Jeff Bonnett, a man of an unusual profession, is one of the many who have been able to turn their eccentric hobbies into their profession. Jeff Bonnet is a street racer, dubbed “AZN” on the streets of Oklahoma. He became famous when the Discovery Channel hired him as one of the cast of “Street Outlaws” in 2013. Bonnett is a philosophical boy in a straightforward world, and it is this dichotomy that makes him such a recognizable and beloved character in the series.
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Early life and family
Unlike many celebrities, Jeff Bonnett is not shy about sharing information about his early life and family. Jeff was born on August 3, 1981 in Oklahoma, USA, the second child of Denis and Matsu Bonnett, and the younger brother of Brenda Bonnett. His family has a rich history; his father served in the infamous Vietnam War and his mother is from Taiwan. Denis Bonnett was a car enthusiast who passed on his passion to his son, encouraged him and educated him to the best of his ability. Denis even loaned his son enough to buy his first car, a 1964 Chevrolet II Nova, while he was still in high school.
He used the event as a teaching moment for his son, who promised to pay back the $2,800. Jeff related to Motorcycle trend that “He lent me the money, and I had to pay him back every month like I would a bank.”
Jeff relied on his entrepreneurial spirit to make that money. He started working as a painter, painting addresses outside houses so that they could be easily identified by the fire service, should the need ever arise. Even then, Jeff had a passion for vehicles and spent time with his father replacing the Chevy’s engine with a higher-caliber V-8 engine.
Bonnet’s childhood was plagued by tragedy, despite his happiness and closeness to his parents.
In 1997, Matsu Bonnett died after a battle with cancer. This was tragic enough, but since Jeff was only 16, this proved to be devastating. Jeff lost his father to a heart attack just a few years later, in 2001. His only surviving family is his sister Brenda Bonnett.
Jeff has undergone very little formal training. His father was his first driving mentor, but it was not the best relationship between student and teacher, and often resulted in a lot of screaming and fear; Bonnett admits this was probably due to his erratic handling and lack of road feel. Anyway, it was his father who introduced him to the world of driving, at least in the conventional sense.
Later Jeff met Bonnett Sean Whitelybetter known as ‘Farmtruck’, and in the wake of his father’s death, Farmtruck became a bit of a father figure to Jeff, teaching him how to drive the way he does now.
Race and Farm Truck
Jeff hasn’t revealed exactly when he started his street racing career, but he was young. He tried his luck and built a reputation with other racers, and when he decided to become the king of the streets, he first met Farmtruck, which he lost, but that was the beginning of the relationship between the two.
He and Sean teamed up, Jeff drove a 1966 VW Bug, affectionately called “Dung Beetle,” which concealed a 1,000-horsepower Turbo Charges Precision engine, and Farmtruck drove a 1970 C-10 Chevy pickup truck, named “The Farm Truck‘ which has a custom block engine and other secret upgrades.
“Street Outlaws” and “Garage Rehab”
After being scouted by the Discovery Channel, Jeff Bonnet and Sean Whitely joined “robbersas a formidable team. The show explores street racing that makes the mistake of illegality, and the innovation of car refurbishment.
They have interesting team dynamics, with Sean doing much of the racing while Bonnet takes care of the more technical details and luring other racers onto the road by gushing and downplaying their car’s skill. His success on the show led him to star in the 2017 spin-off “Garage Rehab,” which followed automotive experts as they traveled to spread their knowledge and bring other garages to the forefront of the industry.
Sean and Jeff don’t just rely on their Discovery appearances to put bread on the table.
The two have capitalized on their growing fame by setting up a merchandise store called FNA Firehouse, where fans can purchase everything from posters depicting the two to trademarked clothing. The two also run a car studio, Farmtruck and AZN Shop, which provide quality work and service.
Unlike his childhood, very little is known about Jeff’s current life. His love for cars is still strong, Farmtruck even helps him pick up his first car that keeps a place of honor in his garage. He is currently single and has dismissed the baseless rumors speculating that he was gay.
He has an old friend of 15 years named Leesa Lacy, who is married and has a child, but still maintains their close relationship.
Jeff Bonnett’s mixed ethnicity is evident in his facial features. He has dark hair and dark eyes and although he is not thick build, he is clearly muscular. His body statistics are unknown.
Net worth and salary
Jeff Bonnett has several sources of income – “Street Outlaws”, FNA Firehouse, Farmtruck and AZN Shop, and the reward of winning street races. He is rumored to receive $20,000 per episode of the show, but this has not been substantiated. His current net worth is estimated at over $350,000, as of mid-2020.