The custom car shop is responsible for some of the most incredible builds you’ll ever see

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, those of us who have been on home quarantine are running out of shows to watch. Fortunately, there is one show on Netflix that gearheads from all walks of life can sink their teeth into to help pass time.

If you haven’t heard of the smash hit Car Masters: Rust to Riches, now’s as good a time as any to get acquainted with Mark Towle, Constance Nunes, and the folks over at Gotham Garage. Car Masters: Rust to Riches takes us on a behind-the-scenes look at some of Gotham Garage’s most famous custom builds. From Hollywood replica cars to insane one-off creations, Gotham Garage has built just about every kind of custom car you can think of. We’ve even compiled a list of some of the shop’s most memorable builds, including one of my favorite custom car creations of all time. Go, Speed Racer!

Speed Racer Mach 5

Arguably my favorite Gotham Garage creation, this Mach 5 replica from the cartoon series Speed Racer hits me in all the right spots.

It’s based on a Chevrolet Corvette C4, and not only did Gotham Garage retain the Corvette C4’s V-8 engine in this custom build, but it also managed to slash 1,000 pounds off the car’s hips.

Combine that with the Mach 5’s iconic look — the trident nose, the “M” livery on the hood, and the “5” racing number on the doors — and you have a custom creation that’s truly one for the ages. The attention-to-detail is incredible, right down to the periscope camera and the buzzing saw blades that come out from underneath the front section of the race car.

Hot Wheels Splittin Image Car

The Chevrolet Corvette C4 has proven itself to be a favorite base car by Gotham Garage. The sports car was used as a donor car for the Speed Racer Mach 5, but Gotham also used another Corvette C4 to serve as the base of this incredible creation.

Those who are familiar with Hot Wheels will recognize this beauty as a life-sized version of the Splitting Image Hot Wheels car that was released by toymaker Mattel back in 1969.

It’s hard to pick which detail of this life-sized Splitting Image racer is my favorite. The twin cockpit is an incredible touch that pays proper tribute to the scaled-down race car. The interior is dressed in fancy leather with ostrich insert custom bucket seats to go with an ostrich leather steering wheel. It’s even powered by the same 5.7-liter V-8 engine that the Vette has at its disposal. The Splitting Image car is a true one-of-one. It’s registered in California, and if you happen to have around $150,000 lying around somewhere, you have a chance to take this beauty home with you.

Volkswagen Beetle Bug Rod

If you thought that there aren’t that many ways to custom tune a Volkswagen Beetle, you obviously don’t know what Gotham Garage is capable of. The tuner can take any vehicle and turn it into something entirely different. Case in point? The Volkswagen Beetle Bug Rod. It’s far from a traditional hot rod, but this pumped up Beetle looks the part of a bug that’s going to be hard to kill in a drag strip.

The roof’s been taken out and the front axle has been kicked further into the front, hot rod style. Check out the plush interior, too. That’s Gotham Garage at its best. You get more than you expect.

Frank’N’Bus

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Gotham Garage is known for some of the wildest custom builds you’ll ever see. With that thought in mind, feast your eyes on this monstrosity. What was once a mild-mannered Volkswagen Bus is now a six-wheeled monstrosity that’s well suited in the world of Mad Max.

Gotham Garage calls this creation the Frank’N’Bus, and the name is as appropriate as it looks.

It’s hard to explain the Frank’N’Bus without mentioning the third wheel axle, the beefed-up suspension, and the addition of a massive V-8 engine that helps make this raunchy marauder go like a bullet on the dunes.

It even has a thick plate of bulletproof glass that separates the engine from the passenger compartment. The Frank’N’Bus is the embodiment of Gotham Garage’s ability to turn scraps into, at least, in this case, a six-wheeled rider that’s equipped for surviving the apocalypse.

The Grape Digger

The Smart is arguably one of the most boring cars you’ll see on the road. Its small bulbous look isn’t visually inspiring and it has barely enough power to get you from Point A to Point B. Gotham Garage knows all of that, and yet, the auto custom shop still went ahead and created the Grape Digger, a modified Smart Car that now looks — and runs — like a mini monster truck.

Forget the raised suspension, the massive off-road tires, and the exoskeleton frame for a second and just focus on the hilarity of a muscle-bound Smart Car whose nickname was inspired by one of the most famous monster trucks — Grave Digger — in the world.

The fact that this creation was commissioned by a customer who owns a vineyard — hence the name “Grape Digger” — only adds to the ridiculously awesome nature of this build.

Chrysler Sebring Race Car from Hell

The Coolest Cars from Gotham Garage
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Gotham Garage is an equal opportunity builder. It’ll take on any project, provided that it sees some merit to what it’s going to build. Take this Chrysler Sebring Race Car, for example. The renowned tuner built this — there are no words to describe it — for the 24 Hours of Lemons race.

Since the price limit of any car competing in that race is only $500, Gotham worked with what it could, and the result is nothing short of incredible.

