Anyone who subscribes to Hot Rod magazine will instantly recognize this 1973 Chevrolet Camaro as the "F-Bomb:" a 1,500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged fiend built by editor in chief David Freiburger as an experiment in how radically a car can be modified and still be used as a regular street-bound commuter. And, as the experiment turned out, it's a lot easier to build something truly radical than it is to build something both truly radical and tame enough for daily duty.
Painted in flat olive drab, F-Bomb was one legendary street machine that picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy was sure to put before the eyes of Fast & Furious director Justin Lin and the film's producers. After all, it looked seriously evil, it was already famous in the hot-rodding world and it made sense for a particular role in the movie. And, no surprise, after its audition, Freiburger's insane creation became a movie star.
For filming, the production didn't need the ludicrous power of Freiburger's original. So the six replicas of the car built by the picture car department were all powered by normally aspirated, 300-horsepower, ultra-reliable GM crate V8s backed up by three-speed automatic transmissions.
The original F-Bomb doesn't appear in the film. However, that doesn't mean the film didn't want a car that looked like it had 1,500 hp under its hood.
For one of the film's climactic scenes, the F-Bomb Camaro needed to perform a wheelstand — on dirt! So one car was built with the front end stripped of as much weight as possible and a rack hung off its tail that could hold up to 2,000 pounds of iron ingots. So counterbalanced, the wheelie-ready F-Bomb would lift its front wheels on any surface including ice and Crisco.
Amazingly, three of the F-Bomb replicas survived and are in storage. The other three are currently being recycled into Hyundais.
As Portrayed Specifications*
Type: 406-cubic-inch twin-turbocharged Chevrolet small-block V8
Engine builder: Nelson Racing Engines
Intake: Nelson Racing Engines
Injection: Electromotive electronic fuel injection
Air filter: K&N
Fuel pump: Aeromotive
Fuel plumbing: Bent
Fuel: Sunoco Racing Fuel
Exhaust pipes: Morse
Transmission: Richmond five-speed
Bell housing: Lakewood
Shifter: Hurst V-Gate
Differential: Strange Engineering 9-inch with spool and 3.20:1 gears
Rear: DSE with Caltracs Bars
Front: Wilwood disc
Rear: Wilwood disc
Type: Mickey Thompson
Type: Mickey Thompson
Cage: Red Line Race Fab
Door Panels: Red Line Race Fab
Wheel: LA Carrera Mark 8
Body: Chevrolet original equipment plus Red Line Race Fab deck spoiler
Hood: Chevrolet original equipment
Paint: Jack's Anarchy Graphics
* "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.