WELCOME TO THE FAQS PAGE
Since 2017, I have been publicly answering questions about the movies. I started by publishing a book. Called “Crashing Cars,” available on Amazon or buy clicking HERE
This website was launched in late 2018 and within this website is a ton of information.
This FAQs page answers many other commonly asked questions.
My BLOG section tells many, many detailed stories about the making of the movies.
The CAR SPECS pages give specs on many of the cars (with more being added monthly).
My INSTAGRAM account was launched in 2016, a full year before the book and it is also packed with information. I post daily and if you scroll a bit, you can probably find what you’re looking for.
In short, the information exists – either in my book, here on my website, or on my Instagram. Yet despite this, I get 100+ DMs per day, almost all of them asking questions that have been answered dozens of times before. I just don’t have the time to stop running my business to answer repetitive questions. Some of the questions are so abstract or just so random that they don’t really warrant a response.
As an example, I had a fellow ask me about a car that was in a background of a scene for literally less than one second – a car that was built more than 20 years ago – and he wanted the owner’s name, the full build specs, etc. And in the end, the guy asking the question doesn’t even have a driver’s license, so it’s not as if he’s building his own replica.
I’ve actually had people tell me that they’re just too lazy to click on my website. Am I just supposed stop what I’m doing to answer a question that’s likely been answered 100 times before?
Effective as of May 2019, all questions in my DMs are being funneled to this page. The goal here is to provide the answers in a centralized location.
For questions that are NOT answered on this FAQs page, or on my BLOG page or on my CAR SPECS pages, I’ve set up a private Q & A portal.
How to use the Private Q & A Portal
Send me $25 through to paypal.me/ImaginateMedia and be sure to include your TWO QUESTIONS in the Notes section of the PayPal transaction.
I will answer your two questions completely.
A couple of reminders:
1. Make sure your question is in clear English with punctuation. Gibberish questions will be ignored.
2. One question per question – don’t give multiple part questions and expect an answer. Two questions means a TOTAL of two questions.
3. Be very specific in your question – identify what movie you’re talking about, what scene, what car, etc. Vague questions will get vague answers – and no refunds.
The goal of this action is not to develop a new revenue stream, it’s to weed out those who would take advantage of my time at the expense of others.
THE FAQs SECTION STARTS HERE
Do you still own any of these movie cars?
No. All of these cars (my Supra, my R34 GT-R and my Maxima) were sold in 2002-2004.
Where are the cars now?
My original Supra is in The Netherlands with a private owner. He does not have an Instagram and he does not want to be contacted by the general public. He does however, transport the cars to shows in Europe once in awhile. I do not have his show schedule. Confidentiality prevents me from sharing further information about this car.
My old GT-R is in the hands of a private collector in the USA. The car is now black again and has NONE of the original movie parts. Confidentiality prevents me from sharing further information about this car.
The Maxima is in the Scott Velvet collection (as of January 2019). Their website is here but I warn you, it’s an old website as is not being updated regularly. This car was sold to a buyer in Minnesota in 2003 and was sold again around 2010 and now is in the car museum referenced above.
Would you ever buy another Supra or GT-R?
Probably not. Once I have completed all my goals with a certain car, I rarely go back.
My orange Supra was sold largely because I didn’t want to drive a car that looked like boy-racer car and I didn’t want destroy the value of a movie car by changing it. It’s no secret that I didn’t like the movie livery and this is why I bought a 1000hp Quicksilver TRD Supra (built by Ryan Woon).
Since that car was a dyno queen, I ended up selling it buying my second Lamborghini Diablo.
Ultimately, I’m at a point in my life where I want a car packed with the latest technology. A car that spins its tires in. four gears is not as appealing to me as one that can go around a road race track with maximum grip.
While younger fans might dream of owning a Supra, remember that as we mature, our priorities change.
Further, with values on the rise, there’ no way I see myself paying $100,000 or more for a car that is 25 years behind the technology of cars like the R35, McLaren or Porsche.
What cars do you own now?
I own a modified R35 GT-R and a 2018 Audi S3 (stock – for now).
How much horsepower did your Supra and GT-R have?
The Supra made about 544 to 569 (depending which dyno you believe), plus another 150hp came from a nitrous system. Total = about 700hp. The car could have made more if we had modified the fuel system and tuned it. It had the potential to be about 625hp before nitrous.
The GT-R had relatively small turbos on it, so it came in at around 350-390hp at the wheels. Add another 150hp for the nitrous and it would be around 500-550hp. Magazines of the time posted some crazy horsepower estimates – a common practice among car magazines. In short, car magazines inflate numbers simply to sell magazines.
In other words, when a magazine says something about a hot new car part, remeber that you’ll never read a bad review about a car part in a magazine.
