Furious7 was a huge hit at the box office last weekend, speeding away with some $143.6 million in ticket sales at movie theaters across the country. For what should be quite a bit less money you can buy one of the cars built for the film series at Leake Auctions sale April 17-18 in Dallas.
Being offered up for bidding is a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle purchased as a stunt double for the 1970 Chevelle featured in the fourth movie of the series, Fast & Furious. The car was fully outfitted for its understudy role.
In the movie, Dom (Vin Diesel) drives a Chevelle and for one particularly hairy stunt jump involving a bridge, the director realized he better have a back-up to the stunt car just in case another take was needed.
So the ’71 Chevelle was procured, painted and equipped with a roll cage, Wilwood brakes, Hotchkis suspension, a drift brake — the same equipment on the “hero” car and its stunt double.
“They did the jump and it went off flawlessly, so they never used this car,” said the car’s owner and consignor, Jeff Allen, whose ownership actually figures to add additional provenance to the car.
Allen is the owner of the Flat 12 Gallery, a custom car shop in Lubbock, Texas, and also the star of The Car Chasers, the CNBC-television car show, and he has a long history not only with cars from the Fast and Furious franchise, but with cars for television and movies.
“I’ve owned 15 of them from the franchise so far,” Allen told ClassicCars.com “I’m addicted to them. I love cars and I love movie cars, and it’s the longest-running franchise of any of the car movies out there.”
Allen said he buys the cars, either from the studios or sometimes from those who build the cars for the TV and movie studios and have first rights to buy them back. Allen bought the Chevelle from Frank Collins of Cinema Vehicles. A letter of authenticity accompanies the car to the Leake Auction block.
Allen also supplies cars to movie and television studios,
“We’ve supplied probably 100 cars to the industry,” he said, explaining that he’ll get a call that a particular car is specified in a script and he’ll go out and find it. He also has several LA movie and TV stars as clients who have him find cars they want and have him handle the sales.
Allen said he keeps the movie cars he buys for “six months, a year or even longer, basically until I hear there’s other stuff coming through the pipeline and I sell the ones I already have, or someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse.”
Allen was among those viewing Furious7 on its debut night last week, “and I saw six cars I want,” he said.
One thing Allen said he likes about the Fast and Furious franchise is that it is ecumenical in its car selection, featuring imports, American classics and contemporary supercars.
Allen has sold a half-dozen or so Fast and Furious cars at Leake auctions.
“I started with them and I’m very loyal to the auction companies I use,” he said. “I’m not a number with Leake. I’m more like an honorary family member.”
Allen said that sometimes cars that have appeared on the big screen “got tore up pretty good,” but noted that the Chevelle is “unscathed” and amazingly well detailed. In addition to all of its special equipment, it even has the same gray over the original red paint scheme as the original Chevelle’s driven by Dom in the first and fourth films in the series.