Remember that funny looking guy from Idiocracy? No, not the guy with the jaw, the guy with the big nose. That's Dax Shepard. Well, it turns out he's a serious car nut and just made the first-ever car movie that your girlfriend's going to want to watch. The other night, we fired up his 650 wheel horsepower Continental and cruised up to the Burbank Bob's Big Boy to eat burgers and talk about doing your own stunts.
An effete Hollywood-by-way-of-New York-and-London type, I'd never even looked inside a Bob's Big Boy. "I personally think that the Big Boy is the good burger," Dax suggests helpfully. "I'm going to get the Super Big Boy with two side salads and well done french fries. It comes with Red Relish, but I don't like it, so I get Thousand Island instead. That's how they do it back east."
Dax is from the Detroit area, where his first job was delivering cars for GM's press fleet. But before we could talk about that, Armando, our waiter (Dax knew his name) was asking me what kind of salad dressing I wanted. "They sell it at Costco, that's how good this blue cheese is," Dax expounds.
"Costco is my favorite place on the planet. You have to go and I'll tell you why: the prices are fantastic, that's a given, but they also have the best return policy in the world. I bought a floor jack there like six years ago and it just recently broke. Like a really nice, three-ton, all-aluminum floor jack. so I go in there without a receipt and it turns out it was on my ex-girlfriend's card. They look that up, see the jack on there, open the till and hand me $128, cash."
"I filmed this movie Employee of the Month at a Costco in New Mexico and got to know the staff there. The employees are ecstatic to be working there, compare that to WalMart, which is like a prison."
Scenes of branded sweat pants from Idiocracy are filling my head, but I'm won over when Dax points out stuff from his really, really nice house in Los Feliz, saying, ""Half my home is from Costco. Whirlpool top-of-the-line washing machine? Costco. Furniture? Costco. Trips to Bora Bora? Costco.com. Those cedar doors on my garage? Costco."
They are really nice cedar doors. But I don't own a car and 86 packs of toilet paper won't bungee nice to the back seat of an Aprilia RSV4. Dax suggests I just book more practical press cars.
"I would get back minivans where some journalist had taken all the seats out and used them to haul bales of hay. Every inch of the interior was covered in hay."
Press cars are great for stuff like that, right? I told him the story about the time I drove a Ford Raptor in the ocean and the people from Ford were super cool about it.
Dax likes the sound of a Raptor, "You know Glamis, right? I went out there in a Tatum and there were so many guys there just KILLING it in factory Raptors."
That's right, Dax owns a Class One Tatum buggy powered by a 700 HP LS7. He actually drives it himself in Hit and Run (that new movie he's suppose to be plugging), getting some pretty big air in the process.
"What would be ideal for me would be if Hit and Run becomes huge and some rich Saudi dude wants to buy my Tatum. That would be the ideal way for me to turn that over. I love it and I've had a lot of fun in it, but I feel like I've kinda gotten my fill."
The Tatum only seats two and it's a huge production trailering it out of LA to somewhere he could drive it. We were originally supposed to take it for a spin out in the desert somewhere, but our work schedules kept causing conflicts.
"I'd rather have two Polaris Razor 900s, the XPs. Then, I can fit four people, with two of us driving and having fun. In the sand dunes, they'd be way better and if I put a turbo on them, they'll do 90 mph."
We should probably talk about the movie before we move on to the motorcycles. Tom Arnold plays a gay Marshal, Dax's beautiful wife Kristen Bell plays Dax's beautiful girlfriend and Dax plays a brooding ex-con in witness protection.
Hit and Run is basically a romantic comedy, the kind your girlfriend wants to go see, just with a plot that's more car chase movie. The chases are good too, since everyone involved is a car guy.
There's one scene where Dax and Kristin make out while doing a huge burnout around some dude in a Pontiac Solstice, then take off on some canyon roads. I called bullshit on the Solstice keeping up with a 650 wheel horsepower Lincoln. "The thing with car chases is that you have to make them threatening, or you just don't want to watch them," Dax explains.
The movie is his first big shot at directing. "When you see Superman, you have to get over the fact that he can fly, that's just a part of the deal. So in a car chase movie, you just have to accept that whatever the two cars are, they're going to be neck and neck for a while. But yes, clearly my car would fucking walk all over a Solstice in no time."
A lot of laws are broken in the movie, chiefly by Bradley Cooper's awful, awful white guy dreads (apparently his idea). Like any car guy, that's something Dax is used to, starting his career on the road years before he was old enough to drive.
"I started with a Honda Spree, rode the shit out of that, then I got a Honda Elite 80. Even though you had to be 16 to drive that, I put stickers from the Spree on it and drove that from when I was 13 years old up to when I got my license. I probably put like 8,000 miles on that thing, then got a Suzuki Katana 600, which was a total piece of shit, but I could afford it. "
Dax now has a GSX-R1000 track bike (his favorite track is Buttonwillow, he thinks he can beat me around it, yeah right) and rides a Ducati Hypermotard "apocalypse bike" around LA.
"I'm on a TV show called Parenthood and my character rides a Ducati Sport 1000. That was my idea, when I first got on the show, they had a purple Harley for me. I was like, ‘come on man, my character lives in the Bay Area, he's not going to be riding a Purple Harley, he's going to be riding a cafe bike.' So I called up Ducati. I love that bike, I'll get one soon."
When Dax isn't shooting in Studio City, he's out riding one of his bikes. "I ride Angeles Crest mostly, which is unbelievable. There's like 35 roads back there with no one on them. I don't even know why they're there. I used to do Mulholland, but that's cop central, I hate that."
Before we get up to leave, Dax looks at me frankly and says, "I dunno Wes, I'm kind of a weird guy. I really like bikes and cars and guns and stuff. Do you know anyone like that?"
Hit and Run opens on August 22nd. Take your girlfriend to go see it. Dax will also be doing a live Q&A with us on Monday at 2:00 PM EST.