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Environmentalists prevailed in the ‘Diesel Brothers’ lawsuit

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Truck customization has never been the same since “Diesel Brothers” debuted on TV in 2016. Featuring a wide variety of diesel-fueled trucks and a talented group of friends, “Diesel Brothers” did a great job at giving motorheads everything they wanted out of a show, including big powerful off-roading cars, and a lot of funny experiments and pranks.

Nevertheless, not everyone was happy about seeing what the “Diesel Brothers” did for a living, resulting in a long and enduring legal battle against them which to this day still causes a bit of confusion among his fans.

So what was the lawsuit filed against “Diesel Brothers” about? Who else was involved in it, and what consequences did the case have for the show and its stars? Stay here to know it all!

What was the lawsuit about?

Even before hitting TV screens in 2016, “Diesel Brothers” hosts, Dave Sparks and David Kiley, were already well-known on the internet for their fantastic truck customization featured on their popular YouTube channel. Nevertheless, not everyone had warmed up to them the same way, including an organization called Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE), which sued Sparks and his co-associates for violating the Clean Air Act through their business Sparks Motors.

The issues started in 2016, when the UPHE bought a $43,000 Ford F-250 truck and tested its smoke emissions, finding that the truck emitted 36 times more pollutants than a common would, on top of removing the equipment necessary for diesel emission control. They filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction, directed at those in charge of the businesses behind “Diesel Brothers”, to stop them from selling trucks with these modified systems.

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Some of the arguments stated in the lawsuit were the fact that Sparks, Kiley and associates had been encouraging others to follow in their steps through their TV shows and social media. As well, the UPHE argued that the trucks modified by the business were ‘disease-generating machines’, as the pollution of Utah’s air was considered a public health concern.

What Did It Result Into?

Following the lawsuit filed against them in 2016, the “Diesel Brothers” faced a long and hard legal battle which finally saw its end in 2021.

Some of the case’s highlights include a 2018 injunction which stopped them from modifying the diesel control systems on the cars modified by Sparks Motors. The injunction was granted regardless of David Sparks’ claims that his trucks were meant for off-road conditions, given that these regulations applied to all types of vehicles despite their intended use..

As the case went on, Sparks Motors’ defense didn’t deny that the vehicles modified by the business had altered emission systems but argued that the vehicles were sold mostly to clients out of Utah. As well, court reports show that the company offered to fix the emission control systems of the cars already sold, along with trying to prevent being hit by a big fine under the argument that their earnings weren’t as massive as thought

Nonetheless, the judge determined that Sparks and his co-associates had earned over $400,000 from their TV show “Diesel Brothers” alone, without including earnings from their business activities. In the end, all the businesses behind “Diesel Brothers” were fined over $848,000, and paid another $800,000 in court fees to UPHE.

Are Their Businesses Still Active?

Knowing all the legal issues that the stars of “Diesel Brothers” have gone through in recent years, the question of how much these affected their businesses and lives is very common.

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Dave “Heavy D” Sparks and David “Diesel Dave” Kiley are the owners of several businesses which are still up and running, despite the difficulties. For starters, their main business Sparks Motors is active, as seen on their social media. Though it’s unclear how much they were affected by the big fine and legal expenses they had to pay after losing their emission control case, it’s clear that they’re still big fans of truck customization. In late 2022, the business moved to a new and seemingly larger location, the eighth one since the business opened.

On the other hand, the pair’s online business, Diesel Sellerz is active as well. Though its social media accounts haven’t been updated since 2021, the marketplace’s website is often updated with the newest models for sale. However, “Diesel Brothers” clothing brand Diesel Power Brand has seemingly moved to Sparks Motors’ website, on top of stopping their giveaways system by announcing the last one in November 2022.

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What Happened To Their YouTube Channel?

Long before Heavy D and Diesel Dave made it to TV in their Discovery Channel show “Diesel Brothers”, the pair was already well known for their truck-centered content on social media.

Featuring pranks between friends and showcasing entire and detailed truck customization processes, the two Daves turned their YouTube channels DieselSellerz and Sparks Motors into the perfect platforms for promoting their business, and also inspiring other Diesel fans out there who either want to follow their steps of pursuing their dreams. Word got around, and sooner rather than later, both friends were featured in “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno”, inevitably taking the attention of Discovery producers.

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That being said, the debut of Heavy D and Diesel Dave on TV also marked the end of an era for their YouTube channel, as DieselSellerz stopped sharing videos in March 2016. At that point, the pair focused on sharing content on the channels Sparks Motors and on their then-newly created HeavyDSparks, which to this day is close to hitting the three million subscribers mark.

These days, both Diesel lovers keep active on a variety of platforms, on which they aren’t limited to truck customization and personal vlogging only, but also to bringing help to communities and people in need.

