How Hondas And Other Cars Were Chosen For The Fast and The Furious

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Who knew there were this many Hondas in the first Fast and Furious film?

Few movies have had more impacts on automotive culture and trends than The Fast and The Furious. It has gone unrivaled for decades and continues to entertain audiences until this day. The current movies may have strayed away from their original underground tuner roots, but we believe that these first few movies hold the most cultural significance.

Ever been curious as to why or how the cars that made it into the movie where chosen? Thanks to Craig Lieberman’s YouTube channel, we get to take a closer and more in depth look at how these icons came to be and why. Lieberman was a technical advisor for the franchise and was in charge of organizing the cars for the series. If anybody knows about these details, it’s going to be him.

According to Craig, before the first F&F movie, companies would simply buy cars and modify them to fit their role in the films. However, the first film only had a $25 million dollar budget, which was severely under budget even for a basic production during that time. Craig estimated the film should have had 50 to 60 million in budget and would require at least 40 unique vehicles.

 

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Because of the unique nature of these tuner cars, they couldn’t simply be rented. In addition, each car needed at least four identical copies of itself in order to work within the film. So, what they did as a compromise is rent the “hero” cars from private owners and make cosmetic copies with the help of technicians and mechanics. Here is how those cars were broken down:

  • Hero 1: The nicest, fully-functioning, original car.
  • Hero 2: A full cosmetic replica, lacking several functional features.
  • Stunt 1: A beater version of the cars solely for stunts.
  • Stunt 2: An additional copy for stunts only.

This was the most cost effective format as building these tuner cars from scratch would be a hell of a lot more cost, especially considering the fact that there was only $2 million dollars allocated to the repair, modification, and purchasing of the every single car in the movie.

 

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Craig then states although there was a grand variety of tuner cars people worshiped in the U.S. because of the Gran Turismo video game that had come out before the first film, he needed to find the best tuner cars he could and quickly, within the U.S. Some of the prime examples during the year 2000 included the Honda S2000, Acura Integra, Honda Civic, and Acura NSX.

Their popularity was at a rising peak during the release of the film and they were readily available on the market in the U.S. These cars served as good examples as well because Craig explains they needed fit these requirements:

  1. Be purchasable for a reasonable price on the used market
  2. Easily replicable
  3. Strong aftermarket support
  4. Strongly preferred cars with an automatic transmission

Craig states that he then had to hold auditions for local tuner cars after narrowing his list, sometimes reviewing 70+ cars on a weekly basis and we are happy to say quite a few Honda’s made the cut. For more information on the selection process or the movie in general, please watch the rest of the video, you won’t be disappointed.

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Daud Gonzalez is a lifelong car enthusiast, and automotive writer with a specialty in modified and race-ready rides. Gonzalez is a regular contributor to the Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, 6SpeedOnline, and Honda-tech, among others.

He spends most of his time modifying his cars, and ruining them in the process. He is the owner of a track build BMW 335i, a semi-off road spec 1981 Toyota Hilux, a drift-ready 1990 Nissan 240sx and a 1990 BMW K75 motorcycle.

Most of his free-time is dedicated to making sure his vehicles survive to see the next day. You are likely to catch him at one of Southern California's race tracks on the weekends.

Daud can be reached at [email protected], and followed on his Instagram account.

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