Are you still involved in the movies?
Not really. The last movie in the series on which I worked was Tokyo Drift.
My “value” to Universal came from the fact I had many connections in the tuner market. I know all of the companies, key members of those company’s staff and many actual owners of tuner cars.
Back during the production of the first two films, Universal did not have these connections.
Now that tuner cars and street racing aren’t really part of the franchise, they don’t need me any more.
Why aren't they bringing back street racing to the movies?
Watch this video – it explains in greta detail the reasoning why Universal will likley NOT be bringin street racing back in any significant way.
In short, the movies in the franchise that focused on street racing made the LEAST amount of money. Audiences want ACTION films, not street racing films (which they can see online FOR FREE).
What do you think of the new MKV Supra?
When Toyota showed us the FT1 back in 2011 or so, I was excited. Most assumed the final version would move the bar higher, perhaps competing with the GT-R.
I expected nothing less than a 550hp, twin turbo six cylinder, with a DCT and possibly even all wheel drive.
As the pictures below show, what we got was an uglier, shrunken version of the FT1. The car is mostly BMW parts, including the interior, chassis, suspension, right down to the automatic transmission.
In my opinion, it is not a worthy successor to the legend of the MKIV any more than the RX8 was worthy of succeeding the FD3S RX7.
While the new Supra might be fun, sporty or even nimble, makes no difference to me. From where I sit, it’s an emasculated version of the car we were shown. While the aftermarket might be able to make it better looking, it won’t get rid of it’s automatic transmission or BMW interior. Nor will it bring back the wrap-around cockpit of the MKV, another key attribute of its predecessor that should have been mandatory in the latest iteration.
How can I make my car sound like one of the movie cars?
If you go to the Blog page, you’ll see a couple of highly detailed articles on how the sounds for the cars were recorded – then highly edited in post production.
In short, many of the cars shown in the movie used the sounds from other cars and sources as the baseline, then underwent editing in the post production process.
And, since sound is subjective (no two people will hear a sound the same way), there’s ZERO point in asking if you can get your car to sound like what you heard in the movies.
The short answer to that question is “maybe to you” and “maybe if you replicate the equipment on the car that was the source of the recording.”
In other words, if you can determine what car, with what engine, and what exhaust was used when we recorded the original sound file, you should be able to get close. The problem is, for some of the cars, we didn’t actually record that engine…we recorded an engine from another car. Case in point: Dom’s RX7. We recorded a 2JZ and mixed it with other sounds.
Get the point?
Can you help me build a movie car replica?
I’m willing to have a conversation with a person who actually has money in hand. I will not engage in these conversations unless you can prove you have the means to buy the car and fund the build. I’ve simply had way too many conversations with people claiming to have money but are living in their parent’s basement.
So, going forward, to start the conversation, I require a $250, non-refundable consultation fee up front which will be applied to my services should you go forward. This is just for my consultation, up to 60 minutes.
Should you choose to go forward, a contract for services would be drawn up, with incremental payments required at each milestone.
Under no circumstances will I provide part numbers or my contact’s names for rare parts.
How much will it cost to build a movie car replica?
First off, you should know that MOST of the parts for the movie cars (from the first three movies) are LONG SINCE DISCONTINUED. The companies are gone and there are no more new parts to be found.
This means that to build any of these cars would require sourcing parts used from around the globe. That will take literally YEARS to find the parts.
The alternative is to make replicas of the parts, which can drive the costs up 2-10 times higher than the original parts’ costs.
With that said, here are some estimates:
To build a “Heist” Civic, about $10K USD plus the price of the car
To build Brian’s Eclipse, about $75,000 USD plus the cost of the car
To build Brian’s Supra, at least $175,000-$200,000 including the cost of the car.
Of course, some people might only want the paint, wheels, body kit and decals. That makes building some of the cars easier.
It’s worth remembering that this is a cash business. If you don’t have the cash up front, no one will take you seriously.
How much did you sell your Supra or Skyline for?
In this country, that question is considered as rude as asking someone how much they paid for something.
Nevertheless, I’ve disclosed publicly what I paid for the Supra ($24,000) and for the GT-R ($78,000).
My only further comment on the sales of these two cars is that each car netted me six figure profits.
Why did you sell the cars?
The first movie wasn’t really a global success. It did well, but it wasn’t a blockbuster. Still, at my age (I was in my early 30s at the time), I felt silly driving a bright orange car with a giant wing and a Trojan War helmet graphic on the side. The car was no longer something that I wanted to own or to preserve as a movie car.
You have to remember that in the mid 2000s, no one wanted these cars. When they came up for sale, the buyers were almost always from overseas. Americans didn’t care for these movies the same way people in other countries did.
