The year, twenty-twenty, marks nearly two decades since the Fast and Furious movie franchise kicked off. Debuting in 2001 as a street racing movie focusing solely on import tuner cars, it wouldn’t be until the 2003 sequel where we would see more American muscle cars in prominent roles. One of our favorites, obviously, is the Saleen Mustang in Liz Stick Red. Depicted as a 2003 Saleen S281-SC, the car would ultimately get crushed under a big rig trailer. Or did it?
Well, sort of. You see, whenever a major motion picture casts a particular car for stunt scenes, they usually build a few copies in the event that they miss a film take or the car gets damaged. Or, they need a few cars for different types of stunts. In the case of the Saleen used for the film, they utilized a total of six copies.
We know this, because Craig Lieberman who served as Technical Advisor for the first two movies, tells us what it took to get the Saleen Mustangs procured for the freeway chase scene. He breaks down how many cars were used, how they were modified for the film, and why the Saleen Mustang was selected in the first place. A close relationship with Steve Saleen definitely helped, as it turned out.
It should be noted that not all of the Mustangs used were actual Saleens; the crush car used ’99-00 headlights and had the wrong wheels, for instance. That one was really a dolled-up V6 car, and probably a ’99-00 example. Another (non-supercharged) Saleen was used for some beauty and closeup shots, while a few others started life as Mustang GTs.
Craig elaborates at greater length in the attached video, and it’s just one in a series that he’s putting together for his own YouTube channel. He spotlighted the 2000 Lightning used in the first film as well, and you can watch HERE.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of AutoCentric Media, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles; GM, Ford, Dodge, imports, trucks — you name it! When he isn’t clacking away on his keyboard, he’s building, tuning, driving or testing his current crop of personal projects!