Fans of MISFIT GARAGE have been questioning the “authenticity” of the show across the Internet since Fired Up originally broke away from Gas Monkey. In fact, fans of FAST N’ LOUD have been questioning the numbers Richard claims to get for his flips since long before its spin-off was conceived. Are the bottom lines of either of these TV businesses legit, or just reality TV magic? Are the garages making a profit?
Well, obviously, it is hard to say without hard numbers, and we are not privy to the accounting info of either Gas Monkey or Fired Up. However, we do have a few thoughts on the subject.
First of all, it is possible that the rides these guys are flipping are actually selling for the numbers they claim. After all, they aren’t flipping your everyday Chevys and Fords, and they also aren’t doing your average get-them-running repairs; their goal is a higher-dollar market to begin with. And, besides targeting a market that has the money to spend on “toy” automobiles, the rides we see have the extra sparkle of being built by a TV show garage–and being featured on those shows. It may make our eyes roll, but the truth of the matter is that the TV show factor does add a little extra something to the value, at least in buyers’ eyes.
That brings us to something that Thomas Weeks has said several times on MISFIT GARAGE: A car is worth what a person is willing to pay for it. The sellers can put a number value on a car and hope to get it–like we saw last night at Barrett-Jackson on FAST N’ LOUD–but that doesn’t mean the buyer will value it enough to pay it–which we also saw last night on FAST N’ LOUD. So, the sellers can put whatever value they want on a car when they finish it; it doesn’t mean much until the cash is in their hands. And, if you notice, that is sometimes the case at the end of the shows: The sellers give a value to the newly flipped vehicle, but they haven’t necessary sold it for that price at the close of the show–a little TV bait-and-switch. Anybody who enjoys watching real estate flipping shows has seen this technique over and over, so it’s nothing new or unique to these two shows.
And, finally, that brings us to our main thought on the matter: MISFIT GARAGE and FAST N’ LOUD are TV shows. Reality TV shows, yes, but a certain amount of production is necessarily going to go into any TV show. Viewers have to expect a certain amount of eye-rolling scenes in a show like MISFIT GARAGE or FAST N’ LOUD. Viewers of these shows expect to be entertained. If these were documentaries about how to fix cars, viewers would be more focused on the academic explanations of car repair, and entertainment value would take a backseat. With the reality TV version, however, viewers get some close-ups of repairs, some front-line wheeling and dealing, and some personal interactions between the cast, making it much more fun to watch–for most of us, anyway. There is the niche, of course, who will always prefer the dry, seminar-style demonstrations; fair enough. YouTube offers some good options for those who are just looking to see repair close-ups, but it is unlikely viewers will see such fare coming to their weekly TV screens anytime soon.
So, are MISFIT GARAGE and FAST N’ LOUD “authentic?” Well, the bottom line is really this: They are as authentic as they claim to be. Gas Monkey and Fired Up are two garages being filmed for reality television shows, selling flips for prices the market sets–the higher the better. No more, no less.
What are your ideas on the authenticity of MISFIT GARAGE and FAST N’ LOUD? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
MISFIT GARAGE and FAST N’ LOUD air on Discovery Channel on Motor Mondays at 10/9c and 9/8c, respectively.
Image: Discovery Channel via Facebook