Car coordinator Dennis McCarthy is no stranger to the Fast and the Furious franchise. He was the picture car coordinator on Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious and returns for the hat-trick on Fast Five. The latest installment will feature a hefty 21 cars, including Dom Toretto’s trademark Dodge Charger.
In the last chapter of Fast Five week, we take a look at the many cars of Fast Five during an interview with the film’s car coordinator, Dennis McCarthy. If the last three films don’t give him enough credibility, McCarthy is also the man behind the vehicles of Green Hornet and Death Race.
McCarthy kicked off the interview by telling us the selection of cars is “a lot different” than the previous films. Nearly every cast or crew member interviewed during our set visit mentioned the new look of the cars in Fast Five. Each film has possessed its own vehicular identity, but now that Dom, Brian and the gang are on the run, their car selections are bit less high profile. Of course, low profile cars for car junkies like them aren’t so low profile.
Dennis McCarthy: It’s due to the location and the circumstances. They are down to their last pennies. They’ve transferred all the way from the U.S. on the run down to Brazil, so they don’t have the money to buy a brand new Skyline. So it was just character, environmental, and based on their means.
Now that we know a little more about the relevance of the cars in Fast Five, let’s check out what vehicles will catch some screen time. Of course, some cars are more prevalent than others. Certain characters are attached to certain cars, but other vehicles make brief appearances.
McCarthy gave us a crash course on the wide range of cars that appear in Fast Five:
DM: Okay so at the beginning of this film the vehicles would be: We have a Pantera – a Classic 1971 Pantera. We have a GT40 – the original one. We have a Corvette Grand Sport – a 1965 Corvette Grand Sport. Those are the first three cars that you see in the opening sequence.
We have a vehicle built – basically we call it the “Heist Truck”. It was kind of a one-off, custom-built vehicle. Big tires. Almost a kind of monster truck style but built for a specific purpose. No flash, no cosmetics, just pure function. That was probably the most challenging sequence of the film, just because we were out in the middle of the desert at 120 degrees, in the sand and the dirt. Just keeping things running in those conditions is always tough.
We have the Charger back. We have the ’70 Charger back. Basically when you first see the guys down in South America, Vin [Diesel]’s in his Charger, as you’ve seen it out here. It’s not quiet the same. It’s not as flashy. It doesn’t have the motor. He’s trying to make it a little bit more inconspicuous so he could make it all the way down. That’s when you see Paul Walker in the ’72 Skyline. Another car you see down there is the character Han has a Ford Maverick, which seems like another odd choice but if you look at the cars of South Polo, and Rio, the car culture there, Maverick is one of the top muscle cars. It’s just one of the cars that Ford’s produced down there. So you have Maverick, which is another hot car. Unfortunately we tried to get one here. We have a car called the Chevy Opala. That’s like your Chevy muscle car and your Ford muscle car in South America…
We have a 370Z. We have a brand new Subaru, which Subaru basically donated to our cause. Those cars are once again modified by Rhys Millen. They’re all used here. There’s a sequence where they are zipping through the auto plant, kind of like an obstacle course. We have a Porsche GT3, which is basically something that we cloned. We did bring back a Toyota Supra. Some of those right hand drives are back in. Early Skyline, we have a 2010 Skyline in the film. We have a Lexus LFA, which I was very happy to get.
McCarthy’s car knowledge is unrivaled on the set of Fast Five. Even car enthusiast and star of the film, Paul Walker, has nothing on the experienced car coordinator. Even though CGI has been used to enhance the car chases of the Fast and the Furious franchise, it is important to have a wealth of car knowledge on set to create the most realistic portrayal of the characters we have grown to love.
If the expansive run-through from McCarthy is too bulky for you, check out our condensed list of the Fast Five cars below. He also didn’t mention every vehicle in the film and some of the years are off, but Universal gave us the official dossier and images of each car. Unfortunately, they’ve asked us not to share the photos in an effort to keep the essence of Fast Five under wraps. Rest assured, the cars look awesome and are worth the wait.
- 1963 Ford Galaxy
- 1966 Ford GT40
- 1966 Corvette Grand Sport
- 1967 International Scout
- 1970 Charger
- 1970 Ford Maverick
- 1972 Nissan Skyline
- 1972 Pantera Detomaso
- 1996 Toyota Supra
- 2002 Porsche GT3
- 2006 GMC 2500 Yukon
- 2009 Nissan 370Z
- 2010 Dodge Challenger
- 2010 Subaru STi
- 2010 Lexus LFA
- 2010 Modified Vault Chargers
- 2011 Dodge Charger Police Interceptor
- Gurkha LAPV
- Ducati Street Racer
- Train Heist Truck
- Koenigsegg CCX
There are quite a few cars in Fast Five, but it wouldn’t be the same without them. Even though the cast and crew have mentioned that Fast Five takes the spotlight off the vehicles a bit, it will still bring in plenty of car lovers. Needless to say, they won’t be disappointed.
Fast Five Week is officially over and this concludes our coverage from the set visit. Stay tuned as the release date nears for new trailers and TV spots. If you missed any of our coverage from this week, catch up with the franchise with the articles below:
- Fast Five Director Justin Lin: “CGI Never Replaces The Real Thing”
- Paul Walker Talks Being On The Run In Fast Five
- Vin Diesel Says Fast Five is Part of a New Furious Trilogy
- Dwayne Johnson Talks Fast Five: “I’m Still Kicking Ass”
- Fast Five Set Visit Report
Fast Five slides into theaters on April 29th, 2011.