Was The Show Canceled?

It’s been a wild and long ride for “Diesel Brothers”, but all great things have to end at some point. After seven years and over 50 episodes aired, “Diesel Brothers” was announced to be airing its 8th and final season in December 2022.

This cancellation comes after the show spent several months off-air, with the last episode of the 7th season aired in 2020. Despite fans’ speculations pointing out the legal issues faced by Dave Sparks and David Kiley as the reasons for the cancellation, it’s unclear what exactly led to the end of “Diesel Brothers”.

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So what’s in store for Heavy D and Diesel Dave? Both men still actively work in their businesses, while also creating content for their social media platforms, but other than that it’s unclear if they have any plans of returning to TV, or if this means the end of that chapter of their lives.

All in all, between the high price they had to pay in their lost legal battle against an environmental group, and the subsequent cancellation of “Diesel Brothers”, nevertheless, this isn’t the end for Dave Sparks and Diesel Dave, as surely great things are still awaiting them.

As the Managing Editor at The Legit, I direct a dynamic team dedicated to creating rich content that profiles the lives and accomplishments of influential figures. My commitment to detail and storytelling drives the production of biographies that truly engage our audience. I manage all aspects of the editorial process, from conducting thorough research to crafting vivid narratives, all while ensuring the accuracy and quality of our work. At The Legit, our goal is to offer our readers comprehensive profiles that provide deep insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Through diligent research and engaging storytelling, we highlight the exceptional journeys and achievements of those who both inspire and intrigue us.

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Who is Scott Taylor from “Street Outlaws”? Profile and his Net Worth

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Scott Taylor, a prominent figure in the world of street racing, known for his appearance in the Discovery Channel’s hit series “Street Outlaws: New Orleans” in 2016, had a life that was intertwined with speed and adrenaline from an early age. His uniqueness as an individual sparked great interest among the viewers who were hungry to know more about Taylor’s origins.

It didn’t help that Scott is mostly a private person, and would rather sit in silence than brag about his wealth and achievements. This left the crowds scratching their heads about numerous important questions regarding the racer, such as what kind of background he comes from, and how much he earns.

Scott Taylor – Origins

Born and raised in Mississippi, Taylor’s fascination with racing was forever kindled in his youth, setting him on the path that he still follows today. His father was a significant influence in his life, as well as the very catalyst that sparked his interest in the highly competitive world of racing.

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While Scott was on the fence about becoming a professional drag racer for most of his early life, it was also his father who eventually forced him into making a choice. Since this decision turned out to have been the right one all along, not many fans have complained about the somewhat controversial method used in this case.

More specifically, the last message Scott received from his father was a wish for his unique talent to be tested behind the wheels in the Discovery Channel reality TV series that race enthusiasts around the world love and revere. This ultimate request from his father became a driving force for Scott, pushing him to turn a lifelong dream into reality.

He eventually found his way into the spotlight, asking various favors from his racing friends and trying to contact the right producers. The effort eventually paid off, providing Taylor with a perfect platform to showcase his skills and passion for racing. It was here that he began to make a name for himself, not just as a racer, but also as a significant figure in the drag racing community.

However, Scott’s life before the show was not all about the track. He had a regular life, attending school, and later working various odd jobs to support himself. Despite his growing interest in racing, Scott understood the importance of having a stable income, and pursued a career outside of the sport.

Taylor thus faced numerous challenges throughout the early years, as the world of street racing was not an easy one to break into, and he had to work hard to establish himself. He faced numerous obstacles and setbacks, but his determination and passion for being number one on the track never wavered.

The lean, mean racing machine

Scott Taylor’s car, affectionately known as John Doe, is a character in its own right in the world of street racing. This 1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass has been through countless races, victories, and even a few heart-stopping incidents, becoming a symbol of Taylor’s passion for the sport.

The story of John Doe begins with its creation, as Taylor, a seasoned racer and a member of the NOLA team at the time, poured his heart and soul into building a car worthy of his talent. He worked tirelessly, often spending long nights in his garage, tweaking and perfecting every aspect of the vehicle. His dedication was fueled by a desire to create a machine that was not only fast but also a reflection of his personality and racing philosophy.

John Doe is powered by a 524″ BAE Hemi engine, equipped with a ProCharger. This combination of power and performance makes the car a formidable opponent on the track. Taylor swears by everything he has that John Doe is faster than fellow racer Kye Kelley’s Shocker, which is a claim that has sparked many heated debates among fans and fellow racers.

The car’s unique name adds to its mystique, as the term is often used to refer to an unidentified person, and in this context, it symbolizes the car’s unpredictable nature, and Taylor’s ability to surprise his opponents on the track.

