Early next month, Mecum Auto Auctions is giving you the chance to own a piece of blockbuster movie history: this 1995 Mazda RX-7 from the Fast and Furious, further modified by George Barris for his All Star Car Collection.
If you’re not familiar, Barris is well known for building some of the most iconic movie cars in cinematic history, most notably, the original Batmobile for the Batman television series. His collection of vehicles, both authentic movie builds and recreations, spans decades and moves across multiple genres, and that includes the Fast and Furious franchise.
Long before all the characters became highly trained martial artists and high-level weapons specialists with CIA-level intelligence, and well before juiced-up bald guys participated in drawn-out fight scenes (when not redirecting missiles with their bare hands, mind you) filled the screen, the original movie was about street racing—mostly. As such, the Barris Kustom RX-7 description reads as, “This red RX-7 is a typical tuner import-styled street racer which generated a huge popularity craze among Southern California’s youth-oriented competitive racing individuals and groups/clubs.” Yikes.
Admittedly, I’m the least qualified to tell you about the Fast and Furious series as I’ve only seen the first three and I think I’m all set on watching any others, but I do know the aftermarket, so I can pick this car apart just a bit, starting with its exterior. You get the zany rocket robot door graphics with laser beams just like you remember from the movie, though vinyl name tags have been added both with Vin Diesel appearing under the windows and director Rob Cohen along the door bottom. Also, “Barris Kustom with Eddie Paul” on the fenders signifies the car is an authentic build from the Barris collection.
What’s listed as “custom ground effects” looks to be authentic Veilside aero with the branding embossed on the side skirts. The kit was mounted using a series of screws along the rear spats and the upper edge of each side skirt and, over time, the paint has pulled back, revealing the hardware in many spots. Usually countersunk and filled before sanding and painting, this version might have been rushed.
A rear wing, like the one used in the movie is in place and though it’s not mentioned, RE Amemiya-style fixed headlights replace the original Mazda pop-ups. This car is said to have gone through multiple sets of wheels and is currently on chrome Alt Wheels. Minor passenger-side fender lip damage indicates that the previous wheel and tire combo was either wider and made some contact, or the car was lowered using its adjustable air suspension while the wheels were turned.
Inside, it’s all about that movie magic and, admittedly, it’s just too hard to avoid pointing out some of the more comical additions (RX-7 purists, please don’t look at the interior images). The factory beige interior on this 88,000-mile example is in outstanding condition. Complete, with no dash cracks or battered door cards, it’s the stuff of dreams and would be lusted after by any enthusiast restoring an FD chassis.
Get beyond the automatic gear selector that really has no business inside of Mazda’s most beloved RX-7 generation and you’ll find a one-size-fits-all steering wheel cover (not unlike those sold at your local auto parts store) wrapped around the factory wheel. Just to the left, the A-pillar has been fitted with a pair of gauges and a tachometer was added as well, because why use the large factory version right in front of you when you can take your eyes off the road to eyeball the redline? Well, sort of since it’s angled upward rather than directly at the driver.
Make your way to the middle of the dash and you can monitor turbo vitals with a pair of boost gauges housed in a faux carbon fiber pod. On the passenger side of the dash top is where you’ll find a trio of Sunpro gauges in the same style pod. But wait, there’s more … gauges. Along the passenger side A-pillar you’ll spot two more gauges housed within a pod that’s intended for the driver’s side. The result is a set of gauge faces perched across the cabin which, like the tach, aim upward rather than at the pilot.
In between the dashtop gauge assortment is a square box that uses a flat, ribbon style harness that looks eerily like the one used on your parent’s 30-year-old printer and is connected to a small box next to the center console. That box is reminiscent of an old thermostat dial but is actually a C.B. radio controller. The dashtop box displays the channel you’re tuned in to and I have to assume it was intended to monitor police activity during those late night street races. A quick search revealed that this unit is from 1976, which makes it even stranger, though the more appalling part of the interior treatment is the liberal use of self-tapping screws that adorn that once perfect FD dash.
The center arm rest holds a fire extinguisher and just behind that, the infamous “Sneaky Pete” nitrous system that, in the first movie, was cleverly hidden under the passenger seat cushion. This version relies on three slim bottles, the likes of which were designed to be hidden, and certainly never intended to be activated using silicone hose.
I know, I know, it’s a movie car and as such, some fantasy is going to be involved. Still, it’s tough to see a true Japanese icon given such a cheesy makeover and recklessly pierced with self-tapping screws but hey, that’s show business, baby!
If you’re interested in bidding on this piece of Hollywood automotive history, the Fast and Furious RX-7 goes to auction January 6-16, only through Mecum Auto Auctions.
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