It's not as beautiful as Hollywood would have you believe.
Few films have captured the imagination of the car-loving public as much as the franchise that started out focusing on street racing but ended up becoming an otherworldly mix of superhuman feats and totally unfeasible crime-fighting. Those who fell in love with the original film may be disappointed with the direction that it took, but we sometimes forget just how cheaply made that movie was. The Fast and the Furious launched in 2001 after being produced on a relatively small budget of just $38 million, and while nostalgia has made us feel like the film was flawless, the truth is that even some of the most important cars in the film were poorly put together. A great example of this is the Mazda RX-7 you see below.
While hero cars with lots of screen time got a lot more detail and care (Paul Walker's Toyota Supra is a great example), others were more hastily put together. Vin Diesel's character, Dominic Toretto, drove the RX-7 you see here (sorta, this is a replica of that car), but before it reached the state in which it exists, it got modified by George Barris, a man whose name is synonymous with custom craziness in cars. Sadly, it appears that the entire thing was hastily put together, as the legendary RX-7 features many visible screws where the body kit is separating, not to mention a number of questionable mods that include fake carbon fiber gauge pods screwed into an otherwise flawless dashboard. There's also a nasty steering wheel cover and a horrendous gear shifter, although those who may have wished to drive the car regularly will be dismayed to learn that this is for an automatic transmission.
This is really disappointing since the original elements of the interior are nearly perfect. There are some obvious changes over the original movie look, including chrome rims from Alt Wheels and a relocated nitrous oxide system that now resides on the rear bench instead of under the front passenger seat. It also has added stickers with Vin Diesel's name and that of director Rob Cohen. These are joined by decals indicating the involvement of Barris, while the air suspension system is another element that wasn't present during filming. On the whole, this knock-off is a bit of a dog's breakfast, but it has its place in pop culture and is estimated to fetch between $75,000 and $125,000 when it hits the Mecum auction block at Kissimmee 2022, from January 6-16. Even with under 90,000 miles on the clock, we'd rather have a stock Mazda MX-5 Miata.