Despite how much we editors seem to enjoy dwelling on the less glorious aspects of life in modern-day print media (salary, schedule, job security, and the like), there are certain perks to the gig. Take the Facebook status update I got to leave after my first day of shooting this story:
Import Tuner Magazine
Spent the day in Hollywood, driving/shooting a LHD-converted JDM Supra, two rocket-proof Armet Gurkhas, two Porsche GT3-RSs (one RHD), three turbo/nitrous 370Zs (one RHD), two RWD-converted ’11 STIs (one RHD), some high-dollar domestics, and a 400hp bank vault with all-wheel steering.
Tomorrow’s the GT-R and LFA :)
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What wasn’t said was that "driving" usually meant moving them from their back-lot location into the street for a few quick snaps (or steering while a forklift pushed from behind), and that every single one of the cars mentioned was pretty far off of how it appears at first glance. Yes, they were "purpose-built," but not how we’re used to the term—RWD and RHD conversions weren’t done for drift dominance or show exclusivity, and "turbo/nitrous" usually meant that a fake intercooler was stuffed into their grilles and empty NOS bottles in their trunks. Why? No reason other than to look good on the big screen, after opening credits roll.
Yes, your favorite action/automotive franchise is back with a fifth installment, aptly titled Fast Five, picking up where Fast and Furious (May, 2009 2NR) left off two years ago—with original characters Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) back on the run after the prison-transport-busting closing scene of the fourth film. Upping the reunion ante, Fast adds Han Lue (Sung Kang) predominantly from Tokyo Drift and Vince (Matt Schultz) from the original flick, along with Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) from 2 Fast 2 Furious. Also like the previous film, we see more of an action film with cars than a cheesy car movie, with a diverse, respectable field of automotive machinery spanning nearly every school of enthusiasm: JDM, DTM, USDM, exotica, sports car new and old.
Once the green light dropped to shoot any car on a list that included an LFA and two GT-Rs, you can probably guess what our favorites fast became. But also as all-around car guys, fabrication nerds, and gadget freaks—as we know many of you are—we couldn’t turn our backs on the hoards of custom, film-specific fabrication or rare goodies only Hollywood-deep pockets could afford. You might not be the biggest Corvette or Charger fan out there, but admit it—400hp bank vaults with all-wheel steering that can cruise at freeway speeds (and did for filming) pique your interest, too.