Max Schröder profile picture Max Schröder 6 years ago

The Cars of Brian O'Connor

Paul Walker in his role as Brian O'Connor. The photo is a promotional image for the 2009' movie "Fast & Furious". This is one of the most popular photos from the franchise.
Paul Walker in his role as Brian O'Connor. The photo is a promotional image for the 2009' movie "Fast & Furious". This is one of the most popular photos from the franchise.

The very first one. The 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse 2G GS

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We first meet Paul Walker’s character (under the alias “Brian Earl Spilner”) a few minutes into the 2001’ movie “The Fast and The Furious” sitting in this green car in the empty parking lot of the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, (presumably) training for quarter mile races.
Later in the movie the car is said to be worth 80.000$, which seems a bit much for the specs and modifications it actually had.
The car(s) used had the turbocharged 420a-engine known from the Dodge Neon, with a double-bottle NOS-system and a cold air intake (the practicality of which is argued about).
Visual modifications include:
-A Robo Car Armor Eclipse Kit consisting of a new front and rear bumper as well as new side skirts.
-A custom made carbon fiber front splitter
-A custom GT-style roof scoop
-An ARP two level GT-2 style wing
-Carbon fiber race mirrors
-Shaved door handles
-1997-spec headlights
-Green neon-lighting
-Sparco racing seats
-GReddy temperature and boost gauges
-An alloy shift knob
-Drilled alloy racing pedals
-A video monitor in the center console
At least one stunt-car had a rollcage and a fly-off handbrake.
All five cars used in the movie stood on 18 inch “SE7EN”-wheels by Axis Sport Tuning Inc. wrapped in Toyo Tires with the measures 225/40/ZR18
Another car was relieved of its drivetrain and wheels and placed on a special rig on top of a flatbed-truck allowing the crew to film Walker in the car while a stunt-driver in the truck made it look like the car skidded and drifted as the script demanded it.
In the movie the car (famously) suffers an engine-failure during the very first race (that somehow rips away part of the undercarriage), but still works well enough to serve as a getaway-car for O’Connor and Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) when the cops arrive at the scene of the race.
The two end up in Little Saigon where they’re found by the movie’s bad guy Johnny Tran who proceeds to riddle the car with bullets causing it to blow up.

The boring one. The 1999 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

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This car doesn’t belong to O’Connor, but to the Auto Parts Store he works at as part of his cover-ID in the first movie.
There are no known modifications, nor is there any information that suggests that more than one car was used.

The famous one. The 1995 Toyota Supra Mark IV

The Supra on a test run on Pacific Coast Highway (filmed on location), winning against a Ferrari F355 Spider. The driver looks very little like Paul Walker in this scene.
The Supra on a test run on Pacific Coast Highway (filmed on location), winning against a Ferrari F355 Spider. The driver looks very little like Paul Walker in this scene.

After the Eclipse meets an explosive end at the hands of Tran O’Connor owes Toretto a car, and turns up at the Toretto’s garage with a flatbed-truck with a rusted-out Supra on the back.
With some help from Mia they turn the sorry wreck into the famous orange car, giving Toretto the 10-second-car he demanded.
The car is used to rescue Vince when another truck-heist goes south, and later to hunt down (and eventually kill) Johnny Tran after Jesse is killed in a drive-by at Toretto’s house.
At last the Supra is used in the final race, which O’Connor wins against Toretto in his Charger (which crashes in a spectacular way), and then given to Toretto so he can make his escape from the arriving police (and to finally pay O’Connor’s debt).
The interquel “Turbo-Charged Prelude” (2003) hints that Toretto ditched the Supra, since there’s an article about O’Connor shown that talks about his car having been found abandoned.
In reality the “hero car” belonged to the movie’s technical advisor Craig Lieberman, with the crew using another 8 Supras as backups and for stunts, since they didn’t want to damage Lieberman’s private car.
The car had had its 2JZ GE-engine (the naturally aspirated version) swapped out for a turbocharged 3.1 liter 2JZ-engine fitted with two Turbonetics T66 ball-bearing turbos and Delta II wastegates and:
-RPS stainless steel/HTC-coated custom headers
-NOS 100-hp NOS system
-AEBS downpipe
-GReddy Power Extreme Exhaust
-Pro-Fec B boost controller
-Airinx intake
The additional power flows through a Clutchmasters Stage III racing clutch with an 11 pound billet flywheel while an Eibach coilover suspension brings the whole, Lamborghini Diablo Candy Pearl Orange-painted car closer to the ground.
Visual modifications include M5Tuners’ 19” Dazzle Racing Hart wheels, a full Bomex body-kit, a TRD hood and an APR wing, while Sparco seats and a Sparco steering-wheel take care of the interior.
The hero-car was recently sold at an auction, with the specs listing the power-output at 544hp, while other sources mention 650hp.

