In a big-budget film involving cars, you’ll need more than one of some vehicular stars. They’ll be rigged up for different purposes, and yes, some will be destroyed in stunts. On the filming of Casino Royale, for instance, that crash with the Aston Martin DBS involved trashing three cars, just for a few seconds of film. With dubious physics.
This leads us neatly to the frequently unrealistic Need For Speed film of 2014, the production of which presented a problem for car sourcing. How do you source multiple examples of the cars involved when the majority are super expensive, hard-to-find exotics? The script called for three examples of the Koenigsegg Agera RS to appear, for Pete’s sake, and to make matters even trickier, director Scott Waugh, a former stuntman, insisted all the stunts were filmed for real.
The answer was not to source them at all, for the most part. Save for a few models used in beauty shots, most of the cars seen in that film are not the real deal. Under the skin, they’re all the same thing - Superlite SL-C kit cars powered by General Motors LS V8s, albeit with differing wheelbases. Fibreglass shells for each were made using CAD data confidentially supplied by the manufacturers.
One man snapped up no less than 20 of the SL-Cs used for filming. Freddy ‘Tavarish’ Hernandez, fresh from spending a great deal of money repairing and upgrading a McLaren 675LT visited the warehouse currently containing the noisy film props, primarily to buy one of them. As you do.
The shells are long gone, but you can tell what most of them used imitate thanks to the shape of the metal framework. Some also include partly mocked-up interiors, and the hero Agera RS used by Aaron Paul (with a stunt driver operating the car in a compartment at the back) even has a mechanism to replicate Koenigsegg’s trademark ‘dihedral synchro-helix’ door opening movement.
In the end, Hernandez decided to go for a ‘Lamborghini Sesto Elemento’, one of the few manuals made for the film. It features an LS3 V8 mated to a Porsche transaxle, complete with a fibreglass endplate to make it look like the rear of the Sesto’s famously visible transmission. As the car driven by Dominic Cooper playing the baddie of the film, it too has a partial replica interior for closer shots.
Hernandez is not entirely sure what to do with the car just yet, offering to take suggestions from YouTube comments.