John Doe has seen its fair share of action over the years, having participated in numerous races, often emerging victorious against some of the fastest cars in the sport. However, it’s also experienced a few setbacks, most notably a very particular incident which Taylor was lucky to escape with his life.

In addition to John Doe, Taylor also owns another racing car, Track Doe, a 2021 Camaro equipped with a 565″ Pro Line Racing Hemi and a ProCharger. Like John Doe, Track Doe is a testament to Taylor’s love for racing and his continuous pursuit of speed and performance, as well as almost fanatical willingness to invest as much as necessary in his one true passion.

Off the track, John Doe is a source of pride for Taylor, as it represents his journey in the world of street racing, from his humble beginnings to his current status as one of the sport’s most respected figures. The car is a symbol of his dedication, passion, and relentless pursuit of victory, causing it to be recognized among most fans of the series as one of its signature vehicles.

All of this combined makes John Doe much more than just about a car, weaving a story about the many virtues that have kept the world’s greatest racers afloat through the years. It’s a tale that continues to inspire fans and fellow racers alike, reminding them of the thrill and excitement that comes with this ultimately dangerous sport.

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The converter explosion incident

Scott was engaged in a routine racing event when things went horribly wrong for the first time, catching him and everyone else by complete surprise. He was at the helm of his 1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass as the competition kicked off, bolting from the starting line at a customary unthinkable speed. However, not long after the onset of the race, a deafening blast rang out across the track, sending most onlookers into shock and fear.

The detonation originated from Taylor’s vehicle, which is something no one would’ve expected at the time. It was ascertained upon detailed examination that the torque converter had malfunctioned, suffering a catastrophic function failure as one of the most crucial components of a vehicle’s transmission system.

The intensity of the blast was such that it punctured a hole in the transmission tunnel, and scattered metallic fragments in all directions, which could’ve easily cut the driver, akin to shrapnel from a fragmentation artillery shell. The base of the vehicle sustained severe damage, and the engine was deemed beyond repair. In fact, Scott was extremely lucky that no other explosion took place at the time.

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Taylor, although rattled by the incident, came out of the car without injury, much to everyone’s relief, but was left with a severely compromised vehicle in the wake of the incident, scrambling to find the means to effect all the necessary repairs.

Despite this massive hurdle that threatened to either end or greatly halt his career, Taylor pledged to restore his car as soon as possible. He swapped out the damaged components, mended the hole in the transmission tunnel, and even upgraded the engine to boost its performance and efficiency. After several weeks of intensive repairs and probably vast amounts of money, John Doe was back in working order, and primed for future competitions.

Installing an unconventional blower

Drama again engulfed Taylor and his team when they decided to equip his car with a Pro Line Power Plant, a high-performance engine that’s known for its exceptional power output. This part, combined with a controversial blower, was set to take Taylor’s racing performance to new heights, or more accurately speeds. While all fine and dandy on paper, the decision was met with great pushback from the racing crowd, as well as the fans.

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The blower, a device that increases the power output of an engine by forcing more air into the combustion chamber, is in itself a controversial upgrade amongst “Street Outlaws”. Some argued that it gave Taylor an unfair advantage, while others believed it was a legitimate part of racing, just like any upgrade. With no governing body on the legality of every possible car upgrade, it was most definitely in the gray zone.

Despite massive potential setbacks, Taylor went ahead with the controversial upgrade, determined to push the boundaries of what was possible in street racing, and this new setup was going to be his latest attempt at doing so.

The installation process was rather meticulous, requiring a high level of precision and overall mastery at crafting race car builds. Every component had to be perfectly aligned, and the engine had to be tuned to handle the increased power output, while the entire setup needed to be immaculately arranged for optimal airflow.

When the upgrade was concluded, Taylor seems to have made the most of it through sheer dominance on the track. The Pro Line Power Plant, combined with the controversial blower, gave the vehicle an unprecedented level of power and speed.

However, the negative feedback surrounding the blower hasn’t dissipated ever since, with certain viewers and various competitors seeing Taylor as a cheating charlatan rather than a professional racer. It continued to be a topic of heated discussion, those supporting Scott arguing that his competitors also have unconventional upgrades, and so he has every right to catch up to them.

Taylor has continued to stand by his decision, arguing that the blower was a necessary addition that would allow for fair races, as well as that it was within the rules of the sport. He also pointed out that the installation was done professionally, meaning that all safety measures were taken into account.

This is perhaps one of the most defining characteristics of Taylor’s career, as it served to show both his wooers and booers the extent to which he is determined, allowing his competitive and boundary-pushing mindset to shine even in the face of potential doom.

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Ruling the unruly – What is his net worth?

