The Fast and the Furious” movie franchise took movie car chase scenes to new levels of intensity, with an array of automotive stunts that helped make it an over-the-top success. One of the star cars of “The Fast and the Furious” is the Toyota Supra driven by the late actor Paul Walker, who portrayed undercover police officer Brian O’Conner. Like any movie involving car stunts, more than one version of this car was built, including a “hero” car for close-up scenes and others designed and built to perform the actual stunts. This 1993 Toyota Supra was built for “The Fast and the Furious” by Eddie Paul at The Shark Shop in El Segundo, CA. Paul is a 40-year veteran of creating the wildest props, spectacular stunts, special effects, and the most memorable custom and nostalgic vehicles ever to appear onscreen, making the Shark Shop the natural choice to supply cars and stunts for “The Fast and the Furious.” This Supra was featured throughout the movie, including the final race scene between Walker’s character and that of fellow actor Vin Diesel. During the climactic scene, Walker drives this Supra head-to-head against Diesel’s Dodge Charger in a race to a railroad crossing where both cars jump the tracks just in time to miss an oncoming train. Just as the action appears to calm down, Vin Diesel’s character collides with a semi, flipping the Charger over the Supra as it cruises ahead. The Supra is equipped with a 2JZ-GE 3.0-liter, 220-hp inline-6 engine and 5-speed manual transmission, with power augmented by twin Holley Performance nitrous oxide bottles mounted in the rear compartment (not attached). The car was expertly reinforced to withstand the rigors of stunt work, including heavy-duty suspension, a full roll cage, competition seats and a Jaz Products fuel cell. “The Fast and the Furious” fans will recognize the car’s Bomex body kit and APR wing, Dazz alloy wheels with Yokohama rubber and wild graphics by Modern Image of San Diego, California. This high-profile movie stunt car is listed in the Redline Productions list with serial numbers of cars that served duty in the filming of “The Fast and The Furious.”

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1993 Toyota Supra “The Fast and the Furious” Stunt Car
Years Produced:1993–98
Number Produced:11,475
Original List Price:$33,900
SCM Valuation:$6,200–$13,500
Tune Up Cost:$200
Distributor Caps:$13
Chassis Number Location:Dash, door sill and engine bay plates
Club Info:Toyota Owner’s Club
Alternatives:1989–2000 Nissan 300ZX, 1990–2001 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, 1991–2002 Mazda RX-7
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot S157, sold for $199,800, including buyer’s premium, at Mecum’s Indy Auction in Indianapolis, IN, on May 16, 2015.

Buying a movie car is one of the greatest gambles in the car-collecting world. Generally speaking, you’re going to get a base model that has been tarted up to look like the hot rod model from 50 feet away at 50 mph. Movie producers usually make several more-or-less identical cars for filming — and then they sell the cars at the end of production.

In the best case, you will buy a “hero car,” which is used for close-up shots with the actors. A hero car is usually in better condition, with more attention to detail, but it will still be a base model with cosmetic modifications to look like the car the script specified.

With that in mind, all movie cars are a special case for collectors, because what you’re paying for is not really the car, but the provenance.

Depending on the movie, that provenance can get very expensive. If you wanted the Aston Martin DB5 that Sean Connery drove as James Bond in “Goldfinger,” that would have cost you a cool $4.2 million when it sold back in 2010. On the other hand, you could have bought the “Family Truckster” 1979 Ford LTD wagon that Chevy Chase drove in “National Lampoon’s Family Vacation” for a mere $35,000 in 2013. The price of a given car generally reflects the popularity of the movie in which it appeared.

Smoking tires and red-hot box office

In terms of movie car sales, this 1993 Toyota Supra is a pretty big deal. This is the hero car used in the climactic final race scene of the original installment of “The Fast and The Furious,” which was released in 2001 and became a huge hit. “The Fast and the Furious” spawned a massive, hugely popular franchise. Universal spooled off six sequels (more are on the way) and has raced to the bank with almost $4 billion.

All this speed, stardust and money fueled a boom in movie cars and tribute copies. This car was actually driven by the late Paul Walker, one of the “The Fast and the Furious” franchise’s major stars, which makes it even more special.

Way more show than go

But what is this car, really? The answer is a base-model 1993 Toyota Supra Mk IV, with a 220-horsepower normally aspirated engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. It’s not the hot rod twin-turbo model sporting 320 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque and a bulletproof 6-speed transmission. What this car did on film was movie magic. It’s pretty easy to make 60 mph look like 120 mph on film.

Still, the Supra has had some serious modifications for its role, including a roll cage, race-inspired interior, aluminum door panels, racing gauges, and a fuel cell with dual nitrous oxide bottles installed but not actually plumbed into the engine. The outside is unmistakable as “The Fast and the Furious” machine. It features a body kit, lurid side graphics, and a double-decker boy-racer wing that would be the envy of a World War I fighter pilot. The auction listing also states that the car has a heavy-duty “stunt suspension” — although what that means exactly is unclear.

All the work was done at a reputable shop in California with a long history of making movie cars, so let’s assume it was done right. The car will be drivable, and maybe even enjoyable, but it won’t turn any 10-second quarter-miles with the stock engine under the hood. This car has already taken first place in its class at the Detroit Autorama hot rod show, and its future is likely to be more of the same. That’s what you do with a car like this, because if you change it in any way, you destroy its value.

In the end, what the buyer got for his $199,800 is a dripping-cool piece of motion-picture history. Take away that provenance and you’ve got a $10,000 car — if you’re lucky.

What will the future hold in terms of value? That depends entirely on the staying power of the “Fast & Furious” movie series, which is a cash-generating monster and one of the most popular worldwide movie franchises in history. This just might have been a good buy for a car that is more Hollywood glitz than Street go. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Mecum Auctions.)


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