"The Fast and the Furious" has achieved a status that not too many films will earn in their lifetime. While we'd easily say the most recent iterations of the films play to a large audience, the first few movies are easily considered cult classics. Yet, they almost didn't look or even sound like you remember them.
The man responsible for the cars in the film, Craig Lieberman, published a multi-part series on YouTube that complements a book he wrote titled "Crashing Cars." The book details how be become involved with the "Fast and Furious" series, but this first episode details his humble beginnings and how Universal eventually hired him as the technical director for "The Fast and the Furious."
Fast and the Furious
We won't spoil the video because his story is very interesting, but we will detail some of the peculiar instances that called for Lieberman's help. At the time, Lieberman worked with Super Street magazine and was the director of the National Import Racing Association. Obviously, he knew a lot about imported cars and owned a drool-worthy list of vehicles—including a yellow fourth-generation Toyota Supra.
With his expertise, he guided the crew on what kinds of cars the characters should drive, and what made sense. Originally, the crew was going to put Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi 3000GT and then an Eclipse. Lieberman explained the 3000GT was difficult to modify and also rather difficult to source for the film. In turn, O'Connor first drove the Eclipse and eventually the Supra. By the way, the orange Supra, the "Fast and Furious" hero car, is Lieberman's personal car.
1996 Acura Integra GS-R from The Fast and the Furious. Photo by eBay user jim19490.
Other fun bits we learned: Jesse (Chad Lindberg) was supposed to drive a BMW E36 3-Series or an M3, but Lieberman couldn't source the car. Instead, the Volkswagen Jetta was swapped in. Press play above to learn the beginnings of how "The Fast and the Furious" created a portfolio of poster cars.