The brief departure from JDM-cars. The 1991 Dodge Stealth

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The short-film “Turbo-charged Prelude”, which takes place in between the first two feature films shows O’Connor being quitting his job with Law Enforcement and having to go on the run (probably to avoid his arrest).
He leaves Los Angeles in a heavily modified red Dodge Stealth (which is the US-version of the Mitsubishi GTO).
He drives the car for a majority of the movie an wins a couple of races in different cities, before the car is spotted by a police officer parked outside a motel.
O’Connor escapes the officer and hitches a ride with a random woman, leaving the Dodge behind.

The first GT-R. The 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R

The Skyline as we first see it driving. Without modifications,and even without a wing.
The Skyline as we first see it driving. Without modifications,and even without a wing.

After he had to leave the red Dodge behind O’Connor finds an R34 GT-R at a dealership in Texas, although the car is in a bad condition.
He buys it with the money he earned with the Dodge, and drives it for a short bit before renting a workshop and modifying it.
The modifications include:
-C-West/Motorex body kit
-Sparco seats and harnesses
-Full rollcage
-Flexivity rear wing
-K&N Ram Air system
-HKS Titanium Exhaust
-Turbonetics Intercooler
-The production-crew also converted the car to RWD and disabled the 4-wheel-steering, so the car would “misbehave nicely”.
The car sports a Platinum Pearl paintjob by House of Kolor with some blue decals and rolls on 19-inch HRE 446 wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes T1-S-tires.
The passenger seat was ditched in favour of three nitrous-bottles, none of which are hooked up to anything, and a sound-system with parts from CLarion, JBL and infinity.
The interior lights were turned blue, to go with the blue neons added to the underside of the car.
The cars also feature stop-tech brakes, and at least one had the ABS-system disabled for stunt-use.

One of the two hero-cars as seen after the modifications, the other one belonged to Paul Walker, who had his car modified to match the look of the other cars used.
One of the two hero-cars as seen after the modifications, the other one belonged to Paul Walker, who had his car modified to match the look of the other cars used.

In the movie “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003) O’Connor uses the GT-R he bought in the previous interquel (actually, the main hero car belonged to Paul Walker, who also chose most cars used in the movie) in the opening race, winning the race and earning some respect (and money).
When cops arrive at the scene he tries to flee, but the car is eventually disabled with a futuristic kind-of-taser harpoon and then impounded never to be seen again.
The most famous stunt from the opening race is a jump off a partially opened bridge, which was done for real with all cars except the pink S2000 actually being driven by stuntmen.
Walker’s GT-R suffered damage to the front bumper, wheels and tires as well as rupturing the oil-pan, but was repaired within a few days and remained in Walker’s collection in great condition.

The green one. The 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII

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When trying to get a job as a courier for drug-lord Carter Verone O’Connor gets to use a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII.
The car features a DAMD bodykit, Evo VIII rear lights and an ARC rear wing, while rolling on Motegi Racing FF5-rims wrapped in (as usual) Toyo Tires.
In the movie the car also carries a tracking-beacon so O’Connor can’t just flee from law-enforcement.
Since the Evo VII wasn’t sold in the USA the production-crew used normal lancers modified to look like Evos as well as one left hand drive Evo VII imported from Europe.
That one car was auctioned off in 2011 for 24.200$.
In the movie the car is used for the “audition” (retrieving a package from an impounded Ferrari in the Florida Keys) and to win a Camaro, before being handed off to Tej Parker as part of the big scramble, successfully getting the Police off O’Connor’s tail.

