Fast and Furious’s Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker, of course) is known for his love of Nissan Skylines. The car is basically his calling card, but it nearly wasn’t. In fact, it was almost a Dodge Neon SRT-4. Can you imagine?
Craig Lieberman, the technical director behind The Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious, is back with a new video, this time explaining the story behind O’Conner’s silver hero car with the blue underglow. O’Conner doesn’t actually get into a Skyline until the second movie of the franchise (he spends TFATF tooling around in a Mitsubishi Eclipse, a Ford F-150 SVT Lightning and, yes, the orange Toyota Supra).
As Lieberman tells it, by the end of 2001, The Fast and the Furious had come out and it was wildly popular. He and Paul Walker were touring around in the orange Supra, which belonged to Lieberman, but Lieberman already had his sights set on something new.
In July of 2001, Lieberman paid $78,000 for a black Motorex Skyline. Not because he was going to use it in a movie, but presumably because he just liked it. He painted it a lovely shade of blue, modified the shit out of it and it wound up on the covers of all the big tuning magazines of the day.
Soon after, 2F2F was announced and they needed cars. Originally, according to Lieberman, Universal was working out a deal to use a Dodge Neon SRT-4 as O’Conner’s car. “I strenuously object to this,” Lieberman says of the ensuing conversation. And the studio listened, casting the Skyline as O’Conner’s car instead.
Now, the crew needed more Skylines to film stunts with. Lieberman called Motorex and ordered four more R34s, paying $48,000 for each one and then another $13,000 to have them all shipped. Those four cars were basically gray market imports because they had never been federalized.
I guess the studio could have used fake GT-Rs, but, as Lieberman tells it, it was just more timely and affordable to use real ones. Somewhere out there, a Skyline collector is crying as they read this.
Anyway, after O’Conner wins the Miami street race by jumping the Skyline over a bridge, that’s really the last time you see it, as it is understood to have been impounded after that by the movie cops.
No offense to the SRT-4 crowd but... the Skyline was the correct call. Walker was a fan of them in real life and they just have a different kind of street cred and reputation than the Neons do.
Take a look at Lieberman’s video at other cool, behind-the-scenes looks at 2F2F.