Taylor’s racing career has seen certain memorable triumphs, owing to his incessant striving to improve and dominate the track. He secured the runner-up position in Outlaw Armageddon in the 2015 season, finishing right alongside Justin Shearer, known as Big Chief.

He also won the Border Wars, pocketing a cash prize of $21,000 and a great deal of fame that came with the victory. That said, his journey was not always smooth, and that is perhaps what makes him stand out from the rest, as many fans have connected with his readiness to face hardships and defeat.

In a race against Kye Kelley and his 1992 Camaro, The Shocker, at the Memphis International Raceway on 2 August 2016, Taylor fell short in the final round after a tight 1-1 tie in the first two rounds. This was a highly anticipated showdown, seen as the ultimate settling of their fierce rivalry, and Scott had the misfortune of dealing with the short end of the stick.

Apart from racing, Taylor also owns a business, Taylor Towing, in Hattiesburg, MS, and runs a local race track named Hub City Dragway. His ventures, combined with his winnings from racing, contributed a great deal to his net worth, which was estimated to be approximately $500,000.

Finally, his current biggest source of income is Scott Taylor Motorsports (STM), a website on which would-be customers and supportive fans can order a number of competitive car parts, get advice on optimizing their builds, as well as purchase various kinds of merchandise with the STM logo on it.

A wealth beyond money

The most integral part of Taylor’s life and drive towards success is his family, who support him every step of the way, and serve as an inspiration for the many endeavors he undertakes. Scott married a certain Heather Taylor on 24 July 2004, and they’ve since had a peaceful and loving union.

On 10 October 2010 Heather gave birth to their beloved twins, Sophie and Scotty. It remains to be seen whether either grow up to follow their father’s footsteps, much like Scott in his time.

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What happened to Constance Nunes from Gotham Garage?

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Constance Nunes received world attention upon first landing in public view on 14 September 2018, when the initial episode of the now globally famous Netflix reality TV series “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” aired. It was a walk in the park for her to grab everyone’s attention right off the bat, being a woman in an entirely male-dominated industry, who on top of that, can stand her ground quite well.

Nunes actually commands respect from her co-workers at Gotham Garage, not just through her daily work, but also due to an extensive and enviable history in the automobile industry. This makes her a very memorable character in Netflix’s production, massively increasing the audience through the sheer power of curiosity, as well as attracting female viewers.

Who is Constance Nunes?

Born on 17 November 1989, in Los Angeles, California USA, Nunes is of Portuguese descent. Her father, an amateur racer and seasoned mechanic, played a significant role in sparking her interest in cars. Following in his steps, she began working on vehicles at a very tender age, which led her to develop a passion for all things automotive.

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While building her resume in the automobile industry, Nunes also ventured into fashion modeling, using her physical appearance to heighten the prestige of numerous car shows. She has an impressive modeling portfolio, having done photoshoots for prestigious companies such as Jockey, Wrangler, Javanan Magazine, Feral Cosmetics, and Jlux Label. Nunes doesn’t shy away from showcasing her body to her followers, frequently posting bits and pieces of her photoshoots on her Instagram page.

Nunes’ first and foremost passion, however, is working on cars. She spends most of her time restoring and upgrading vehicles, dedicating the limited time she has for other projects to her modeling career and television projects. She boasts years of experience in the industry, having started in the trade by helping out her mechanic and race car-driving father when she was young.

She expanded her knowledge by doing personal projects, and working on a vast array of vehicles way outside of her comfort zone at the time. Thanks to her persistent will to improve, it became a given that she would be featured in a high-rated TV series such as “Car Masters: Rust to Riches.”

Apart from having worked in the service department of top car manufacturers, Nunes also builds both luxury and race cars for specialty shops. Viewers of the show know that Constance performs all sorts of car work for Gotham Garage, yet many are unaware that she collaborates with numerous southern California brands too, including Classics, Charlie’s Corvettes, and CARS Etc.

Other special jobs and clients that Nunes found herself engaged with include 4 Wheel Parts, Nitto Tires, and VP Racing Fuels, whereas she also collaborated with Audi as a vehicular specialist. The aforementioned makes it easy to conclude that she’s actually more involved with the car industry than most men seen around her on television.

Constance owns a 1964 Ford Mustang, which she bought at the age of 16; she calls it Babystang, having poured countless hours into making the vehicle one of the most recognizable out there, and, more importantly, perfectly to her taste.

The car was originally Wimbledon White, but she wanted to ensure that the modification consisted of 1964 parts. Dedicated fans know that Constance boasts the straight-six engine, which operates effortlessly, as her best-loved part of the build, though it’s been murmured that she wants to upgrade it to a 302 V8.

In addition to her work in the automotive industry, Nunes has done stunt work in Hollywood films such as “Bring it On” and “Dodgeball.” She also has a significant social media following, with her debut in “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” helping to catapult her public pages to hundreds of thousands of followers.

