The best of The Fast and The Furious cars

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Dom's Mazda RX-7
Dom's Mazda RX-7 from the first film
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The hottest of the hot cars from the films

There have been three movies so far in the Fast and Furious series. A fourth film is on the way, titled simply "Fast and Furious."  One interesting aspect of these films is that the fast and the furious cars themselves are such a powerful part of the story that they nearly seem like part of the cast, rather than the props they actually are.


There are so many sweet rides in these films that I could write about a hundred of them if I wanted to write a book, but this is just an article, so I'll try to stick with the highlights.

The Fast and The Furious

The first film was "The Fast and the Furious."  This movie starred Paul Walker as undercover cop Brian O'Connor and Vin Diesel as his friend/nemesis Dom Toretto.


One of the very first things you see in this film is Brian (Walker) test driving his neon green 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse. This car was an insanely modified car, complete with a computer controlled and monitored system complete with nitrous oxide. This spectacular car (which the lead FBI agent said had cost the agency over $80,000 to build) didn't last long in the film. It was destroyed when bad guy Johnny Tran and his cousin shot the car up with machine guns and it caught on fire, at which point the nitrous canisters exploded violently.


Brian's next car was an orange 1994 Toyota Supra. Well, okay, it wasn't orange to begin with. It was something closer to rust and primer, but once they were done with it the car was gorgeous inside and out and had an engine just as beautiful. In the end, Brian gave the car to Dom to allow him to get away from the approaching cops and Dom sped off into the sunset with it, so to speak.


Brian's other vehicle was his work truck. You don't usually think of a work truck as being a sweet ride, but this one was an exception. A bright red 1999 Ford SVT Lightning made far more for raw street power and curbside appeal than for hauling things, this truck was amazing in its day, which was before very many trucks had the more popular "street" look that many share today.


The character who seemed to get the best rides in this pic though, was Dom, played by Vin Diesel. The car he raced was a gorgeous red 1993 Mazda RX-7 (pictured above). That era of RX-7 was beautiful in any case, but this one was particularly nice. Clearly decked out with all of the latest and greatest, as soon as you saw this ride it became clear that this was the one to beat and no one ever did.


My favorite car in this film however, was Toretto's black 1970 Dodge Charger. When we first see this car, Toretto tells Brian that he's never driven this car because it scares him to death. As with so many of the cars in this film series, it was ultimately destroyed, but not before we saw its awesome engine rip the street so harshly that the front end of the car popped three feet up off of the ground.

2 Fast, 2 Furious

The second film, titled "2 Fast, 2 Furious" saw no shortage of incredible rides. If anything, it outdid its predecessor in this regard. Paul Walker returns to the screen as Brian O'Connor and brings childhood friend Roman Pearce to help out, played by Tyrese Gibson. They join up with undercover agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) on another wild ride. This film mixes old with new far more than the first film and includes several muscle car era (mid 60's to early 70's) vehicles.


One major standout in this film is the hot pink 2003 Honda S2000 driven by Brian's friend Suki (Devon Aoki). This amazing ride came with the ubiquitous matching neon lights under the carriage (which looked great in pink) and most impressively, pink flames spewing from the tailpipes. Most guys seem to feel their testosterone deflate in the face of this car, which was just fine for Suki. If a girl wants to go out and play with the boys, but have a ride that says "all girl," this is it.

Another nice ride was Roman Pearce's purple 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder. Amazingly, this one made it all the way through the film intact.

Briefly seen in this film was a yellow 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10. One of the most bestial muscle cars ever built, this car looks even meaner with the ultra-aggressive yellow paint job. It didn't make it into too many scenes, but it certainly made its mark, nonetheless.

This film had no shortage of modern vehicles, giving us glimpses of Corvettes, Beemers, Mustangs, and even a Ferrari and an Acura NSX, but it was the muscle car-era wheels that set this film apart. There were multiple muscle cars in this film, but two in particular stand out from the others. These two cars originally belonged to a pair of nemeses, but were later won in a race for pinks by Brian and Roman. Unfortunately, for the sake of the film these two awesome vehicles were both trashed.

The first was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T in original Go Mango orange. One of my personal favorite muscle cars, the Challenger of the early seventies made such an impact that Dodge has re-released the Challenger for model year 2009 based on the look of the 70's version. Roman destroyed the vehicle when he rammed it into an SUV in order to save his friend Brian's life.

The second of these stand out muscle cars was a 1969 Camaro. Under normal circumstances, I'd choose the '70 Challenger R/T over a '69 Camaro any day, but this was no ordinary Camaro. It happened to be an ultra-rare Yenko model. There were only a few hundred 1969 Yenko Camaros made in the first place, and very few survive today. We can only hope that the one used in its final scene in the movie was a clone and not a real Yenko, since it was spectacularly destroyed at the end of the film when it was launched through the air "Dukes of Hazzard" style onto the top of a yacht.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

The third film in the series, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," was my least favorite of the three currently released films, both in storyline and in vehicles, but it did have a few standouts. Tokyo Drift involved an insane style of racing called drifting in which the car spends nearly all of its time sliding sideways in a so-called controlled skid. This movie popularized the inadvisable driving style, which was used again in the more recent film "Speed Racer."  The film starred an entirely new cast and had nothing to do with the undercover police work that surrounded the plot line of the first two films.

The lead character was Sean Boswell, a troubled redneck boy who had been in trouble with the law several times and had to leave the U.S. or face jail. His desperate mother sent him to live with his estranged father in Tokyo, Japan where he was abruptly introduced to the underworld of drifting.

In his first drifting experience he has no car, so a wealthy, adventurous young man named Han (Sung Kang) loans his own car for the race, which Sean completely trashes. Han, a Japanese man who was born and raised in America, but fled to Japan after some legal troubles, sees something in Sean that Han's partner Takashi (Brian Tee) does not. In fact, it's Takashi, also known as the Drift King (or D.K. for short) that Sean is racing in his first exposure to this dangerous racing style.

Sean gets into Han's blue and orange Nissan Silvia S-15, which starts out as an impressive ride and ends up as so much metal, plastic and rubber by the end of Sean's first drifting race against D.K.

D.K. himself is driving a 2006 Nissan 350Z, which survives all the way to the end of the film when it is rolled down a mountainside.

Han mostly drove a 1994 Mazda RX-7 so highly modified that it was basically unrecognizable as an RX-7. Nevertheless, the car was gorgeous until it was plowed at high speed by a Mercedes, completely destroying the car in what may be the most spectacular crash scene in all three films and which ultimately took Han's life.

Finally, possibly the most interesting standout of the group, a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, modified with a 2001 Nissan Skyline RB26 engine. This is the car that Sean drives at the end of the film to win the final race against Takashi, making him the new D.K.

As with the first two films, a very high percentage of the cars featured have been modified with Veilside body kits, which are impressive and render the cars nearly, if not completely, unrecognizable as their original models.

The next film will reprise the original main cast and promises to add more to the list of legends in the fast and the furious cars. The film, "Fast and Furious," is slated for a June 5, 2009 release.

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