The cars of the early “Fast and the Furious” movies are in many ways tiny snapshots of the tuner culture of the late 1990s. While the early installments of the franchise celebrated the diversity of automotive enthusiasts, there were some cars that were built for very narrow story purposes. The “Heist” Civics of 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious”…
“The Fast and the Furious” is full of lust-worthy cars that many enthusiasts would do anything to own. Some of them were, and are, bigger than others, obviously. However, one of the secondary character’s cars still has quite a story behind it.
We’re talking about Edwin’s Acura Integra GS-R from the original film. As always, “Fast and Furious” expert Craig Lieberman is here to provide the full story on the car with help from the car’s original owner, Bill Kohl. Kohl purchased the car originally to replicate a show-car version of a racing-spec Honda Accord coupe. At the time, research showed the Integra GS-R was the fastest and most affordable platform to do just that. So he bought the car and modified it lightly. The engine wasn’t turbocharged or anything crazy, but a host of aftermarket parts helped make the spritely sport coupe even quicker.
Acura Integra GS-R from ‘The Fast and the Furious’
Then, as was the norm, the body kit, graphics, and other tuner-scene gadgets were added.
Kohl responded to Lieberman’s casting call for cars for a film originally titled “Redline,” and almost immediately when he showed up in the Integra GS-R, the film’s director named the car Edwin’s for the movie. Edwin is better known as rapper Ja Rule in real life and took part in the movie’s opening street race that included Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Connor.
Acura Integra GS-R from ‘The Fast and the Furious’
Kohl almost immediately sold the car while the hype was high surrounding the film, and since then, it’s traded hands a couple of times. Featured in the video is the sole hero car, though a few stunt cars were also built for filming. They were not, however, GS-Rs and instead basic coupes with automatic transmissions.
The original car was last sold in 2014 for nearly $50,000 and today lives with its owner in Florida. Check out the full interview up above.
Craig Lieberman, the chief technical director for the first three “Fast and Furious” films knows a lot about the movies. However, he brought in a very special guest for a new video that perhaps knows even more.
David Marder, in charge of picture car development for the first two films, showed up for one of Lieberman’s most recent videos on inside knowledge about the first film. Marder was responsible for making the cars look the part. While Lieberman rounded up cars and guided the production crew on what kinds of decisions to make, Marder made the cars on a budget.
Honda S2000 from ‘The Fast and the Furious’
The nearly hour-long video is full of personal video Lieberman shot on his own camera that Marder helps break down. For example, we see just how cheap the crew had to get at certain points.
All of the scenes showing drivers at Race Wars, for example, were shot in a Honda Civic buck. The car was rigged and then the graphics and paint for the particular car were applied to match the character’s car. In fact, in the scene where Jesse races the S2000 at Race Wars, Marder points out the gear used to re-create the hero car.
Toyota Supra from ‘The Fast and the Furious’
For example, the steering wheel cover was from Pep Boys to try and match the actually hero Volkswagen Jetta. The seats only feature covers with the Sparco logo to mimic the real racing seats. If you look out the rear, the wing from the Honda Civic buck is showing and doesn’t match the Jetta at all. Even better, Jesse’s real Jetta is actually lined up in front of the two racers—a small “oops” moment.
Marder goes through basically each of the most memorable scenes involving the cars, and as usual, Lieberman helps give us some really incredible information. Grab all the inside knowledge above.
While Brian O’Conner, played by Paul Walker, may be at least partially credited with the tuning culture’s embrace of the MkIV Toyota Supra, that was far from the only car he helped elevate in the eyes of American enthusiasts.
The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R from “2 Fast 2 Furious” is one of the most well-known (and misunderstood) cars in the enthusiast community, and former owner and “F&F” franchise technical director Craig Lieberman is here to set the record straight once again.
“There’s a lot of misinformation floating about this car and despite the other videos I’ve done, I feel people are still hungry for more info,” Lieberman says.
For starters, despite Internet rumors, Paul Walker did not actually own this car. It was, however, the first R34 imported and fully federalized by MotoRex, back before the now-disgraced California importer was shut down for failing to fully comply with federal regulations.