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Tumultuous romance

In spite of being deemed highly attractive and sought-after by many admirers, Nunes has had only one known relationship thus far, with fellow autophile and amateur race car driver Jared Toller.

Born on 5 November 1990, and so her junior by a year, Toler crossed paths with Nunes in 2011 at a party thrown by a mutual friend, where he instantly experienced a deep attraction for the reality TV star. He found his way into a conversation with her, and one thing led to another.

They dated for the next eight years, deepening their bond through numerous shared interests, as fans believe his attraction for her grew tenfold upon witnessing her expertise with automotive industry endeavors. Their love culminated in a private wedding ceremony in Piru, California, on 9 February 2019, attended only by friends and family.

However, the initially celebrated union proved to be short-lived, due to to-this-day barely understood differences, since both Jared and Constance keep to themselves on the matter. They divorced as early as 2020, at which point Nunes opened up on Instagram about the various difficulties she had been experiencing outside of the relationship by that point.

A reality superstar’s trials and tribulations

On 17 November 2020 the world learned of Constance’s difficult daily struggles, including supporting her father and best friend in battling esophageal cancer. She emphasized in the post that her dad has been in convalescence, and would likely recover fully in the coming months.

Aside from characterizing her life as ‘really hard,’ Nunes made no other statements as to what the reason for her divorce may be, which left many devoted fans’ heads spinning. She also explained that, in spite of having loving friends and family, she had been feeling lost and alone for quite some time, describing herself as more disconnected than ever before.

On top of that, Nunes herself thought she had esophageal cancer over the summer of 2020, leading her in and out of numerous hospitals so as to obtain a proper diagnosis. This worry was exacerbated by the fact that she had been suffering various alleged injustices at her various jobs, citing a ‘hostile work environment’ as a source of additional stress.

Apparently, Constance and her family were targeted by certain individuals on the internet, coming to experience cyber stalking and serious threats. She attributes this issue to men feeling threatened by her in the industry, although the real reason may never be known.

To top everything off, she also contracted COVID-19 somewhere along the way. Her youth and physical fitness should’ve made the virus easy to deal with, but this doesn’t seem to have been the case, as she admitted suffering a great deal from the illness. Knowing the worst of COVID-19 symptoms, it’s very likely that Nunes experienced lung pain throughout extensive coughing, as well as damaged senses of taste and smell possibly for weeks on end.

At the end of the Instagram post, Constance emphasized how all of these factors combined to put her through a living hell, but that even the worst of the worst can be used to learn and grow as a person, which she says has helped her become a much stronger individual.

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Gotham Garage

In the realm of reality television, few shows have captured the hearts of car enthusiasts quite like “Car Masters: Rust to Riches.” This Netflix original series has been a high-octane ride from the get-go, offering viewers a unique blend of automotive wizardry and compelling human drama.

The show revolves around the crew from Gotham Garage, a team of skilled mechanics and artists who have built a number of props for movie studios and television shows over the years. Led by Mark Towle, the group breathes new life into classic cars, giving them modern makeovers in an attempt to raise their value, and ultimately earn the company large profits.

Each episode takes up one unique project, with the crew working their magic on a variety of vehicles, from 1964 Ford Thunderbirds to Volkswagen Bugs. A large number of personal issues are strewn throughout the group’s efforts to create never-before-seen masterpieces, involving professional rivalries and childish grudges, altogether making for prime television.

The series has had its share of iconic moments. For instance, in the first season, the experienced crew of the Gotham Garage undertakes an attempt at converting a 1964 Ford Thunderbird into a so-called ‘rocket car’, all the while giving a smart car the treatment reserved for monster trucks. In another episode, the team gets to rearranging the parts of a 1970 Chevy C-10 Fleetside so as to upgrade and then trade it for the rather costly car body of a 1939 Zephyr.

Despite the show’s popularity, there have been some concerns about its authenticity, due to the insufficient coverage of the restoration process. For example, it’s been alleged that Shawn Pilot, the crew’s negotiator, might just be following lines in a script throughout the many dealings, as he has somewhat of an acting career in his pre-Gotham Garage resume.

Obviously, the most glaring inconsistency with reality is the prospect of a well-established female fashion model getting dirty with intricate and hard-to-handle machinery, while building a rather complex vehicle from scratch. While Nunes’ presence may not seem as credible at first, anyone who has watched the show enough to see her debate or work on vehicles has thus far been made aware that the model’s knowledge on the matter is beyond extensive.

All things considered, these concerns haven’t dampened the enthusiasm of the show’s loyal fan base, who continue to tune in for the awe-inspiring renovations and the behind-the-scenes look at the world of car restoration.

