Car movie of the day: ‘The Fast and the Furious’

One film sparked a massive franchise and brought the tuner world to light

Editor’s note: Car guys, and even car girls, can take only so much of those Hallmark holiday movies that fill the airwaves and cable systems this time of year. As an automotive alternative, we’re offering our own suggestions of our favorite car movies for your viewing pleasure. Check out more of our favorite car movies here.


In 2001, a film called The Fast and the Furious hit theaters. It wound up being a standard heist film, but it showed the world of underground tuner racing in a way never before seen.

It was insanely popular. The film — starring Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker — was loaded with import vehicles. Though Diesel finishes the film driving a classic Dodge Charger, the hero car of the film is a bright orange Toyota Supra.

Have you ever seen a Dodge Charger and Toyota Supra not only race, but jump train tracks in the process? It happens in <i>The Fast and the Furious</i>. | Universal Pictures

Have you ever seen a Dodge Charger and Toyota Supra not only race, but jump train tracks in the process? It happens in The Fast and the Furious. | Universal Pictures

As we said, the film is basically a heist movie. Diesel and his crew are thieves and Walker played the cop trying to apprehend them. There’s some decent stunt driving.

But this is the only film on our monthlong list that inspired a huge franchise. Eight movies have been released so far, with at least two more (not including a spin-off film and a Netflix series) on the way.

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  • Ryan Corman
    December 30, 2018, 6:13 PM

    Enjoyed y’all’s selections for anti-holiday car-centric films; seen ’em all, loved a few.
    Maybe, for the New Year, you could squeeze in the brilliant series of BMW ads starring Clive Owen as simply "the driver", all individually directed by some of the best living cinema directors- John Woo, Guy Richie (his starred Madonna in a very funny take on the "diva gets a comedown" genre) et al- and all featuring Owen flogging the bejesus out of BMW’s then current lineup. My fave was called "Ticker", about the driver delivering a heart for transplant into a moderate African leader, who’s death will cause a coup by, ah, undemocratic rivals. Helicopters! Machine guns! Rocketry! And a superbly handled M4(?) with the cooler strapped in for action.
    There was at one time a compilation disc of these ads as a BMW promo; I’m sure you can find one to enjoy.
    Cheers, & Happy Year!
    -R
    Fargo ND

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