This action series is really ratcheting up the car chases, races and fights scene more and more after each installment. This is the fourth movie in the series and hits it’s stride confidently and collectively. With an opening weekend in the US at $72 Million, Fast and Furious (2009) was the highest grossing car-themed movie up to this date, as well as the biggest April opening ever.
The movie cars were built in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Around 240 cars were built for the film. However, the replica vehicles do not match the specifications they were supposed to represent. For example, the replica version of F-Bomb, a 1973 Chevrolet Camaro built by Tom Nelson of NRE and David Freiburger of Hot Rod magazine, included a 300 hp crate V8 engine with a 3-speed automatic transmission, whereas the actual car included a twin-turbo 1,500 hp engine and a 5-speed transmission.
The original Dodge Charger 426 Hemi R/T that was used in the original movie was a 1970, but the car in this movie was a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi with a slightly modified front grill to appear as a 1970 car; the original 1970 Dodge Charger was in pieces, being totally disassembled for restoration.
The most radical vehicles built for the film were the Chevy trucks constructed for the fuel heist. Powered by 502ci GM big block motors, the ’67 had a giant ladder-bar suspension with airbags using a massive 10-ton semi rear axle with the biggest and widest truck tires they could find. The ’88 Chevy Crew Cab was built with twin full-floating GM 1-ton axles equipped with Detroit Lockers and a transfer case directing power to both axles and capable of four-wheel burnouts.
Another vehicle built for the film was the blue Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 owned by an uncredited owner who modified the vehicle to 1,200 horsepower and drove it at Japan’s Shuto Wangan Expressway at 241 miles per hour. It was a hard car to build by the production so they made clones by acquiring Nissan Skyline 25GT’s and made them look like the original car. The Skyline that was also used at the desert was actually a dune buggy using a Skyline R34’s shell.
There are some really good behind the scenes on the stunts in this film on the DVD and Blu-Ray two disc versions. They include High Octane Action: The Stunts, Shooting the Big Rig Heist, and Driving School With Vin Diesel. Fast and Furious was directed by Justin Lin for Universal.
Things to look up (go to IMDB):
- Justin Lin
- Vin Diesel
- Universal Pictures
Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!