In essence, “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” is more than just a car show – it’s a testament to the power of creativity, teamwork, and sheer mechanical genius. It’s about taking something old and forgotten and turning it into something new and extraordinary, which in turn brings significant profits. Ultimately, at the heart of it all, there’s a group of passionate individuals who, episode after episode, remind the world that with the right tools, skills, and a bit of elbow grease, anything is possible.

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Constance’s constant: What the future holds

In spite of the worldwide audience’s mixed feelings regarding Nunes’ expertise, as well as the constant pressure of having to prove herself due to being the weaker sex, as of mid-2023, she’s continuing her professional endeavors with renewed determination.

The first example of this can be seen in her Instagram profile description, in which she clearly stated ‘5 seasons on CAR MASTERS @netflix,’ meaning she is most definitely set to appear in the fifth installment of the series starting 26 July 2023. Thanks to this knowledge, fans around the globe can feel safe in knowing that their favorite female lead mechanic is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Unrelated to the glamour of high-profile mechanics in front of Netflix’s cameras, Nunes owns and operates her own CARSbyConstance shop in Wildomar, California, whose website offers several memorabilia featuring her likeness in front of prestigious vehicles, such as her favorite Babystang.

While she’s set to continue appearing in Netflix’s hit reality TV series, nonetheless Nunes has various other sources of income to fall back on, which leads many to believe that she will remain relevant in the industry for the foreseeable future.

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She began June 2023 by cementing her media presence, and bolstering her relationship with the fans, doing a series of meet-and-greets at Pitsmo Beach, California, where she engages in lengthy poster signing for her endless waves of admirers.

As for her beloved Babystang, it seems to be constantly undergoing upgrades, as its ‘mother’ is never quite satisfied with the final result. Understandably, the automotive industry makes significant leaps every year, and Nunes simply refuses to leave her signature car behind the competition.

She uses the vehicle to go to every single event that involves the presence of her fans, allowing many to also see the car inside out, and become acquainted with her most prized possession. With such strong dedication to keeping her fans engaged year-round, Constance’s popularity has remained consistently on the rise since 2018.

In June 2023, she has just over 1.2 million followers on Instagram, with tens of thousands of likes on every single post. With this in mind, her continued presence in “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” doesn’t seem necessary for Nunes to maintain significant popularity, having her name permanently etched in the ever-bending metal of the automotive industry.

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How Cornelia Marie Survived a Fire, a Lawsuit, and a Pandemic

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Cornelia Marie is one of the most recognized commercial fishing vessels used in the freezing Alaskan waters, because of its participation in the hit reality television series, “Deadliest Catch,” aired on Discovery Channel. It was under the command of Captain Phil Harris for many years until he died in 2010. Aside from the immense danger F/V Cornelia Marie encountered during the crabbing season, it also underwent a series of misfortunes such as a potential fire accident and a government shutdown due to the pandemic along with being mentioned in lawsuits and scandals. It was nothing short of a miracle that it stayed afloat despite the many incidents that could have sunk the fishing vessel literally and figuratively many times in the past two decades. A recent scandal may change the shipping vessel’s luck, and fans believe that they may never see it again on TV.

The Origins of F/V Cornelia Marie

Contrary to what newer “Deadliest Catch” fans believed, the F/V Cornelia Marie wasn’t named after Captain Phil Harris’ first wife, even if the fishing vessel would be forever identified with him. There was a real-life Cornelia Marie, a native Alaskan married to Ralph Collins who was in the commercial fishing business. Sometime in 1989, the couple invested in a $1.5 million-worth 106-foot crabbing boat, which they had built by known shipbuilder Elmo Horton in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. It was powered by twin Mitsubishi engines with 630 horsepower, and could hold 25,800 gallons of fuel. Ralph named it as such to pay tribute to his wife who deserved it as she was the one handling the accounts books of their fishing business.

His initial plans for the F/V Cornelia Marie were to sail to Seattle by going to the Gulf of Mexico and then passing through the Panama Canal up to the West Coast. However, the US invaded Panama to topple its dictator, Manuel Noriega, and for military reasons, the Panama Canal was closed that one night in December of 1989. It resumed operations the next day, but the fishing vessel was stuck there for a little over a week, and by the time it reached Seattle, the crabbing season was well underway. Ralph became its temporary captain as there wasn’t any time to find a new one, however, staying at sea for long periods of time wasn’t good for their young family, so they looked for someone they could trust at the helm of the boat. They found Phil Harris, and when they offered him a quarter stake of ownership as well as a chance to run a newly-built state-of-the-art boat, he was stupefied. Ralph said that he had seen others easily walk away to better offers, so he made sure that the new captain would be a part owner of the boat to persuade him to stay as long as possible.

