Tony Cano. Phew – did you get all that?



Because this is a race truck and a Hot Wheels RLC car candidate, we needed an impressive looking and scarily powerful engine. The Hi-Po Hauler engine started as a Ford 460 and it was bored out to 520 cubic inches. It was then mated to a monster C6 transmission complete with V-drive. This contributed to keeping all of the mechanical aspects of the engine driveline at the rear of the vehicle to ensure there was enough space to go with our center custom steering and center drive position – ensuring no parts ran into each other.


As many of you know, the engine on a typical Econoline is positioned up front where our new driver position is now. Moving the engine to the rear not only helped make the truck more drivable, it also added much needed weight for more grip when the truck takes off at the start line. The V-drive technology also allowed us to reverse the gearing, since the engine was turned completely around, not losing any engine performance whatsoever.

Once the vehicle was mocked up, the Monkey’s then fine-tuned the design for the custom bracketing, custom motor mounts and custom transmission cross member. The rear end assembly also features a chrome housing and billet accessories. The Hi-Po Hauler has Wilwood Brakes, featuring two calipers piggybacked (two for each wheel) in the rear for extra stopping power as well as undersized single calipers on the front wheels to accommodate the racing package.



The Monkeys took great pride in some of their own customization ideas such as hiding the fuel tank under the passenger mid-body and running a clear filler hose up to a custom plate so the truck can be filled at the side. The one-off steering design by Aaron Kaufman was a thing of beauty as was the custom tailgate created by Mike Coy featuring a nice finish on the sheet metal fabrication. All fuel and power lines have been hidden and everything around the engine is tight and colored black to contribute to a nice clean look.


As you all know, once this car was assembled, the Monkeys took it all back apart so it can go back to paint and all the shiny hardware could be installed. Thankfully during the rebuild, all the parts and pieces assembled nicely as it did the first time around. To put things into perspective and to illustrate the level of skill needed to pull off a build of this caliber, the Monkeys had to put six 24-hour days to complete the build from the time The Hauler left the paint booth.

Hopefully this article sheds additional light on what an amazing accomplishment this build was in the timeframe that it was completed. Gas Monkey Garage and Hot Wheels couldn’t be happier with how the Hot Wheels Hi-Po Hauler turned out and we can’t wait to see the Red Line Club version of this vehicle.


Dennis Collins Is Selling His Prized Mustang Collection at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017

While Dennis Collins may be hesitant to sell his Mustangs, it’s too late now. They’re on their way to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017.

These special examples, that took him years to find, will be auctioned consecutively in a matter of minutes on Wednesday, January 18th.

Check out this video and vehicle details below.

Lot 400



Lot 400.1



Lot 400.2


Lot 400.3


Lot 400.4


Lot 400.5


Lot 400.6


Lot 400.7


Don’s New ’67 Toyota 2000GT

The way that most people became familiar with this particular Toyota was in its topless form in “You Only Live Twice” when Toyota chopped the top off of a coupe 2000GT to accommodate Sean Connery’s 6’2” frame. But funnily enough, no convertible models of this car were actually ever sold.

The 2000GT you see here was just recently purchased by vintage race car driver and partner in Gas Monkey Energy, Don Yount. Don was perusing the popular auction site just before Christmas and saw a deal that he couldn’t pass up and bought himself a little early Christmas present.

His is a ’67 model with the original Yamaha-built 2.0 litre straight six engine still intact. Of the 351 originally produced between 1967 and 1970, this one has the distinction of being one of the three that was originally sold in Mozambique when it was new. From there it has changed hands quite a few times taking it all around the globe (from Africa to Costa Rica to the UK) before it settled into its new home here in Dallas, TX.

When asked what he was going to do with it, Don simply thought for a second and said, “I don’t know. Want to go do some donuts in it or something?”

So be looking for it running around the Dallas streets!

Happy New Year! Start Off 2017 Right With Some Gas Monkey Night Pics

Happy New Year from your friends at Gas Monkey Garage.  Thank you for a great 2016 and we look forward to new beginnings in 2017.

Enjoy some night pictures from the Garage.








Fan Profile – Gas Monkey Fans from Dewy Rose, GA – 898 Miles to Dallas, TX

Frank, Marka, Angela and Joe

A few weeks back we heard a loud scream at the front of the Gas Monkey Energy offices and a few of us ran up to see what was happening.  When we got up to the front we saw one of our fans hugging the Shorty Short VW Bus.  Apparently, it was Angela Moore’s favorite Gas Monkey Garage build and for her to see it up close was a huge thrill to say the least.

Angela’s husband, Joe, had an idea to make the approximate 900-mile journey to Gas Monkey Garage with their friends Frank and Marka Day.  In addition to being huge Gas Monkey Garage fans, they’re also massive fans of the hard rock band, Jackyl who played Gas Monkey Live the day they visited the Garage.

A big THANK YOU to the Moore’s and Day’s for driving all the way from Georgia to come visit the Garage, eat at Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill, rock out a Gas Monkey Live and of course hug our Shorty Short VW Bus.  We love the group’s dedication and enthusiasm!!!


Names: Joe Moore, Angela Moore, Frank Day and Marka Day

Hometown: Dewy Rose, Georgia

Favorite Monkeys: Richard Rawlings (Angela, Frank and Marka) + Aaron Kaufman (Joe)

Favorite Build: Gas Monkey Garage Rat Rod

Yes, Aaron the Bearded Wonder is Leaving Gas Monkey Garage

Richard here. As you may have heard by now, the Bearded Wonder has decided to leave Gas Monkey Garage. I want you all to know that it was not my decision and came completely out of left field. Aaron has been a part of Gas Monkey Garage since day one, and it will be a painstaking process moving forward without his talents. It is a big hit to GMG, but please note that it would be an insult to everyone here at Gas Monkey who has been putting in the work these past few years to say that we can’t do it without him.

Gas Monkey Garage is not one person, it’s not two people, it’s a team. AK helped me build GMG, and he helped build the team here, which is why I’m confident we will continue to crank out killer rides week after week. You know I like to keep the drama away from the cameras, and that’s something I’ll continue to strive for. You won’t see a degenerating team or a bunch of arguing. We are about the cars, brand and family!

To our fans, I want to say thanks for all of the continued support all these years, and keep watching because we aren’t going anywhere! Wishing nothing but good luck to Aaron and all past, current and future monkeys!

And to Aaron, I would like to sincerely express my appreciation for the 13 years you put into GMG. We worked long and hard from the bottom to the top. Not everyday was good, and we had our share of disagreements, but it has been a hell of a ride and I would not change a minute of it. Neither of us could have achieved this without the other. Thank You, Sir.


Cruisin’ with the Monkey Cruise – Price Drop

If you were on the fence about going on the Cruisin’ with the Monkey cruise with Richard Rawlings and the folks from Gas Monkey Garage – well hop off and sign right up with prices starting at $595/person.

You can take it from us – Richard and team are a blast to hang with. We’ll have lots of fun on the way to Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel leading up to a kick-ass party at the Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill in Key West.

Head over to the Cruisin’ with the Monkeys to sign up: Site


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