The first word audiences may think of when they think about “Fast & Furious” might be “family,” but the second word is definitely cars.
Ever since the fast-paced franchise first revved its engines in June 2001, the movies have been a highlight reel of high-octane rides — ranging from sleek, luxurious sports cars to the most top-tier American muscle.
So as the “Fast” franchise enters its ninth chapter and celebrates its 20th anniversary, the cast of the latest film, “F9” — including Jordana Brewster (Mia), Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (Tej), John Cena (Jakob), Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey), Tyrese Gibson (Roman), Sung Kang (Han) and director Justin Lin reveal some of their favorite cars from the franchise.
Lin explains that before production kicks off for each film, the cars also go through auditions. “It’s like 200 cars and it’s crazy,” Lin says. “You see the cars and their owners would be standing right by them. So when I don’t pick them, you can see their heart break.”
One of his most memorable moments came when searching selecting cars for 2006’s “Tokyo Drift.” That day, Lin says, there were “all these beautiful cars. But then for some reason, I saw this beat up Monte Carlo sitting by the shed; it wasn’t even anybody’s. And I said, ‘That’s the car for Sean Boswell.”
Kang also has a special place in his heart for two of “Tokyo Drift’s” most famous rides. The first is the Ford Shelby Mustang Fastback, which ties into the actor’s love of Steve McQueen in 1968’s “Bullitt.”
His other favorite, of course, is the Mazda RX-7 FD. “The orange and black Han car, I’ve learned to love that car,” Kang explains. “That car represents what Han is about.”
Gibson experienced feeling of the love at first sight with Roman’s 2004 Bentley GT, which he describes as his “dream car.”
“I went and found it online and printed the image out and would like hang it up in the gym. While I’m just [mimics himself pumping iron], ‘Oh, I gotta work hard to get a car,'” Gibson recalls. “So, I was very happy to be driving that car in ‘Fast’ eight.”
Bridges shares his love for the franchise’s array of American muscle cars, while on the other side of the car-lover spectrum is Emmanuel, who like her onscreen persona, isn’t a massive fan herself. But the actor is partial to Dom’s 1961 Chevy Impala from the opening scenes of “Fate.”
Representing the franchise OG’s, Brewster says Letty’s red 1965 Corvette from 2017’s “Fate of the Furious” is the one she’d most like to take for the spin, and lists the 1966 Ford GT40 Mia drives in 2009’s “Fast Five” as another favorite.
As a newcomer to the franchise, Cena was able to get behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang (in a car chase with his long-lost brother Dom that ends in him flying the car off the side of a cliff) and a Toyota Supra in the latest film. Cena is massive car lover and “Fast” fan, who admits he “geeked out” on set, saying “I really do admire the fact that ‘Fast’ has evolved over the years, [but] I like the fact that they still keep their attachment to the automobile and to vehicles.”
“I think the most iconic one for sure, is Dom’s Charger,” he adds. “That might rival the Bond Aston Martin as the most iconic car in cinematic history.”
But his favorite “Fast” car is also one of the franchise’s most meaningful.
“My favorite is the green Mitsubishi Eclipse, from the very first ‘Fast and Furious,’ he explains. “Because without that car, Brian doesn’t take Dom to the limit. And without that they don’t bond. And without that, we don’t have any fast or furious.”