The Fast and Furious franchise is anything but realistic, but thankfully we don’t head to the movies to watch cars being launched from the back of planes and expect to learn something. This was the objective from the start. These movies weren’t supposed to be documentaries on the tuning scene, and while they influenced the industry massively, initially they weren’t even classed as car films. According to Craig Lieberman, the first film was classed as a ‘crime drama’.
He insists that these films weren’t made to appeal to car enthusiasts, with them instead just looking to be great action films. And while this is true, they did bring in consultants to ensure they weren’t completely off the beaten track. Craig was one of these consultants, specialising in the cars specifically.
“My specific role as technical advisor was to lend an element of technical accuracy by overseeing the builds of the cars,” he explains.
“The keyword in the technical advisor title is ‘advisor’.
“I gave advice, they didn’t always take it,” he chuckles.
In his video, he discusses the technical inaccuracies from the first movie, The Fast and the Furious, and the stories behind them. And while he goes into a lot of depth, he purposefully ignores the continuity errors because there are simply too many of them. In this article, I’m going to talk you through a few of the most important errors, but to see them all, make sure you watch the embedded YouTube video below.
Honda Civic Truck Hijack
In one of the first scenes, you watch Dom, played by Vin Diesel, and his crew hijack a truck with three tuned Honda Civics. It’s one of the most memorable scenes of the movie but hides some big errors. Initially, each Civic has a double-blade wing. But when the stuntmen get involved jumping from the Civic to the truck, the top portion of the wing is removed so they don’t get tangled in it.
In fact, the car the stuntmen used was a completely different car built specifically for stunt driving, and wasn’t kitted out like the other Civics that had the camera focussed on them. But the largest error of this segment was Letty’s car passing underneath the trailer. It’s impossible for a Civic to pass underneath the truck. It’s too tall, and because of this, the trailer used in filming had to be raised to allow for this. You can even see the modifications in one of the clips.
Mitsubishi Eclipse at Dodgers Stadium
Brian’s first test run at Dodgers Stadium in his green Mitusbishi Eclipse is an interesting one. Firstly, the car was most certainly not fast enough to reach the claimed 140mph within the car park limits, especially as Crag admits that the real car was only pushing 140 horsepower at most without any forced induction. Even the top-spec GSX wouldn’t have the power to achieve this. But, let’s just imagine this car is modified to give the power to achieve this.
Now, our focus turns to the number of gear shifts. He shifts five times, indicating that there are 6 gears. But this model of Eclipse didn’t have a six-speed available. This error has no almost become a meme, with fans always joking about the hyperactive shifting, even on cars with automatic gearboxes.
Popping the Hood of Brian’s Eclipse
The first movie was full of car performance parts terms, but nothing was more wrong than when they popped the hood on Brian’s Eclipse at his first street race. Not only was Jesse singing out inaccurate modifications, but when you actually look at what’s sat in the engine bay, you’d almost laugh at what they described. Firstly, there was no turbo. And while there was a nitrous fogger system installed on the car, Dom then identifies another system, which would be a complete no-no on this stock block. But according to Craig, the original scripting was even worse, insinuating that Jesse could work out the turbo boost pressure just from gazing over the engine bay.
Craig’s altered script is written on the right of the image above, but as you saw in the film, the director didn’t take all of his advice on this.
Make sure you watch the rest of the video, and let us know in the comments which error was your favourite!