Tattoos and T-Tops – InkedMag


By Richard Rawlings

What’s up guys! If you’re a car lover there’s a good chance you’ll know me, I’m Richard Rawlings owner and operator of Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas.

So why exactly are you reading what I’m writing here in Inked? Well the truth is that my love of tattoos has been with me since I was a teenager, I’ve lost count how many I have now, but like the back seat of a good muscle car, you always remember your first, right?! For me ink has always been a personal thing, but then again times change and so do trends. I remember getting my first tattoo at 19, I was a fresh-faced police officer and just figuring things out (as most of us do at that age).

I had known for some time that I wanted a tattoo but was unsure of what I really wanted. Friends had told me stories of them being drunk and just walking into a parlor to get a tattoo that by the next day they had regretted. That wasn’t for me. I wanted something that was funny, and something that would be a talking point, very me I’m sure you’ll agree…

To follow the theme of me being a police officer, I decided to get the Japanese symbol for “Pig” inked on my ankle. I just wanted something that represented where I was at that point of my life and to take a memory of it with me for the rest of it. I think that’s the most grown up answer I can give you, but then again the other side of me just wanted something that was friggin funny! The cop thing came to an end not long after my first ink and I soon became a firefighter and a medic; many hats were worn in the early days! I also owned a printing company which was super successful, but my passion for cars was where my head was at, so I decided in the early 2000s to start Gas Monkey Garage. I’ve always loved Hot Rods (especially ‘32s) and just wanted to enjoy what I’ve always loved doing so I decided to go for it. It’s not tragic to follow your dreams, don’t let anyone tell you differently…

The summer is on its way here in Dallas and I got a few different rides to choose from on a daily basis. When the sun is out I love to take my ‘78 Trans Am to lunch (T – Tops off mandatory) or my ‘68 Convertible Mustang, there is nothing finer than cruising in a ride you built at your shop and having your playlist banging away next to the sound of an American V8!

Ink is awesome, and I’m already lining up my next one so stay tuned to my new column here in Inked Magazine!

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