The Most Furious Dodge Charger [Gallery]
The Petersen museum hosts many events besides cruise-ins and vault tours, one such event being Tuesday’s Fast and Furious panel and reveal. For a crisp Alexander Hamilton ($10 bill) one could look over Vin Diesel’s 1971 Dodge Charger R/T hero car actually used in Fast & Furious 7 before and after the panel session. This particular Charger bodywork was mated to a Pro 2 truck chassis so it could handle a 10 foot drop from a crane - to simulate the landing after being dropped out of a plane – before speeding off to attack the bus convoy. The panel itself was hosted by movie car consultant Josh Hancock and rounded out by Vin Diesel’s stunt driver Steve Kelso and Dennis McCarthy of Vehicle Effects (the garage responsible for all F&F cars since Tokyo Drift).
Many topics were discussed between the panelists and the audience, but a couple topics of note were behind the scenes secrets: almost all stunt cars nowadays are powered by LS motors and have automatic transmissions (even the new Batmobile in the upcoming Batman v Superman movie) except, surprisingly, the 1967 Mustang from Tokyo Drift which was powered by the twin turbo RB26DETT from an R32 Nissan Skyline. Another neat fact was how they really slid the stolen safe around the streets of Rio de Janeiro in Fast 5 - by using ⅝” cable to actually pull around a 5000+ pound safe some of the time, which snapped twice during filming - and using a stand-in safe that held a stunt driver and fully functional car controls to “drive” behind the two Dodge Chargers for the rest of the time.
As the panel wrapped up, one audience member plucked up the courage to ask about the next hero car for Fast & Furious 8, which was met by Dennis McCarthy’s reply, "I’m sure you’ve all seen Gymkhana, correct? Well it will be heavily influenced by that 4WD setup but in a Dodge body." I’m already looking forward to the next Petersen event and Fast & Furious 8
- 4000 tires were provided for Tokyo Drift production
- One of Tyrese Gibson’s 1968 Z28 Camaro cars had a parachute malfunction when dropped from the plane while filming Fast & Furious 7 and was a totally unrecognizable loss on the desert floor.
- James Bond’s 1998 Jaguar XKR in Die Another Day was V8 powered and had a suspension overhaul thanks to a Ford Explorer.