The one that attacks a boat. The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro "Yenko-Style"

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When O’Connor and Pearce realize that they can’t just remove the tracking-beacons from their cars they go to get another set of wheels, O’Connor’s choice being a Yenko Camaro.
Because of the incredibly high prices original Yenko Camaros reach on the market the production car used normal Camaros (and an SS for the hero-car) dressed up to look like Yenkos.
Apart from the price, another hint is the incorrect interior.
The only modification done on-screen is a system meant to catapult the passenger (along with the seat) out of the car, but it fails when needed to function.
In the movie O’Connor starts using the Camaro when making a getaway from the cops in the big scramble, driving it down to the Florida Keys.
Arriving too late to stop Verone the way they planned O’Connor drives the Camaro off a platform, jumping into the top deck of Verone’s yacht saving the life of Fuentes, their ally.
In reality the jump was done by a “rusty corpse” into a deck that had been added to the yacht for the stunt, allowing it to crumple away rather than having the car “bounce off” it.
The hero car was donated to Walker’s charity ROWW once production was over.

The GT-R that wasn't one. The 2002 GT-T

O'Connor inspecting the car after he modified it.
O'Connor inspecting the car after he modified it.

The fourth installment in the franchise, 2009’ “Fast and Furious” saw the story return to the USA, and to the “old” cast.
O’Connor is given an undercover assignment which sees him smuggling drugs from Mexico to the USA, and he of course needs a car for that.
In the movie he choses three Nissan Skyline GT-Rs, a blue and a white one R34 as well as a red R35, slaughtering the latter two to upgrade the blue one.
From what is known, the red car only donates its 3.8L VR38DETT twin turbo V6-engine to the blue car.
The car also features a C-West/Motorex body kit, a Flexivity rear wing, OMP seatbelts and a rollcage, standing on Rays Volk RE30 wheels wrapped in Continental Sport Contact-tires, while a Kaizo Industries suspension brings the car closer to the ground.
In reality the producers wanted to “cut some corners” and, apart from one actual GT-R bought GT-Ts, fitting them with some GT-R-parts for the right look.
The production crew used six Skylines, two of which being sold as parts-cars, two were destroyed and one was saved for potential sequels only to be stolen from a lot only days after filming wrapped.
Since the script called for a lot of driving in the desert the crew also constructed a couple of pipe-frames which they fitted with GT-R-parts and VW Beetle-drivetrains for the offroad-scenes.
In the movie the car is used for a streetrace (which serves as an audition for a new driver for the drug-cartel), loosing to Toretto’s Chevelle after he “pits” the Skyline, causing it to spin out.
With some help from his contacts in law enforcement O’Connor still gets a job as a driver, and the car does the smuggling-drive from Mexico to the USA successfully.
Just before they start the drive Toretto finds out that the drivers are supposed to be killed once they reach US-soil, and riggs his car to blow up when he wants it.
All drivers reach the USA and park at a meeting-point where Toretto triggers the rig in his car, blowing up all drivers’ cars (including the Skyline).

The one used to kill a bad guy. The 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STi GH

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After his Skyline blows up O’Connor steals an Impreza hatchback from an impound-lot in L.A.
Subaru provided the production with 7 of the first Imprezas made, which were fitted with the following modifications:
-Intake, air filter and intercooler from Perrin
-Cobb Tuning Ignition
-Remus Racing headers and mufflers
-Cobb Tuning exhaust pipes
The interior was upgraded with seats, the shifter and the steering wheel from Veilside, Takata seatbelts and a Sweeney rollcage.
Apart from providing some interior parts Veilside constructed a bodykit for the brand new car, consisting of side-skirts, bumpers, a hood, a roof-scoop and a rear spoiler.
The car was then placed on Enkei NT03+M wheels wrapped in 18” Continental Sport Contact 2.
In the movie O’Connor uses the car to drive to Mexico to track down and catch Braga, the movie’s main bad guy, and bring him back to the USA.
O’Connor and Toretto are attacked by Braga’s henchmen while driving through the tunnels, with the Impreza being heavily damaged.
O’Connor gets dragged out of the wreck and held at gunpoint by Fenix, the “head-henchman”.
At the last moment Toretto crashes his car into the Impreza, with Fenix ending up in between the cars and being killed in the process.