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R used in ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ before movie modifications
Lieberman purchased it in July of 2001 for $78,000, before Universal was fully committed to a sequel to the original “F&F” film. Lieberman largely kept it the way MotoRex built it, until it got picked to co-star in “2 Fast 2 Furious.” Yes, co-star. Sadly, a marketing deal between Universal and Mitsubishi meant that Brian’s Evo would be the star of the film, while Lieberman’s GT-R would effectively play a supporting role. Lieberman wasn’t thrilled with this arrangement, since the forbidden-fruit GT-R was a far more enticing piece of hardware, but he ultimately had no choice.
Speaking of support, the GT-R needed backup of its own. Thanks to stunt sequences and other needs, a single GT-R would not be enough for the film. Lieberman’s team mulled over the possibility of building some replicas using cheaper R34 Skyline GT-Ts rather than full-blown GT-Rs, but that prospect actually turned out to be just as (if not more) expensive, so additional GT-Rs were sourced instead.
The studio turned to MotoRex once again, who supplied four additional GT-Rs, that were air-freighted from Japan on a 747. These were far less expensive than the actual hero GT-R Lieberman purchased for himself and later used in the film, as MotoRex did not need to federalize them. This saved the studio around $120,000 in additional costs.
Yes, you’re reading that correctly. Every Skyline GT-R used in “2 Fast 2 Furious” was the real deal. The video goes on to discuss the modifications made to the R34 for the film, and where the movie cars ended up. Check it out.
One determined bidder will get the chance to own the heavily modified 1968 Dodge Charger used in the closing scene of “Furious 7,” when it is auctioned off on Saturday at the Riyadh Auction & Salon in Saudi Arabia.
“Maximus the Ultra Charger” is more than just a Hollywood hero car; it’s a well-built beast that the builders claim is producing close to 3,000 horsepower as it sits, with additional tuning and customization included in its purchase price.
The car was built by Tom Nelson and his team at Nelson Racing Engines. According to the video, it is the product of more than 16,000 man hours devoted to body fabrication and engine building. It boasts a custom, all-metal widebody, custom wheels and a one-off interior.
Beneath the hood, you’ll find a 9.4-liter (572 cubic inch) Mopar V-8 sporting two twin-scroll turbochargers. The team was targeting 2,250 horsepower, but according to the auction house listing, that figure has since grown to nearly 3,000 ponies.
Maximus the Ultra Charger – Modified 1968 Dodge Charger featured in
Included in the winning bid will be round trip air freight to Los Angeles and 30 days of custom tuning and personalization. Also included? Hype. Lots and lots of hype.
Maximus was driven by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) in the final scene of “Furious 7,” which was filmed as a tribute to franchise star and car enthusiast Paul Walker, who co-starred alongside Diesel as Brian O’Conner in six of the first seven films. The footage was later used in the music video for Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” which played over the “Fast 7” end scene.
“There are also media opportunities attached to the car that include being part of a global multimillion dollar show co-funded by Netflix,” the listing says, referring to “Fast and Furious: Spy Racers,” which will debut December 26.
On top of that, Maximus just appeared on the September 2019 cover of Hot Rod Magazine, and will be included in the upcoming, untitled ninth installment of the Fast & Furious film series. The listing also claims the studio wants it back for “Fast 10,” expected to be the final film in the franchise.
It’s certainly fun to pretend to be James Bond, a fantasy that can be accomplished with an old Bentley, a new Aston Martin, a simple tuxedo, or even a fancy Omega watch. It’s a bit more difficult to play the villain. Until now, that is.
One of the ultra-rare Jaguar C-X75 supercars built for filming of the 2015 James Bond flick “Spectre” is headed to an RM Sotheby’s auction in Abu Dhabi later this month.
The C-X75 is a concept designed by Ian Callum and unveiled at the 2010 Paris International Motor Show. Jaguar initially planned to put the car into production and even got around to building a handful of prototypes, though the project was ultimately canned in 2012.
However, when the folks at film production company Eon Productions came knocking with a request for a car for Mr. Hinx, the villain in “Spectre” played by Dave Bautista, Jaguar put a few more C-X75s into production. The cars were actually built by Williams Advanced Engineering which helped Jaguar develop the stunning supercar.
Jaguar C-X75 built for filming of “Spectre”
The car for sale, bearing chassis number 24001, is the first of six C-X75s built for filming of “Spectre.” It was also used during promotional events, one of which included ex-Formula One driver Felipe Massa hopping behind the wheel. It doesn’t feature the sophisticated hybrid powertrain shown in the C-X75 concept but rather Jaguar’s venerable 5.0-liter supercharged V-8, mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission.