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Cornelia Marie and Phil Harris

When Captain Phil Harris was hired to command F/V Cornelia Marie at the end of 1990, the owners didn’t realize that he lacked a formal technical engineering education. They only knew that he was knowledgeable about it, and that he had this in-your-face confidence, and Phil was smart enough to hire the most competent engineer he could find to help him run the boat. Most of what he knew was from experience and gut instinct. He was astute enough to learn every single piece of gadget or equipment inside the boat, so it was uncanny that he would know, even before his crew or engineer did, if something was wrong with the ship just by its sound. During the early years, Ralph would sometimes be the skipper of the boat when in halibut season, but when it was time for crab hunting, Phil took the wheel.

Scariest moments in F/V Cornelia Marie

Accidents do happen, but everything is scarier if one is in the middle of a wide ocean. It reminded everyone in the crab fleet of the hazardous aspect of their profession, but Phil would often tell his sons, ‘You can’t take it personally or it will drive you insane.’ However, his son said that one couldn’t help but take it personally, especially if dead bodies were floating around!

Swept overboard

Those who hadn’t been onboard a crab fishing vessel in the Bering Seas couldn’t relate to the type of risk that the fishermen faced. Phil knew that his sons should accept it if they wanted to continue in this profession. One time, a deckhand was swept overboard, and it took about five minutes for the rest of the crew to realize that he was gone. However, with the kind of waves that they encountered, no one could find him and all they could see was empty waters around the boat. It was the reason why Captain Phil would constantly observe from the wheelhouse window just to check if everyone was where they were supposed to be.

Confronted gigantic waves head on

Another scary moment Phil had aboard Cornelia Marie was when he was about to hand over the wheelhouse to his relief skipper, and they were confronted by a huge wave. They both saw it but there was nothing they could do. It popped open the glass window, so gallons and gallons of water entered and even knocked down the lights. It wasn’t Phil’s first time to experience it, because he was still in his teens working for his father when a similar thing happened. He had learned not to panic, so he just took on a hammer and boarded up the window with plywood. The fishing vessel had encountered these kinds of waves for many years, and while it was dangerous, it had become a normal occurrence for him. However, Phil never thought they would face a gigantic wave that they estimated to be over 100 feet high. As he knew it was coming, he made sure that it wouldn’t hit the boat on its side, so he collided with it head-on. The crew described it as if they were in a car driving on a steep mountain road going up to the peak but with no road at the other side so it was like falling off a cliff. Cornelia Marie fell loudly and broke the boat’s two solid heavy steel rudders.

Oil leakage in the engine room

During the 11th season of “Deadliest Catch,” Josh Harris took over as co-Captain of F/V Cornelia Marie, along with his father’s long-time buddy, Engineer Casey McManus. One of the things a captain wouldn’t want to hear from the radio was that there was a fire somewhere in the boat, specifically coming from the engine bay. It smelled of smoke and fire down there, but Josh immediately checked it out and saw that there was oil spillage in the room. They all knew it was a dangerous moment and so the fishing stopped so they could all focus on the problem. The oil line blew, and fire could easily flare up if it wasn’t fixed immediately. In these situations, the technical know-how and experience of co-Captain Casey McManus came into play. Josh said, ‘This is the reason why I’m not a full-fledged captain because of situations like these. I don’t even know what’s going on down there.’ Flames were averted, and they didn’t need to make an emergency stop in their crabbing operation to return to town.

Crabbing shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic

One would think that the crab fishing industry wouldn’t be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, considering it would involve being in the vast waters of the Bering Sea off Alaska. Each year, the industry would depend on the annual surveys conducted by the government as they advocated sustainable fisheries management in Alaska. These surveys were the cornerstone of how the industry would proceed annually, on what limitations the fishermen would have in their harvest. Unfortunately, due to uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in May 2020 reported that they’d canceled certain surveys. As a result, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game made an historic announcement that the red king crab fishery would be closed for the 2021-2022 season – the F/V Cornelia Marie captains then made the necessary adjustments to their fishing activities. The danger just went up many notches, as they hunted for other species in the sea, but they didn’t have any choice since their livelihood was at stake.

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Fishing operation expenses soared higher

The operating expenses for Cornelia Marie went up just like most of the other fishing boats in the Bering Sea. It was hard flying in due to flight regulations, plus getting crew members to join was another matter, since most people were afraid of contracting the virus; they needed to pay up to 10 times the usual rate so they could get crew. It was even harder with restrictions on getting in and out of processing plants. To make it easier for Josh Harris, he reached out to Shane, who was Phil Harris’ son from his first relationship. Josh idolized his older brother and was grateful Shane agreed to help them out.