The oldtimer. The 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R "Hakosuka"

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The 2011’ installment “Fast Five” takes the crew to Rio de Janeiro, having gone on the run after freeing Toretto from prison at the end of the previous movie.
There isn’t much information on the car, since it’s only used for a short scene of Brian driving into the Favela-part of the city to meet up with Vince, a member of the gang from the first movie.
It is not seen afterwards, and presumably sold.

The "Smurf Car". The 2001 Porsche 911 (996) Carrera 2

The car as seen in the movie, dressed up as a GT3 with GT3 RS-decals.
The car as seen in the movie, dressed up as a GT3 with GT3 RS-decals.

When the crew goes looking for a car that can drive (and drift) through the basement of the police’ headquarters without being seen by the cameras Toretto wins this Porsche in a race, after it belonged to the (until then) best racing-driver of the region.
Back at the crew’s hideout Brian races the car around a replica of the route in the basement, but even after several attempts he can’t beat the camera-system.
The car doesn’t appear again, and the crew may just have returned it to the previous owner (who later appears as their ally when Hobbs comes to arrest the crew).

The "invisible" car. The 2011 Dodge Charger PPV

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When it proves impossible to outrun the security-cameras the crew decides to steal four “invisible” cars, cars that wouldn’t draw attention when seen in a police station’s garage.
The next night they brake into the backlot of a police station, and steal four Dodge Charger Police Cars.
Right after stealing them Brian, Han, Toretto and Roman decide on a spontaneous drag-race from one red light to the next, with the price being 1 million dollars.
The cars stay head-to-head, but eventually Toretto lets off the throttle for a second so Brian wins, with Toretto wanting him to get the money as a “starting budget” since he’s about to be a father.
The actual plan never takes place, since Hobbs’ team raids the crew’s hideout seconds before they depart with the cars.
In reality the brazilian police didn’t have cars like that (of course), and the cars used were 2010’ SRT8s “dressed up” in authentic police-livery, with normal 2009’ Chargers being the stunt-cars..
Dodge reportedly sent them 3 Chargers, parts to turn them into police-cars, and enough spares for “a small fleet of more Chargers”, to quote the vehicle-coordinator of the movie.

The remodelled Police Cars. The 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8s "Vault Cars"

One of the "Vault Cars" on set.
One of the "Vault Cars" on set.

After joining forces with the surviving part of Hobbs’ team the crew decides to be less subtle with stealing the vault from the police headquarters.
For that, they modify the Police Cars they stole.
The modifications include:
-Full internal rollcage
-Chassis reinforcement
-External cage on the rear section
-Heavy-duty winch on the rear end
-Flat Matte black paint job
-XD Rockstar Wheels in flat black
-NOS-system (in Toretto’s car).
The crew uses Hobbs’ truck to smash through the wall of the underground garage, and then hooks up the safe to the Chargers to drag it away, with the majority of the local police in pursuit.
After they shake off most of the police cars they’re faced with Reyes’ heavily armed team.
Toretto tells Brian to leave him behind and flee, which he (apparently) does.
Toretto executes a few maneuvers and then jumps out of his car, using intertia to haul the Charger into Reyes’ car.
Reyes’ bodyguard tries to shoot Toretto, only to be shot dead by Brian, who, against the agreement, returns.
After Hobbs agrees to give them a 24h head start Toretto and Brian leave in Brian’s Charger.
Note: All Chargers are equipped with automatic gearboxes, yet still there’s a lot of (franchise-typical) “dramatic shifting” seen.

The return of Godzilla. The 2011 Nissan GT-R R35

The GT-R at the beginning of 2013's "Furious 6"
The GT-R at the beginning of 2013's "Furious 6"

After a short cameo at the end of Fast Five (by a 2010 model) the GT-R returns as an R35, presumably the car Brian bought from (part of) the money they stole at the end of the last movie.
He’s shown driving a brief race (which began in the previous movie’s end credit sequence), before pulling up outside a small building somewhere in the Canary Islands at the last moment to witness Mia give birth to his son Jack.

