At the end of the first The Fast and the Furious film, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is seen driving off in a pristine, red 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS454 coupe. Few noticed. However, it isn't a detail overlooked by Fast & Furious picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy, whose long Southern California hot-rodding career includes quite a few of Chevy's finest midsize cars.
So when it came time to put Dom back in the driver seat, the first car that sprang to McCarthy's mind was that Chevelle. And with Dom already in that Chevelle in the first film, McCarthy's logic was impossible for Director Justin Lin and the producers to deny.
In Fast & Furious, the Chevelle undergoes a transformation. At the beginning of the film, the car is red with black stripes and in essentially stock condition, cowl induction hood and all. Later, Dom takes the car and twists it into a nasty street racer covered in primer. Here we're dealing strictly with the car as it appears in red. And when it's red, it's stock except for its aftermarket 18-inch wheels.
The production hit eBay and the classifieds looking for Chevelles. Eventually McCarthy acquired two well kept and very real big-block-powered 1970 Chevelle SS coupes to portray Dom's classic ride. Both were original SS396s and the primary hero car was an original four-speed. The backup was an automatic.
Then McCarthy and team essentially left them alone. Since action with the car in this condition was limited, both cars survived intact and are now in storage.
As Portrayed Specifications*
Type: Chevrolet "LS6" 454-cubic-inch big-block V8
Fuel: Sunoco Racing Fuel
Headers: Chevrolet standard equipment
Exhaust pipes: Chevrolet standard equipment
Mufflers: Chevrolet standard equipment
Transmission: Muncie M22 four-speed
Differential: GM 12-bolt with Positraction
Front: Hotchkis shocks and springs
Rear: Hotchkis shocks and springs
Front: Chevrolet standard equipment discs
Rear: Chevrolet standard equipment drums
Type: Coys C5
Front size: 18-by-8.0 inches
Rear size: 18-by-9.5 inches
Type: Continental Sport Contact
Front size: 255/45R18
Rear size: 275/45R18
Seats: Chevrolet standard equipment
Safety belts: Chevrolet standard equipment
Door panels: Chevrolet standard equipment
Wheel: Grant Le Mans
Gauges: Chevrolet standard equipment
Body: Chevrolet standard equipment
Hood: Chevrolet standard equipment cowl induction
Paint: Red with black stripes
* "As Portrayed" specifications indicate the state of the car as portrayed in the film. No single car was necessarily built to these specifications by the picture car department. But all the cars built to portray a vehicle in the film were constructed to appear as if so equipped.