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"The Fast and the Furious" hit the screens 19 years ago
You probably remember exactly when you first saw Brian O'Conner's 1995 Eclipse flash across the screen in front of Dodger Stadium. The Lime Green "import tuner" was the poster child of a growing counter-culture at the flip of the century and, along with its massive cast of cars and characters, made the cult classic one of the most influential films in automotive history.
If you didn't catch it at a theater, you probably watched it on a tube television, because The Fast and The Furious debuted nearly two decades ago today.
As the owner of one of the models that was featured in that first film, albeit without the removable passenger seat cushion and lap-top, I also have mixed feelings on the movie. While it certainly popularized sporty Japanese imports and kicked-off a certain craze, it also stamped an image of their owners that’s been a bit hard to live down. It also launched an era of what were often called ‘ghetto-mods’...things done on the cheap by inexperienced owners for style and performance. Park bench wings, intercoolers the size of a small frig, underbody lighting and enough decals to violate city sign ordinances. I’m deep into my Medicare years but it’s fun to listen to the younger guys (35-45) now when they reminisce.