The big black German one. The 2010' BMW E60 M5

Two of the M5s just before they're put to use.
Two of the M5s just before they're put to use.

After being called to London to catch Owen Shaw in return for their criminal records being wiped they’re provided with a fleet of BMW E60 M5s.
Using those cars the crew tries to catch Shaw’s team, only for the cars (along with a bunch of police cars) getting destroyed in various ways.
The cars appear to be meant to be stock M5s, and in-story were probably scrapped (since none of them seems to be worth a repair after the chase).
When Hobbs talks about them he mentions them having V8 bi-turbo engines with 560hp, facts that are an exact match to the E60’s successor.
In real life most of the 14 cars were actually 535i-models, and all the cars sported rollcages, racing seats and racing-harnesses, as well as one having a pneumatic piston to help roll it through a glass facade.

The rally car. The 1974' Ford Escort RS 2000 Mark 1

The left half of the picture kinda hurts my carguy-heart.
The left half of the picture kinda hurts my carguy-heart.

When the crew has to aquire old cars with as little electronics as possible Brian chooses a ‘74’ Escort RS 2000 Mark 1.
The crew uses the oldtimer-cars to try to intercept Shawn’s robbery of a military convoy, with Brian’s Escort’s main use being an emergency-“platform” when Roman’s Mustang gets crushed by Shawn’s tank.
The crew actually bought one of the rare RS 2000s, which is briefly seen when the crew buys the cars.
They then bought 4 Escort RS 1600 and modified them to look like the 2000s, plus a normal Escort’s chassis that was placed on a moveable rig in front of a green-screen and fitted with the RS’ interior.
One of the RS 1600 was damaged (essentially destroyed) when a stuntman took a ramp too fast and hit the road with the car standing vertically “nose down”.

The one chasing a plane. The 2010' Alfa Romeo Giulietta

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After they catch Shawn in the chase above they have to let him go again, since he had his men take Mia hostage.
They catch up to him at a military airfield and have to catch up to a starting cargo-plane (on the world’s longest runway) to keep Shawn from fleeing with a military microchip.
After previously using the Escort RS 2000 Brian switches to a 2010’ Giulietta.
He manages to dodge one of the bad guys’ “flip cars” coming the opposite way before using a winch to hook up another bad guy’s car to the plane (crashing it).
At last the Giulietta drives into the plane’s cargo hold, where it’s destroyed when the plane blows up.
While the winch in place of the rear seats is the only modification shown in the film the car (for some reason) has the engine-sound from the 4th movie’s Impreza, the Giulia’s engine probably just didn’t sound “sporty enough” for the producers.

The bulked up Godzilla. The 2012 Nissan GT-R R35 Bensopra

The GT-R parked on set. Note the huge wing being practically used as a table.
The GT-R parked on set. Note the huge wing being practically used as a table.

A short epilogue-scene shows the crew back in Los Angeles, with this car parked in the driveway.
It’s a 2012 R35 designed by US-based SP engineering.
The (former) Sema-showcar started out as a normal 2010 GT-R stripped to the chassis, which was then rebuilt with only the best parts avaliable.
The most obvious part is the full BenSopra bodykit that includes a one-piece tilt front end consisting of the fenders, grille and hood, and extensively widened wheelarches.
Under the new hood a Switzer P800 turbo kit is at the heart of the modification, including new ball-bearing turbochargers, high-pressure wastegates, a revised intake, better fuel injectors and two massive intercoolers.
With those modifications the car is said to put out 800hp.
Further modifications include a Cobb Accessport AP005 ECU and HKS-plumbing, as well as a custom-made exhaust and cooling-system by California-based R-Tuning.
These modifications are claimed to push the output to 850hp.
The rest of the drivetrain was left untouched, except for the wheels being swapped for 290mm wide Yokohama Advan A005-slicks wrapping themselves around AdvanRacing GT20 ETS-wheels.
At last, a custom R Tuning suspension using JRZ RS Pro coil-overs takes care of the ride-height and camber, while Weapons Grade Performance carbon-ceramic discs with CCM brake pads take care of getting the car to decelerate adequately.
This short cameo remained the cars only appearance, it’s not used in the following movie.
There are rumors, though, that it ended up in Walker’s collection.