The same things goes for my Skyline. The second movie was probably the worst of the franchise. I HATED what Universal did to my car and immediately restored it back to the way I had it when I got the car back.
Happy with the restoration, I was prepared to hang onto that car for a long time until I got a ridiculous offer. I sold the car and never looked back.
I know fanboys say “I’d keep that car forever.” That’s a schoolboy’s dream. Having $150,000, $250,000. even $500,000 tied up in a car when you don’t own a house is irresponsible and just stupid.
Although I did own a house at that time, I would much rather have the cash than any material object.
Last but not least, these cars showed NO indication of skyrocketing in value UNTIL PAUL DIED. If Paul were still alive today, these cars would be worth far, far less.
What kind of car should you buy?
I’m honored that you would ask my opinion in the matter, but I hope you heed my advice.
Let’s start with your budget – what is your realistic budget? How much cash DO YOU ACTUALLY HAVE RIGHT NOW?
Let me remind you that 99.999999% or parents are not going to reward a 16 year old with a $75,000 car unless your last name is Kardashian. This essentially means that nearly all young people will have to pitch in for their car. If you’re hoping your mom and dad are going to take out a loan so you can get a 25 year old, $80,000 Supra, you can forget it.
Ok, so let’s assume you/your family will be making payments. This means that you must buy something that’s no more than about 5 years old. This will limit your choices.
I also understand that people who live outside the USA have different choices. I further understand that in snowy climates, front wheel drive cars (FWD) are needed. If you live in a car where FWD is almost a necessity, I can’t help you. My personal opinion is that FWD cars do NOT come close to the driving experience of AWD or RWD cars, so all I can say is, do what you need to do.
In short, your budget and location will play a big role in what I would recommend. Generally speaking, I recommend RWD or AWD cars of 2.0 liters or more, making at least 250bhp. I also STRONGLY recommend that you do TONS of research as to the availability of performance parts.
If you’re research a Fiat Punto and you discover that there are virtually no performance parts, that’s a good indication that the car is probably not going to make you happy.
My No.1 choice will ALWAYS be a Japanese car, so if you’re looking at Renaults, Opels, and Vauxhalls, I wish you good luck – I can’t help you.
So, with all of that said, here are my recommendations for a young person:
Subaru WRX ( and no, a Forrester is not “close enough”)
BMW 3 series
Eclipse GSX (not the RS, GS or GST)
THESE ARE THE CARS I RECOMMEND. If you email me asking, ‘what about this car?’ I’m not going to respond. just gave you my recommendations.
All due respect, I get this question 100+ times a week. If you’re 16 years old and dreaming of your first car, GREAT! But if you’re not ACTIVELY WORKING for it. you’re set for a disappointment.
“Working for it” means getting good grades so that you can further your education AND holding down a part time job. It does NOT mean playing video games 5 hours a day and it does NOT mean wasting hours on social media. It does NOT mean begging your parents to buy a car more expensive than what they drive.
If you’re not learning, you’re not earning – the phrase means that you should be studying something with almost every free hour of your day. If you’re not doing this, you’re not really serious about getting that dream car.
Please do me the courtesy of only reaching out to me if you are ACTIVELY WORKING HARD at achieving your dream. My time is valuable, too.
Why are paint codes and part numbers so secret?
I get this question more often than I would like. Indulge me for a moment while I explain the history.
Back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, car customizers like George Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Darryl Starbird and the Titus brothers, among others, were actively competing on the show car circuit. Back then, there was more than money on the line – there was the prospect of getting people to hire them to do custom builds. That’s where the money was at.
Because of this competition, every year, these customizers would build a new car. The paint color choice was of HUGE importance. Once the color choice was made, that information was NEVER shared with people. It was “proprietary.” So too were the techniques and sometimes parts they used to achieve a look or a certain level of performance. This information would NEVER be given away because doing so would mean that the customizer’s shop would lose a competitive advantage and possibly a customer.
Fast forward to today. In the world of building movie cars, the exact same rules apply. The big time car builders of today are not about to give you all their trade secrets. Do you really think you could call Dennis McCarthy and ask for the parts list and directions on how to build an exact replica of the Ice Charger? Of course not.
In the world of replica builders, the same code of conduct remains in place. These people have spent hundreds or thousands of hours researching the parts and processes to build these cars. While the list of parts is a little easier to find online, you won’t be able find actual part numbers because they aren’t published anywhere.
On my website, I’ve published the list of parts for many cars. I’ve left out paint codes and part numbers out of mutual respect for those who have toiled to build these cars. This information is of course, provided for free.
I understand that in today’s society, “honor and code” are a little less respected than they once were, but I hope I’ve explained my position and the reasoning behind it.