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July 17, 2019

By: Sinjin

CARS

This Monkey Is Electric! Jon Rodriguez Joins As Electrical Expert

You’ve seen many new faces on the newest season of Fast N’ Loud, but there’s one you haven’t fully met yet! He’s can program anything from a toaster to a Hellcat crate motor, and he’s actually helped us in a pinch before too. I sat down with our electrical Monkey, Jon Rodriguez, and picked his brain on a few things:

 

Welcome to the team Jon! We wanted to give the fans an opportunity to get to know you after seeing you on the newest season. First off, what’s your area of expertise and what do you do here at GMG?

Well, at GMG I have to wear a lot of hats. From mechanical to machine maintenance, but my expertise is anything and everything electrical. Doing what I do best to bring some of Richard’s crazy ideas to reality.

 

Making Richard’s ideas reality is no easy task! You’ve actually helped bring one of his crazy ideas to life in the past before, right?  

Yeah, back in the summer of 2015 GMG was in a bind and needed an expert to assist them complete a project.  Just so happens I was the right guy for the job. Within a day I flew out to Dallas from Florida to lend a hand on GMG’s ’67 Dodge Dart build aka The Shart Cat. What I helped on was getting this Hellcat Dart to actually start and run. After approximately six hours I was successful and helped the team get back on track to meet their target and beat Roadkill.

You’ve walked into this garage before, but this time as a Monkey. What’s it like being a Monkey now and what’ve you learned since being here? 

Finding myself an actual monkey instead of a guest is a true testament to keep pushing your limits higher and higher. By forcing yourself to learn and do the impossible, you can possibly find yourself in a position to show off your talents, not only to those who know you but everyone around the world. Being a new person here at Gas monkey isn’t much different from any other new job. The only major difference is anything and or everything you do is and will be recorded. What I have learned though is be willing to step out of your comfort zone to not only catch the attention of the camera but also our social media team.

 

How did you get into this line of work? Why the electrical area? 

I can’t recall what exactly made me get involved and interested in the field of electronics. However, I do know as long as I can remember, I not only taught myself but honed in on the craft and became the master I am today. Pushing the envelope on my skills as much and as often as I could.  Always looking to challenge myself and complete the “never been done before” projects.

 

Speaking of “Never been done before” projects, y’all have done that in back to back builds with the Bullitt and the Hellscout, what goes through your mind looking back on those builds? 

Of course working on my first two builds here at GMG was nerve racking especially with two of that caliber. You have to trust your skills and step up at the same time in order to learn the way of the Monkey.

Y’all have done one hell of a job this season so far, even the ones people haven’t seen yet, but whats been your favorite part?

My favorite part of this upcoming season is one of the builds I was able to accomplish something with new technology that is still in R&D status. That’s all I’m going to say at the moment, but once you see the episode you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

 

We’re in a garage, I gotta ask the typical “car guy” question: What was your first car? 

Due to the fact that I grew up in state care. I was not fortunate enough to have a car until I was on my own. At that time, my first official car was a 2006 dodge magnum. The car started as a 3.5-liter V6 and after about a year, I purchased and installed a 6.1-liter V8 that later on was swapped out for a build 6.1 based 426 that put down more than 500hp, and 500 lb.-ft. of torque in a naturally aspirated engine. Not to mention it was a slightly lowered sleek emerald Green station wagon. This car has all the get up a go it needed at the push of a pedal.

 

That’s not a type of build we hear about each day! Going off of that, if Richard gave you the reins, what would you like to see this shop build next? 

It’s hard for me to determine what we should do next simply because a lot of what we do focuses on older vehicles. However, Mopar has just released a 1000hp Hellephant engine and I cant wait to get the opportunity to work with that thing. I’m sure we can figure out what car to put that in and allow me to put my skills to the test!

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