The anti-cool one. The 2013 Chrysler Town & Country

Brian in front of the Minivan, seconds before his house blows up. Note that this is Caleb Walker, Paul's brother, standing in with Paul's face being CGI-patched into the frame.
Brian in front of the Minivan, seconds before his house blows up. Note that this is Caleb Walker, Paul's brother, standing in with Paul's face being CGI-patched into the frame.

At the beginning of the 2015’ Furious 7 we see Brian struggle to adapt to family life, while a blue minivan has replaced the blue BenSopra GT-R seen at the end of the previous movie.
The car is only used briefly by Brian to drive his son to preschool, and to place his son in the car on another day just when Toretto discovers a bomb that has been sent to the house.
When said bomb detonates it throws Brian against the car and showers the car with debris, but neither is the damage too bad nor does anyone get really injured.
The crew leaves Los Angeles shortly after the bombing, leaving the minivan behind.

The one that makes up for the minivan. The 2012' Subaru Impreza WRX STi GH

The Impreza as it touches down after a brief flight (you read that right).
The Impreza as it touches down after a brief flight (you read that right).

When the crew travels to the Caucasus Mountains (Azerbaijan) to rescue Ramsay from a convoy Brian finds himself aboard a cargo plane in a modified Subaru Impreza.
The car is equipped with a hood and rear spoiler made of carbon fiber, hooks on the roof for aerial transport and a modified sunroof that holds a parachute for the (steep and short) trip from the cargo plane to the road below.
The car also features a reinforced suspension, a rollcage and a racing seat with a matching harness.
The cars used were not the ones from the fourth movies (none survived that), but instead Subaru gave another seven Imprezas to the production, one of which survived in repairable condition.
In the movie the car gets badly shot up before Brian uses its hood as a platform to jump aboard the bus transporting Ramsay, leaving the Impreza to crash into the side of the mountain.

The one that is a supercar. The 2013' McLaren MP4-12C Spider

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When the crew travels to Abu Dhabi they’re briefly seen driving different sports- and supercars, with Brian driving an MP4-12C Spider.
The cars driven in those few scenes were given to the production by a private collector, who reportedly also arranged the contact with W-Motors, which is (one of) the reason(s) why the cars didn’t suffer at all.

The one that is a lowrider. The 2012 Nissan GT-R R35

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Towards the end of the movie the crew returns to Los Angeles, deciding to face a final battle on “home ground”.
Brian drives a dark blue GT-R in which he manages to evade a pursuing drone for white a while.
At one point he presses a button that has the airride-suspension lower the car to the point of it scraping on the ground, and takes cover underneath a semi-trailer (a nice homage to the opening of the first movie) as the drone opens fire, a maneuver that leads to the truck taking most of the bullets and the GT-R (raised back to normal ride-height) being able to continue the evasion.
Eventually Brian has Ramsay, who was his passenger until then, climb over into Parker’s car, before he bails out a moment later.
The drone then hits the GT-R with a missile, ending it in a massive explosion.
In real life they had seven cars, two of which were pipe-frame copies for the explosions (which is visible in the movie), out of which one survived and was given to the “The Hollywood Star Cars Museum” in Gatlinburg (Tennessee).

The one that belonged to Paul. The 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo

The car used in the epilogue, parked "at home" in Walker's collection where YouTuber (and CTzen) The Smoking Tire found it.
The car used in the epilogue, parked "at home" in Walker's collection where YouTuber (and CTzen) The Smoking Tire found it.

An epilogue scene has us meet the crew at a sunny beach, with Brian deciding to finally “retire” from a life of crime.
Toretto leaves the meeting first, without really saying goodbye, but Brian catches up to him at an intersection, driving a white Supra.
They say goodbye to one another before starting one last (not really serious) race, more of a formation drive really.
The road eventually splits at an Y-intersection, with the two cars driving in different directions.
The camera follows the Supra before panning up into the sun, with the image fading to white, with a heartwarming message appearing.

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