Golden King Crab fishing at a deeper and more dangerous level

With red crab fishing out of the equation, co-Captains Josh and Casey sailed out to hunt for golden king crabs as an alternative source of income, or else file for bankruptcy. To get these species, they needed to use 10 shots of the line instead of the regular two lines that they used for red crabs. What they normally did in red crab fishing was dangerous enough, but golden king crab fishing was harder, as they needed to place the pots out in the water 10 times deeper, such a complicated process that took a long time to do. One golden king crab pot set-up was equal to having to set up seven red crab pots. The whole crew wasn’t ready for it, and they all found it creepy and tiring.

Cornelia Marie and Time Bandit joined forces

If putting down the crab pots in the deep water was extremely exhausting, hauling them up was even more so, and quite tricky as well. As a result, they lost some of them so they needed to do it differently. Since they were all quite new to this type of fishing, the Cornelia Marie crew asked for help from another fishing vessel, the Time Bandit. Its captain, Jonathan Hillstrand, was cool enough to give them a hand. The captains of both vessels came up with a plan, which seemed great on paper, but Josh Harris said, ‘To be quite honest with you, I didn’t quite understand what Jonathan and Casey had going on.’ He said that they had all witnessed crazier things in their boats, but the plan worked out wonderfully without anyone getting hurt or ending up in a body bag. The funny thing was that the production crew of “Deadliest Catch” asked them if they could do it again at a slower pace, but they all said no, as it was just a one-time deal. The co-Captains even told them there was no way they could slow it down – it was as if telling them to jump out of a car at 60 miles per hour.

The scandals and lawsuits surrounding the Harris Brothers

The F/V Cornelia Marie had always been associated with the late Phil Harris, so any controversial news that came out about his sons, the fishing vessel was always mentioned. Also, both his sons, Josh and Jake, worked in the fishing boat after he passed away. The legendary captain might have been wild during his heyday, but he had never been in serious scandals that involved law enforcement.

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Jake Harris was in and out of jail

Growing up in a dysfunctional home and without a great role model, Phil’s younger son Jake turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with his problems. Just a week after his father died in 2010, Jake was arrested for driving under the influence. He crashed Phil’s BMW 3 series into another car, after driving erratically and with a suspended license, so spent a night in jail before he was bailed out.

The second time he was arrested was in 2017 for drug possession and theft. He ditched the married woman he was having an affair with after spending the night in a hotel, which wouldn’t have been a problem if he hadn’t taken her car. When the police caught up with him, they found illegal drugs on him such as meth and Xanax. He failed to attend the subsequent hearing, and so the judge issued an arrest warrant.

His run-ins with the law didn’t stop there, as Jake was involved in a police chase after he refused to present his ID when he was confronted by park rangers in a state park. He looked unkempt and out of it that when he bolted out, and they chased after him; apparently, he had heroin with him along with a stolen firearm. He was arrested and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. He was also required to install an ignition interlock mechanism in whatever car he was to drive after completing his jail sentence. After he was out of prison, it didn’t take long for him to be re-arrested for DUI.

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Josh Harris was fired from “Deadliest Catch”

Cornelia Marie’s absence in the latest season of “Deadliest Catch” sparked curiosity among fans, as most of them wanted to see Josh Harris continue the legacy of their father. Some of them thought that the boat’s absence might have something to do with the younger Harris, because he was the one who was always in trouble, so fans were shocked when it was reported that Josh Harris was fired from the reality TV series. Several speculations surfaced, but nobody was prepared for the exact reason why his services were terminated. Apparently, a report came out in September 2022 that one of the favorite captains from “Deadliest Catch” was a pedophile.

The reports said that Josh Harris was embroiled in a sexual abuse case dating back to 1998. At that time he was around 15 years old, and it was the mother of the girl who reported the abuse to the police. The entertainment site, Factz, wrote, ‘Josh Harris digitally, vaginally and orally raped a 4-year-old girl 7/14/1998.’ He was able to commit the nefarious act because the victim was a neighbor, and the daughter of a deckhand. While semen was found on the scene during the investigation, Josh wasn’t arrested immediately since DNA processing wasn’t that advanced yet. It took the investigators quite a while to make a case against him. As a minor, Josh was initially put into house confinement under the watchful eyes of his father and stepmother, and charged with Fourth Degree Assault and Communicating with a Minor for Immoral Purposes. He was imprisoned for nine months, and was ordered to undergo a psychological sexual examination.

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Discovery Channel was one of the last people to know about it, but once it came to light, they quietly cut ties with Josh Harris and removed the spin-off series in which he featured back in 2022 from the menu program of its streaming service.

The F/V Cornelia Marie survived all the misfortunes and challenges that came its way in the past, but many people believed that this incident might figuratively bury the fishing vessel at the bottom of the sea, never to resurface.

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