The Cars That Introduced Us to the Fast & Furious Family

When "The Fast and the Furious" premiered in 2001, no one could have predicted that the movie — one about modified cars and dangerous manifolds with a plot about an undercover cop investigating a DVD player crime ring fueled purely by bromance and nitrous — would go on to spawn a billion-dollar franchise, with the 10th movie set to release 2021. More impressive, perhaps, is that the fact that these movies launched car culture into the mainstream, reaching millions of people who might have otherwise never gotten into cars at all.  

Fast 1

One could easily dismiss the franchise as a series of brainless action flicks (which it kind of is, yet we love them all just the same) that bring zero social value to the table — but that's far from the truth. Even as the series transformed from the import-centric buddy street racer movies into the big budget car-themed action blockbusters we have today, the Fast & Furious movies have never abandoned their core motif. As Dom puts it in "Furious 7":

No Friends

Fundamentally, these movies are about a diverse group of people who, through shared history and conflicts, form a familial bond that transcends conventional friendships. The Fast family welcomes each of its members regardless of race, gender, background and nationality. In fact, the Hollywood-defying diversity in casting as well as the film's refusal to force the characters into stereotypical roles are probably what make the series feel exceedingly genuine, despite having explosions and car crashes of apocalyptic proportions every other scene.

Fast Family

Herein lies the allure of the franchise: Not only is having a diverse “crew” that goes on automotive adventures together (hopefully ones with less explosions) entirely possible, it’s probably already the reality within any chosen circle of car people. Whether it be an online forum, local car meets or even just a small group of friends, the most wonderful part of being a car enthusiast is meeting people who share your passions and learning their stories. This common ground has the ability to dissolve both racial and social divides and band together the most unlikely of people.

Character line-up

The Fast & Furious family is constantly expanding, and with half of its members either starting out as an antagonist or becoming one at some point in the franchise’s history, it is easy to forget how the family came to be. Therefore, we’ve compiled a helpful list of the protagonist characters with the first car in which they were introduced to the audience.

1. Brian O'Conner: '95 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS

"The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Brian O'Conner: '95 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS - "The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Played by: Paul Walker

Status: Not returning

2. Dominic Toretto: '93 Maxda RX-7

"The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Dominic Toretto: '93 Maxda RX-7 - "The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Played by: Vin Diesel

Status: Returning

3. Letty Ortiz: '97 Nissan 240SX

"The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Letty Ortiz: '97 Nissan 240SX - "The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Played by: Michelle Rodriguez

Status: Returning

4. Vince: '99 Nissan Maxima

"The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Vince: 1999 Nissan Maxima - "The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Played by: Matt Schulze

Status: Not returning

5. Mia Toretto: '94 Acura Integra GS-R

"The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Mia Toretto: '94 Acura Integra Type R - "The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Played by: Jordana Brewster

Status: Returning

6. Roman Pearce: '71 Chevy Monte Carlo

"2 Fast 2 Furious" (2003)

Roman Pearce: '71 Chevy Monte Carlo - "2 Fast 2 Furious" (2003)

Played by: Tyrese Gibson

Status: Returning

7. Tej Parker: '02 Acura NSX

"2 Fast 2 Furious" (2003)

Tej Parker: '02 Acura NSX - "2 Fast 2 Furious" (2003)

Played by: Ludacris

Status: Returning

8. Han Lue: '94 Veilside Mazda RX-7

"The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006)

Han Lue: '94 Veilside Mazda RX-7 - "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006)

Played by: Sung Kang

Status: Not returning

9. Sean Boswell: '71 Chevy Monte Carlo 

"The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006)

Sean Boswell: '71 Chevy Monte Carlo   "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006)

Played by: Lucas Black

Status: Returning

10. Gisele Harabo: '07 Techart Porsche Cayman

"Fast & Furious" (2009)

Gisele Harabo: '07 Techart Porsche Cayman - "Fast & Furious" (2009)

Played by: Gal Gadot

Status: Not returning

11. Tego and Rico: Chevy R3500 Crew

"Los Bandoleros" (2009) – prequel short film to "Fast Five"

Tego and Rico: Chevy R3500 Crew - "Los Bandoleros" (2009)

Played by: Tego Calderon and Don Omar

Status: Returning

12. Luke Hobbs: Gurkha LAPV

"Fast Five" (2011)

Luke Hobbs: Gurkha LAPV - "Fast Five" (2011)

Played by: Dwayne Johnson

Status: Returning

13. Elena Neves: Gurkha LAPV

"Fast Five" (2011)

Elena Neves: Gurkha LAPV  "Fast Five" (2011)

Played by: Elsa Pataky

Status: Not returning

14. Deckard Shaw: '14 Jaguar F-Type R

"Fast & Furious 6" (2013)

Deckard Shaw: '14 Jaguar F-Type R - "Fast & Furious 6" (2013)

Played by: Jason Statham

Status: Returning

15. Ramsey

"Furious 7" (2015)

Ramsey - "Furious 7" (2015)

Played by: Nathalie Emmanuel

Status: Returning

16. Mr. Nobody

"Furious 7" (2015)

Mr. Nobody - "Furious 7" (2015)

Played by: Kurt Russell

Status: Returning

Find out why Dom turned his back on the family in "The Fate of the Furious" on April 14th. Click through the gallery below to see all eight movie posters.

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