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xXx Pontiac GTO visits Jay Leno’s Garage

Comedian car guy hosts action-movie car and takes it for a drive

When you think of actor Vin Diesel and car movies, the natural intersection of those concepts is the “Fast and Furious” franchise, but there’s another action series that weaves the two together: “xXx.”

Dubbed the Flame Car, the 1967 Pontiac GTO Hardtop that recently visited Jay Leno’s Garage has been owned by Thom Sherwood since 2005. A Pontiac fanatic who wrote reviews of movies that featured the brand, Sherwood knew from the moment he saw the GTO in the “xXx” trailer back in 2002 that he had to have one.

Five running ’67 Pontiac GTOs were built for the film along with a sixth, non-running rig car which was used for various close-up shots. Of the five runners, two were sold on eBay by the production studio and wound up in the hands of an investor in Malibu, California. The Flame Car was one of those. Sherwood helped the investor sell one of them at Barrett-Jackson and ended up buying the second one for himself.

Pontiac

Jay Leno and Thom Sherwood took the GTO for a drive | Motor Authority

Despite appearances, the Flame Car GTO started life as a hard top, as did all of the cars built for the film. It was converted by Revolution Studios contractors, who scalped it, shaved the door handles, re-did the interior to spy-car specifications (including a flip-up rear bench concealing a cache of weaponry), slapped on a side-exit exhaust system and repainted it in color-shifting Indigo Blasberry Prizm. We’re pretty sure that just means shimmery purple.

Under the hood, it’s packing a 400-cubic inch Pontiac YS-code V-8 making 335 horsepower mated to a Turbo-Hydramatic 3-speed auto. Before Revolution’s contractors did their work, it was finished in Montreux Blue over blue vinyl.

Sherwood documents the car, its modifications and its provenance on a dedicated web site, but it’s much more fun to watch him talk about it with Leno, as their enthusiasm shines through in the video.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.

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