“I bet you he’s got more than a $100,000 under the hood of that car,” a concerned Brian tells Jesse, just before one of the most famous races in the whole Fast and Furious franchise.
It turns out, though, that Brian’s estimate was a little off. In this new video from Craig Lieberman, producer of the first instalment in the now $5 billion series, the practicalities of shooting the ‘Race Wars’ segment are detailed. One particular part stands out - that Johnny Tran’s Honda S2000 had more like $8000 under the hood, not $100k.
Lieberman says that the number was “utter bullshit,” adding that Paul Walker’s memorable line was “least of the gaffes to be made in that scene - the most egregious of these gaffes was, of course, the no brake caliper on the Jetta”. Lieberman has covered this in a previous video (above), but we are given a recap - there were real brakes under the fake discs, the latter added (minus caliper) to cover the VW Jetta’s piddly 10-inch standard rotors.
The ‘Race Wars’ name was made up to avoid licensing issues, but interestingly, it’s since been adopted by numerous events around the world. The fictitious drag race bash was filmed in September 2000 at San Bernadino Airport using 1000 extras. 35 cars and drivers were sourced for the shoot - they were instructed to keep racing all day whether the cameras were focused on them or not.
The drivers were paid just $15 a day, and while near-unlimited free drag strip runs sounds appealing even with the potential for wear and tear, this did apparently become quite boring. Many of the cars were sourced from a club called ArtNMotion.
Anything else of note? Well, the RX-7 Letty raced came over all predictable and blew an engine. The story behind the, erm, unusual race start procedure - starring Lieberman himself - is pretty interesting too.
Makes you want to rewatch this classic, doesn’t it?
Source: YouTube via Road and Track)