Los Angeles is a place filled with movie stars and deep car culture. Normally, these two things don't mix, but for builder Dennis McCarthy, they do. Dennis is the build coordinator for Universal Studios. He is responsible for the cars of the The Fast and the Furious movies, Death Race, The Kingdom, and Redline. He asked us to please mention that he was responsible for the quality of the cars, not the movies themselves. His job is to coordinate a group of builders, a place to work, and all the equipment to crank out up to 120 cars in a six-month timeframe for filming. One of his creations was this 1970 Charger, built for the to-be-released The Fast and the Furious 4. Before this job, he was building cars at his own shop in Burbank, California. He had been asked to work on a couple of cars for commercials, started hanging out on set in case they needed him, and then he got the offer to build for production companies full time.
The more important cars in the movies, the Mopars, all get completely stripped and cleaned before bodywork and fabrication begins. We know Mopar guys are going to hate this, but all of these cars get a small-block Chevy, Turbo 400 automatic transmission, and a Ford 9-inch rear end. The Mopar stuff gets too expensive and hard to find for something that needs to be ready for action at a moment's notice.
Of course, Dennis couldn't build this many cars by himself; he employs up to 40 people at a time to help with the workload. So if you love building cars, and love car movies even more, then working on these feature film cars is the job for you!
|BY THE NUMBERS |
|GENERAL TIRE |
|1970 DODGE CHARGER |
|Owner: ||Universal Studios |
|Occupation: ||The Fast and the Furious co-star |
|Hometown: ||Los Angeles, CA |
|Engine size & type: ||350-inch small-block Chevy crate motor |
|Transmission: ||TH400 |
|Front suspension: ||Hotchkis sway bar |
|Rear suspension: ||factory with 9-inch Ford housing |
|Brakes: ||Wilwood 12-inch rotors, dual rear calipers for parking brake slide |
|Wheels & tires: ||General Tire 255/45R18 and 255/55R18 |
|Paint & body: ||PPG Satin Black by The Fast and the Furious picture car crew, Los Angeles, CA |
|Built by: ||The Fast and the Furious picture car crew |
|Vendor affiliation: ||General Tire |
|Years owned: ||1 |