I can’t tell what I’m more impressed by. Is it the makeshift windshield made from a miniature soccer goal, the two spray-painted eyes above where the Chrysler logo used to be, or the gnarly teeth on the radiator grille? Maybe it’s all of them in equal doses. Whatever it is, I take comfort knowing that Gotham Garage knows when to have some fun with garbage, too.

Munster Koach

From garbage to gold, allow me to present to you the Munster Koach, arguably one of the finest creations to come out of Gotham Garage. Inspired directly by the car driven in the sitcom the Munsters, this replica of the Munster Koach is, without question, the most accurate version of the Hollywood car ever created. No wonder Mark Towle spent a great deal of time researching and building the car, piece by piece, to ensure its authenticity relative to the real car that was used in the American sitcom. The Gotham-built Koach even comes with all the equipment and ornaments found in the Hollywood car, right down to the moon eye gauges and the three-spoke custom wooden steering wheel.

As far as Hollywood car replicas are concerned, Gotham Garage’s Munsters Koach is as good as it gets.

Gotham Garage Custom Rat Rod Tow Truck

Car Masters: Rust to Riches Season 1 Vicky

Car Masters: Rust to Riches Season 1 Vicky-- Season 2 coming soon! March 27, 2020 https://www.netflix.com/title/80194704 Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see all of our videos--http://www.youtube.com/c/GothamGarage Netflix #GothamGarage #MarkTowle #carmastersrusttoriches #Vicky #Season1

Posted by Gotham Garage on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

When is a tow truck not really a tow truck, except that it can still be a tow truck? The answer, of course, has something to do with Gotham Garage. Built from the bones of a 1940 Ford, the Gotham Garage Custom Rat Rod Tow Truck looks as incredible as you’d expect an 80-year old tow truck to look. The body is covered in rust, but everything else — the mechanicals, especially — is all modern and completely up-to-date. The uniqueness of this build isn’t limited to its appearance since it’s a tow truck in name and function. It comes with a 454 engine, dual mags on the back, and yes, a real working winch that allows it to tow a select number of vehicles without completely falling apart. As far as creative builds go, this has to be one of Gotham Garage’s best works.

Fuzzmobile

Police cars were once called paddy wagons, and while that phrase is no longer in vogue, Gotham Garage always finds a way to bring relevance back to the irrelevant. This, folks, is a paddy wagon that’s straight out of our time. The tuning shop calls it the Fuzzmobile, and among other goodies, it comes powered by a modified Cobra engine. The overall design is just as eye-catching, thanks to the authentic police globes, cycle fenders, and the set of wide Goodyear tires wrapped on mag wheels.

The highlight of this build, though, has to be the interior.

There are authentic wood benches in there, in case you want to get the real dated treatment.

Look hard enough and you’ll notice a few antique bits and pieces, too. This is the Fuzzmobile, folks, and it’s ready to take on criminals everywhere!

Ford T-Bucket Fire Truck

There’s cool, there’s cool, and then there’s the Ford T-Bucket Fire Truck. If it’s not enough that Gotham Garage recreated the world’s first mass-produced vehicle, the noted tuner also turned it into a fully functioning hot rod, complete with a custom C-cab that’s inspired by fire trucks.

This is custom building that’s on a completely different level. There are so many cool things about this build that picking one just doesn’t seem fair. From the open front end that reveals the hot rod crate to the firetruck-inspired rear section to the custom-built interior, everything about the Ford T-Bucket Fire Truck is impressive. That’s just how Gotham Garage rolls.

Where is Gotham Garage located?

Gotham Garage is located in Temecula, California, a tourist and resort destination that’s famous for its serene scenery, award-winning wineries, and championship-level golf courses. It’s also famous for being the home of Gotham Garage.

Where is Gotham Garage Filmed?

Gotham Garage is filmed in Temecula, California. Most of the show’s cast members live near the general vicinity of the garage so a lot of them are still able to work together even when the show is on a filming sabbatical.

Who is Constance from Gotham Garage?

Constance Nunes is an American model and Reality TV personality who shot to fame for being one of the stars of the show “Car Masters: Rust to Riches.” The show depicts life inside Gotham Garage where Nunes is one of several personalities that make up the Gotham Garage cast. Together, they work on building custom car projects for the garage’s expansive client list. Nunes has extensive experience in the automotive industry and is famous for buying — and restoring — a 1964 Ford Mustang when she was just 16 years old. Gotham Garage Constance is one of the most popular reality TV personalities these days.

How long has Gotham Garage been on TV?

Car Masters: Rust to Riches is the name of the show that chronicles the custom car projects undertaken by Gotham Garage. The show just concluded its second season when all eight episodes dropped on Netflix last March 27, 2020. Previous to that, all eight episodes of the first season were released on Netflix on September 14, 2018.

How many season of Car Masters: Rust to Riches are there?

#Season1 #MarkTowle #CarMastersRustToRiches #GothamGarage

Posted by Gotham Garage on Friday, May 3, 2019

There have been two seasons of Car Masters: Rust to Riches. There has not been an official announcement made regarding a third season of the show, but based on its undeniable popularity, it’s likely that Netflix will, at some point, renew the show for a third season.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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