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Fast and Furious is one of the longest-running modern film franchises. The Fast and the Furious was released in 2001. 20 years later, audiences are enjoying F9. One of the biggest reasons the franchise has lasted so long is the amazing vehicles that are featured in the films.

20 years of fast

A Mitsubishi Eclipse used onscren in The Fast and The Furious.
Mitsubishi Eclipse | Ollie Millington via Getty Images

The storyline can get convoluted, but let’s be honest, we all show up to the theaters to see what new cars Dom and his crew are cruising around in. The franchise has built a huge following and profited billions of dollars. At the heart of the franchise’s success are the cars that fans have obsessed over for decades.

The Fast franchise was built around the premise of illegal street racing. Racing imported and modified cars are a huge part of car culture for better or worse. The franchise capitalized on this phenomenon at its peak and has transformed the concept into a wildly profitable movie series. So, how exactly was this series able to survive 20 years of mixed reviews?

The cars behind ‘The Fast and the Furious’

Lykan HyperSport car from 'Fast and Furious 7', shown on the 2nd World Intelligence Congress , held in Tianjin Meijiang Exhibition Center.
The Lykan Hypersport | Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Huge multimillion-dollar budgets and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars are factors that contribute to the success of the films. However, the real stars have always been the cars since the very first film. The first movie included the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, 1993 Mazda RX-7, 1994 Toyota Supra, 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse, and many more iconic vehicles.

For years viewers would flood theaters to see which American muscle car Dom (Vin Diesel) would drive and which Japanese domestic vehicle Brian (Paul Walker) would drive. The movies showcased the latest automotive innovations as well as some classic throwback vehicles. Over the years, the budgets have gotten bigger, and the cars have gotten better.

Greatest ‘Fast and Furious’ cars

A blue Nissan GTR used on screen by Paul Walker in Furious 7.
The Nissan GTR | Ollie Millington/Getty Images

The franchise has a reputation for showing off some of the most notable cars in history. Some of the more exclusive vehicles include the 2007 Koenigsegg CCXR, the 2012 Nissan GT-R, and the Lykan Hypersport. Dom and the crew came a long way from driving modded affordable cars.

The hardest thing about running a franchise for so long is giving audiences something they have never seen before. The films have included so many stunts and explosions that they have almost become mundane and predictable. This time around, the team behind F9 tapped custom car builder SpeedKore Performance in Wisconsin to build them a muscle car that would blow the minds of viewers.

SpeedKore’s Hellcat-powered ’68 Dodge Charger

A black car is displayed during the Universal Pictures "F9" World Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 18, 2021 in Hollywood, California.
“F9” World Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Dom is known for his American muscle cars, but F9 was the first time he’s ever driven anything like this. The mid-engine Hellcat-powered ’68 Dodge Charger featured in the film included parts from Mopar and several different builders. SpeedKore Performance provided the custom chassis for this unique Hellcat/’68 Dodge Charger creation. Picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy, the man responsible for most picture cars in the franchise, called the custom ’68 Charger the fastest charger the team had ever created.

The tuned custom mid-engine Charger easily makes over 800 horsepower and uses Lamborghini Gallardo six-speed manual transaxles. McCarthy’s team built nine versions of the vehicle, two of which are in actual working condition, according to MotorTrend. What makes this widebody custom charger so special is, unlike many picture cars, it can actually drive, making it all the more appealing on screen. With the right team and budget, maybe you can create a Fast and Furious build of your own.


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