One of the greatest things about the internet is being able to connect with people who have similar interests and passions, regardless of how niche these might be. YouTube is one of the platforms which have made it possible for channels such as Fab Rats could find their right audience, also putting their stars under the internet’s stardom.
While everyone in the Fab Rats team makes what happens on screen possible, there’s no discussion about Paul being the show’s lead man. His hands-on and hard-working attitude make him the right one to convey Fab Rats’ mission, by turning every concept into real fabrication projects.
So who is Paul, and what is the story behind his channel? Stay here to know all about him and everything he does to make FabRats possible.
Who Is Paul?
Ever since Fab Rats started sharing videos on YouTube in 2019, the channel has become wildly popular for people who want some entertaining but also educational insights into car building, restorations, and a fair share of adrenaline-inducing burnouts in the American style.
In front of the cameras, you can find Paul Cox, though he mostly introduces himself by his name alone. Based in Glendale, Utah, Paul turned his house’s garage into his workshop, and the rest of his property’s free space is used for automotive storage. Working at home also means that Paul is more than just a guy on his YouTube channel, as his family and friends are deeply involved with much of the work done at the garage, turning Fab Rats into more than just a regular channel.
That being said, Paul is one YouTuber of a kind as well. By stepping away from the usual scripted content and too-polished looks for the camera, Paul’s videos have fully conveyed simple and homely feelings which have only served him to connect further with his viewers.
Given how vastly talented and knowledgeable Paul is in trades, it’s surprising to find out that he doesn’t have any type of certification or official training in the field. For starters, Paul was inspired to learn his craft by his father Sherman, who knew how to do ‘everything’, and passed down that knowledge to his son.
As Paul affirmed in a question and answer season on his channel, he progressively became knowledgeable with tool and machine usage throughout his childhood and teens, but welding was specifically a skill he learned just because he wanted to: ‘(it has) been just self-taught. I just wanted to weld so I started welding then’, he said, recalling that he was around nine years old the first time he used a welding machine.
While part of his knowledge also came from some school courses he attended, the experience he got by working at a machine shop from the time he was 15 years old clearly served him well in learning everything he knows nowadays. All in all, Paul’s story is impressive and inspiring, making it not a wonder why his audience feels so compelled to follow in his steps.
How Did He Start The Channel?
Building an audience while also creating interesting and content worth watching is no easy task, yet Fab Rats was able to achieve that in only a couple of years without even planning to.
To talk about Fab Rats’ beginnings, it’s necessary to talk about Paul’s passion for demolition derby and his long-standing friendship with Matt Wetzel, better known for his YouTube channel Matt’s Off Road Recovery.
As Paul said in an interview with Decent Garage on YouTube, he met Matt at a Washington County Fair competition many years ago, though it was a tense encounter in which Paul was placed second to Matt, and that stopped them from becoming friends right away. Later, they met at a demolition derby field again, but this time Paul crashed against Matt’s side so badly that he regrettably thought he had fatally hurt him. Luckily, that incident fortunately didn’t take Matt’s life, and the two and their families became good friends afterwards.
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Posted by Fab Rats on Monday, May 25, 2020
It was that same friendship which led Matt to hire Paul’s wife Michelle as his video editor when he started his channel Matt’s Off-Road Recovery in early 2019. After noticing how greatly talented Michelle was at making Matt’s content shine, and knowing how good Paul was at what he did, Matt advised the couple to start their own channel as well.
Though it took Paul and Michelle several months to follow Matt’s advice, they can now thank him for giving them such a great idea.
What Did Paul Do For A Living?
While Paul is nowadays known for his amazing welding, restoring, and everything-automotive related, things were quite different for him before Fab Rats became as popular as it is today.
For over two decades, Paul was a construction worker at a telephone company, a job which took him away from home for around four or five days a week, but that he kept even after starting Fab Rats and gaining thousands of followers, using as much free time he had at the time to work on his projects.
It wasn’t the most comfortable situation, but the goal of leaving his nine-to-five job to have more time to share with his family and work on his content was clear in Paul’s mind, finally becoming a reality between late 2021 and early 2022, when Paul resigned from his job: ‘For me, it wasn’t a hard decision. I’d done that other job for 20 years, I was done with it, the challenge was done’, he said in an interview with Decent Garage in 2022, also admitting that his wife Michelle was nervous about the decision.
Despite how risky it was to leave a stable job to live the YouTube dream of creating content for a living, these days Paul can pride himself on having a job which allows him to do what he loves, and spend time at home with his family.
His Family, Friends & The Channel
Any good fan of Fab Rats knows well that Paul’s content not only focuses on his trade and projects, but shows a lot of what his everyday life and family are like. For starters, his wife Michelle is in charge of the production aspects of the show, on top of also appearing regularly in Fab Rats’ videos, either taking part in some projects, as an interviewer, or simply having fun.
Other regular family members in Paul’s videos are his four kids, brother, mother, and his father Sherman, who unfortunately passed away in late November 2022. While the family usually keeps the most private aspects of their life away from cameras, Paul didn’t shy away from paying his late father a tribute by sharing the fixing process of his old truck in his channel, though not before confessing to his audience about losing his ‘best friend’.
Besides his family, it’s not unusual to see Paul’s friends in his videos, either lending him a helping hand or learning from him. All of it makes it clear that Fab Rats is about so much more than just entertaining videos and gearhead passion, but is also about learning and spending precious time with our loved ones.