I still remember the first time I ever watched The Fast and The Furious. At 9-years-old, I remember watching it at a friend’s house while our parents were downstairs on a Friday night. The combination of the Limp Bizkit inspired soundtrack, nitrous oxide and pretty girls was enough to get any pre-adolescent boy excited. I dare say for many people my age it was a first, fleeting glimpse at an adult world where rules were broken, the best cars had outrageous body kits and hijacking trucks for Panasonic VCRs was just something you did.
As soon as I saw the famous shot of the angel decal going on a certain bright orange Toyota Supra, I resolved that one day I would own a car just like it. Not a Ferrari, not a Mustang, but something that looked straight out of that film. As the Suzuki Swift I currently drive will tell you, dreams clearly don’t always come true straight away.
The origin story of the Supra is pretty interesting in both real life and The Fast & Furious universe. The thought of anyone finding a random Toyota Supra in a scrapyard is pretty ludicrous in itself, as is the notion that a complete restoration of a car would cost between $10-15,000. In reality, the team spent over $100,000 designing and modifying the car, which was originally rented from the film’s technical adviser.
The list of modifications on the car is unimaginably long, but suffice to say, with around 550hp and a top speed of 185mph, it was pretty quick. Interestingly, it was never the “10-second car” that Dom was so famously promised in the film. It’s signature orange paint job was based off the candy pearl orange originally used on the Lamborghini Diablo.
Initially, I didn’t feel as excited toward Dom’s Dodge Charger R/T that’s introduced a little later in the film. The car was in stark contrast to the modern technology and outrageous styling that made the film so exciting for a boy in the first place . I couldn’t help but wonder how a massive engine wedged into an old piece of American muscle could possibly be a match for the latest and greatest to come out of Japan. However, as the film went on I came to realise it absolutely was.
Styled to look like a 1970 Charger, the cars that appeared in the franchise were actually put together from ’68, ’69 and ’70 Charger components. It was ironically hard to find parts for considering the Dodge Charger has long been Hollywood’s most popular stunt car.
Needless to say, it’s taken me a while to warm to the car, and to this day muscle cars don’t really do anything for me, but maybe 9-year-old me was a little too bitter at the thought that Dom’s dad was killed in the car.
Although, over the years I’ve come to appreciate the car for the impressive piece of machinery it is. As portrayed, the Charger did a quarter mile in 9 seconds and made a solid 900hp from its supercharged Chrysler V8. Out of the 4 Chargers they used in the film, understandably only one of them actually had that engine inside. It’s also doubtful that any of those cars were capable of anywhere close to that level of performance. Nonetheless, it was perfect for painting the image of someone, as the film’s most brilliantly line will attest, living their life ‘a quarter mile at a time’.
If you’re going to the 2016 MotorEx event at The Melbourne Showgrounds this weekend, bask in all The Fast and The Furious glory at Movie Car Mania presented by Spares Box, and no-one can say “You never had your car:”