Because it was built to withstand the tough rigours of filming, the car also features a conventional tubular steel frame under the pretty body instead of the concept’s carbon fiber monocoque. Rally-style extra-travel suspension was also added to ensure the car could handle the rough terrain it was subjected to.
Once all the film work was done, the car was fully restored by Williams Advanced Engineering and sold to a British collector who served as a consultant in the project. It has only been driven a few times since, accruing a handful of miles while being displayed at a small number of events.
The hammer will drop on the C-X75 on November 30. RM Sotheby’s estimates the final bid to come in somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million.
“The Fast and the Furious” was almost entirely different altogether, but Jesse’s Volkswagen Jetta is one of the more peculiar stories.
Back again is Craig Lieberman, technical director for the first three films of the franchise, and this time, he had a special guest. He sat down with Scott Centra, who originally built and owned the Jetta used in the first film. At first, the directors wanted to put Jesse in some sort of European car. Lieberman suggested a Volkswagen Golf, and in the best case, a BMW M3. However, the team couldn’t source either car in time.
That’s where Centra came in. Lieberman knew Centra and asked a few times to use his Jetta for the film, but he said no. Finally, Lieberman invited Centra for a lunch with Universal crew members and all of the actors. It’s here, Centra recalls in the video, he agreed. With all of the cars set to star in the film at the lunch spot, Universal paid Centra a tidy sum of money to rent his Jetta. Money talks, as they say. We don’t know how much it cost, but Centra said the production company also insured the car for $200,000—no small sum today, and certainly a lot of money in 2000.
Jesse reunited with Volkswagen Jetta from
The conversation takes a whole lot of turns and it’s all incredibly enjoyable to hear, but one topic is one every “Fast and Furious” fan will want to hear about: the lack of brake calipers on Jesse’s Jetta in a specific scene. Fans have joked about the scene for years now, but Centra and Lieberman set the record straight. Foremost, the actual hero car wasn’t used in this scene. Instead, one of the replica cars was. This car, obviously, was not built with all of the upgrades Centra had done.
Instead, the crew used a decades-old trick to hide the tiny factory brakes behind the wheel and put covers over them to mimic massive disc brakes. In turn, this covered up the factory calipers and mocked-up calipers weren’t ever installed. Centra notes his car actually featured a full Brembo brake system.
Check out the full conversation above because, as always, it’s entertaining as can be.
Following the surprise success of “The Fast and the Furious” at the box office, Universal was prepared to make a sequel. This time, the cars, stunts, and everything needed to be bigger and better.
Craig Lieberman, technical director for the first three films in the franchise, is back to spill some knowledge on one of biggest stunts from “2 Fast 2 Furious.” That is the bridge jump involving Suki’s Honda S2000. First, since Lieberman is literally a human Wikipedia page and fun fact machine for the films, he spills details on the S2000 itself.
The car was on loan from an owner while a few other lookalike cars were created for stunt purposes. No, the hero car was not actually used in the jump scene. More on that in a moment. The car featured a supercharged inline-4 and cold-air intake, but for the film, the producers really wanted to dial up the tuner looks. Thus, the car was painted pink to match the character’s personality and fitted with underbody neon lights and a flashy interior. All of it was peak early-2000s tuner culture. Fun fact: the pink fuzzy seats were actually made from bathroom floor mat material.
Honda S2000 from ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’
To get the crazy colored flames spewing from the exhaust during the race scene, propane tank systems were set up in the trunks of each car.
Back to the jump. The stunt team didn’t want to send a human driver out to make the jump so the team created an insane remote control system. The system operated the steering wheel, accelerator, brake, and even the clutch. The only catch was the car had to start and remain in second gear.
From a chase vehicle, the stunt man drove the car via a steering wheel and pedal setup similar to a video game rig and a camera feed provided him the view out of the S2000. With a custom-made ramp, the stunt driver executed the stunt and the car survived. The actual hero car now lives at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Honda S2000 from ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’
The same can’t be said about the chase car. The big Dodge Durango couldn’t stop in time and actually tipped over on the ramp. The team inside suffered minor injuries, but no one was seriously hurt.
As always, Lieberman’s videos are a real treat with the first-hand video he’s possessed for years only now making it to the public. Watch it above.