Fast and Furious – Cars in Film
Article by Brenda Williams
When Universal launched the Fast and the Furious series of street racing films, they only expected only a modest return. Although street racing was getting a lot of press attention and the popularity of modified imports were exploding, the movies was never expected to be a blockbuster.
However, the film was an unexpected summer hit. It grossed ,089,015 on its opening weekend, surpassing the film’s million budget. It may have been the media buzz and gear head buzz surrounding the movies that caused an explosion in the box office and gave global insight and curiosity into the supercharged social scene of racing and customizing cars.
Two of the films’ stars that caused the movies to thunder in the box office, were the Mazda RX7 and the Mitsubishi Eclipse. One of Japan’s largest automotive aftermarket companies, Veilside, built the Mazda RX7 that was later filmed in Fast and Furious to show off its “Fortune” wide-body kit at the 2005 Tokyo Auto Salon. At the time of the show, the car was painted red, and it had everything a show car should – an HKS T04Z single-turbo conversion kit, a massive intercooler shoved under the front bumper, big Rotora brakes, A’PEXi coil-over shocks and vast 19-inch Andrew Evo-V wheels inside P255/30ZR19 front and P305/25ZR19 rear Toyo Proxes radials.
For the Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the same Mazda RX7 was painted Sunset Orange Pearl and Veilside built three more visual clones, including one that was destined for destruction using a previous Mazda RX7 that had appeared in both previous Fast and Furious movies. One of the cars used in the previous Fast and Furious movie was Dominic Toretto’s red RX.
In the sequel to the Fast & Furious, 2 Fast, 2 Furious, the character Roman Pierce was given a new partner in his adventure, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder with a Snyper Body Kit. The car was personally picked by John Singleton for Pierce to drive and the car came equipped with a Vortech Supercharger V5 G trim, HKS Blow valve, HKS AFR (fuel management controller), RC engineering 270cc injectors, Boost Variant Fuel Pressure Regulator with Gauge and a Magnecor 8.5mil Competition wires and a license plate that said “H8TER.”
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder had the most elaborate paint job of any of the cars built for any of the Fast & Furious movies. The patchwork design on the car were not graphics but painted on with House of Kolors paint. It was one of the few cars in the film that wasn’t destroyed although a total of four were made for the filming. It is rumored that the car exhaust was swapped with a Subaru WRX.
Like all cars in the Fast & Furious series, both cars were heavily reinforced with a roll cage for bridge jumping. Also there was so much neon lighting used in the cars that a technical specialist whose expertise was in shooting neon on film was kept on set at all times. This obviously cost a lot more and cut into the budget but it made the film authentic.
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