This Is How Ford Celebrates Valentine's Day

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Ford creates love letter to a cult classic car movie because it's just a big softie at heart.

We’re all familiar with cult car movies like the defining "Vanishing Point" and "Gone in 60 Seconds" (the original, not the Nicolas Cage travesty). But they’re all tame compared to the 1976 independent movie C’était Un Rendez-vous. Simply put, you can’t be a true gearhead until you’ve watched this inspirational short movie. Because unlike most car movies, the stunt driving was performed on public roads without permission. They don't make 'em like they used to. The plot is as simple as it gets:

Someone is late for a date and goes for a high-speed drive through the streets of Paris. His car of choice? A Ferrari 275GTB. Filmed from a camera mounted to the bumper of the car, the sense of speed is terrifying when you realize the stunt driver is putting civilian lives at risk, running through red lights and narrowly avoiding traffic.

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Yes, it’s utterly irresponsible, but it makes for enthralling viewing. All can be forgiven as soon as you hear the sublime sound of that distinct V12 shuddering the speakers. Rumor has it that the car being driven wasn’t a Ferrari, but a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL with the 275GTB's engine notes dubbed over it, but we’ll gloss over that minor detail. Just in time for Valentines Day, Ford has created its own love letter to the cult classic movie over 40 years after its original release, with a tribute video replacing the Ferrari/Mercedes with a modern-day Ford Mustang 5.0-liter V8 GT Fastback. We know, it’s unusual to see a Mustang in a movie tribute not associated with Bullitt.

And to keep up with the times, it’s viewable in virtual reality and 360 degrees. “I had goose bumps watching ‘C’etait un rendez-vous’ 40 years later in virtual reality,” the original filmmaker Claude Lelouch said after watching Ford’s remake.

“At the time, my movie was about the feeling of freedom and the pleasure driving generates. I knew that Ford would do more than just a tribute to the original in this new version." Mustang is a symbol of the freedom and thrill of driving. Recreating Lelouch’s cult short film ‘C’etait un rendez-vous’ was the perfect way to capture this spirit for a new audience,” said Anthony Ireson, Ford’s European marketing communications director. Ford’s remake recreates a similar route seen in C’etait un rendez-vous, blitzing past landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur Basilica, and Montmarte It’s shorter and less illegal too, since it was filmed with permission of the French authorities.

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