Tuner cars defined the “Fast and Furious” franchise early on, but muscle cars have been featured throughout the series as well. Two of the most notable examples are the 1969 Yenko Chevrolet Camaro and 1970 Dodge Challenger from “2 Fast 2 Furious,” which get the spotlight in this video from Craig Lieberman, who served as a technical advisor for the movie.
As a refresher, in the movie the Camaro and Challenger were won by main characters Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), so they could ditch their tracker-equipped Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII and Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, respectively. Neither muscle car survives the story, but the Camaro at least goes out in a blaze of glory by jumping onto a boat.
Original Yenko Camaros and Hemi Challengers are rare and valuable, so it’s important to note that the production team didn’t use pristine examples. Producers acquired nine Camaros and six Challengers, but they were already in bad shape. Some were bare shells, Lieberman noted.
1970 Dodge Challenger from
The Challenger got much less screen time than the Camaro. At one point Pearce gets rid of a bad guy using an ejector seat, but that was mostly done using CGI, Lieberman said.
The Camaro, on the other hand, was used for the boat jump that served as the film’s climax. A car was stripped down to a bare shell and filled with expanding foam. It was pulled off a ramp using a tow cable to get the jump shot, landing on water rather than a boat. That part was filmed separately and was combined with the first shot to get the full jump.
One of the stunt Camaros was kept by the company Year One, which provided reproduction parts for the film, and was later fully restored. Some of the other Camaros and Challengers are still around as well, Lieberman said, although he doesn’t have precise details.