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Hagerty Employee

"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.


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The franchise is dumb fun. Sometimes just dumb --I can concede.


I wish they would get back to more of what they were doing writing-wise in the first 5. The last five and spin-offs are just military-superhero-action movies with some cars as props.


The earlier ones were badly? written car/action movies with Tokyo drift filling the bizarre teen car/action movie niche.


I say this as someone who has grown to be a fan of them.

Intermediate Driver

I'd second this. The last four (wow) have gone past gearhead flicks into insanely over-the-top action flix with an at-best tangential link to car culture. I really enjoyed the fourth and fifth installments (and I have a soft spot for TD) but the first is really the banner-carrier for the franchise.  


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. 


The "ghetto mods" you refer to will come back in style. For years car magazines pointed out the "faux pas" of wheels sticking out past the wheel arch lips 1970s style ---and now I see it all the time on trucks and newer cars. So I guess a large group thinks that is cool again?

Yeah...I don’t know. I hope they don’t ALL come back. That underbody lighting was pretty silly. 😊

And those younger (35-45) guys are generally a little chagrined when they admit some of the things they did. 
I know what you mean about the stretched tires and goofy wheel off-sets but seems like that trend was ethnic and has started to run its course in my area. Maybe they’re getting tired of the snickering.