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As readers of this website, you’ll undoubtedly be wanting to head out to see the latest instalment of The Fast & Furious series of movies which officially opens this weekend.
Thanks to Chrysler Middle East, we saw a preview showing last night, and if you like ‘Car-nage’ on an epic scale, you will not be disappointed.
And there’s over 400 cars used in the movie, a large proportion of which met a spectacular end – ‘All cars were brutally harmed and abused in the making of this movie’ the disclaimer should read.
The ruining was done by a combination of 80 stunt drivers, movie technicians and special effect specialists. A large part of the movie was filmed in the UK and Spain and one of the drivers included former Top Gear Stig, Ben Collins.
He had the privilege of drifting a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona through Piccadilly Circus – and yes that really is the famous London landmark, not a movie set – as well as racing the Dom’s 2010 modified Challenger against O’Conner’s Nissan GT-R in the opening sequence. This was filmed on a tight and twisty mountain road high above the coast of Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands – done for real and which he claims was one of the most exciting bits of driving he had to do for the film. Much of the action in ‘London’ was filmed across the UK including the night stuff in Glasgow, Scotland, action on Lambeth Bridge, plus Dale Street in Liverpool City Centre and the Queensway Tunnel in Birkenhead. The tank sequence was filmed in Tenerife and well over 100 cars (nobody remembers the exact number!) were run over or destroyed during its filming.
Another British driver employed by the producers was rally ace, Mark Higgins, who became a YouTube legend after his famous 250kph save in a Subaru WRX STI on the Isle of Man TT (if you’ve never seen it, watch it now, you won’t believe it). Unsurprisingly the fearless Higgins did the Escort jump – the first attempt of which put the car headlong into the ground and on its roof, and the second of which – with slightly less speed – still left it banana-shaped but successful.
Of course to capture all the action on film, even the camera cars have to be quick and included a Nissan 370Z used on Fast Five plus a Subaru WRX, a Porsche Cayenne, a supercharged Cadillac Escalade and a 500bhp Chevy ElCamino! He obviously has a vast collection of cars himself, some of which are stored by Dennis McCarthy, who is probably the most important person not in the movie. Most of the cars were done at his performance shop in Burbank, California, and nearly all used 500bhp Chevy LS3 V8 crate engines, including the Daytona (a replica) and the some of the Mustangs (sacrilege I know!), as well as the Flip cars and some of the other stunt cars.

It actually makes sense, since using the same engine and transmission for the movie cars means that parts are interchangeable on location. Dom Teretto (Diesel) drives a 2010 modified Challenger seen at the end of the previous movie, Fast Five at the beginning of the film. At the end of the movie he has a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, a genuine classic featuring a massive HEMI motor, independent suspension and a Jaguar rear end.
Brian O’Conner (Walker) starts off with his silver stock Nissan GT-R from Fast Five and ends with modified blue GT-R ramped up to over 1000bhp. During the action he drives a 1970 Ford Escort RS2000 – replicas built from six Mark 1 Escorts all stripped of interiors and fitted with roll-cages but featuring the original 2.0-litre engines. Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) gets a 1969 Anvil Mustang featuring 850bhp from a 520 Jon Kaase Racing Boss Nine engine driven through a Tremec TKO 600 5-speed transmission. The villain, Owen Shaw (played by Luke Evans) drives a 2006 Aston Martin DB9, and also the incredible Flip Car which basically rams into other cars and flips them right over itself. Luke Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) makes do with the armoured Navistar MXT Truck he had in Fast Five.
Other cool cars spotted in this edition included a replica red and white Ferrari FXX, a Ginetta G60, a Spyker, a Ferrari SP1 (based on a Ferrari 430 Spyder), a Jaguar E-Type which was actually the hugely expensive modern replica, Eagle Speedster, a 1967 Camaro SS and a Koenigsegg amongst others, with even a glimpse of a Subaru BRZ.
A fleet of E60 BMW M5s were used and destroyed in the first London chase sequence – 12 in fact all with the ABS and traction control unplugged.
Considering that Chrysler supports the franchise, the big climatic scene features a pair of Dodge Chargers (as did the finale of Fast Five) one of which magnificently and triumphantly bursts through fuselage of a crashing aeroplane, and an Alfa Romeo Giuletta. Now I’ve reviewed this car and it is brilliant, with truly astonishing potency from its punchy 1.4 Turbo, but in the movie it proves instrumental in downing a gargantuan Russian cargo aircraft, okay there’s more to it than that, but it’s about the gist of it. That’s you’re lot from us, but we’re bound to have missed some cars, so once you’ve seen the movie, tell us below a) what you thought of it and b) which other cars were in it.
And if you’re a fan of the franchise you’ll be please to know that they’re hurrying through the next edition – F&F 7 will be out in July next year and this time some of it will be filmed right here in the Middle East, so watch out for some high octane action on a street near you soon!

Motoring Middle East is the region's most interactive motoring news and reviews website with readers and visitors across the GCC. The tank itself, whilst modelled on a Vickers-Armstrong FV 4201 Chieftain was actually a fake riding on a heavy-duty truck chassis. It probably helps that the series’ main star Vin Diesel (playing Dominic Torreto) is into his muscle cars, particularly 70s metal, and that Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner) is a total car nut who hobby races and even owns his own performance tuning shop.
He claims 500bhp is more than enough for the movie cars, although some were tuned up to over 800bhp.
This was a replica, built from a $5000 rust-bucket that was bought, stripped, sandblasted and rebuilt for the movie.
Four were used, all heavily modified and custom-built fitted with the aforementioned Chevy V8s and Kilgore GM Turbo 400 transmissions. In fact nine Mustangs were used, some of which were actually 1970 cars modified to look like 69 models, and the stunt cars were all fitted with the LS3s.
American-built, these are bespoke cars inspired by lightweight classic Lotus race cars but fitted with big V8 engines.
For the entertainment industry, art is second nature, whether it is translated through song, dance, acting, writing, or painting – these are definitely what come to mind when we think of artistic expression.
What would your favorite album be like if it didn’t have the cover art to go along with it? But no, director Justin Lin insisted on the real thing wherever possible, so they’re mostly all actual cars. A ton of time and effort go in to creating and laying out these pieces for your viewing pleasure.

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