The iconic backstory behind the original ‘Fast And Furious’ Toyota Supra

  • The Toyota Supra featured in the Fast & Furious films has humble beginnings
  • The 1994 model was modified by a car enthusiast
  • He eventually sold the Supra, finding it too stressful to own such an iconic movie car

Published on Dec 20, 2023 at 5:00 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Dec 22, 2023 at 7:10 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Adam Gray

The iconic backstory behind the original ‘Fast And Furious’ Toyota Supra

A Toyota Supra is one of Hollywood’s most legendary cars.

It shot to fame after featuring as Paul Walker’s famous 10-second car.

But it was thanks to a lucky run-in at a car show that brought this particular model to the silver screen.

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The legacy of the Toyota Supra spans back to the 1970s.

It was a performance-orientated car, considered the more powerful and sporty alternative to the Celica.

In the 1980s, a man called Craig Lieberman was an avid car collector.

One day he challenged a Toyota Supra to a race in his Mustang GT, and to his surprise was left in the dust.

Lieberman knew he needed to add a Supra to his fleet.

He found a 1994 factory twin turbo 6-speed with 27,993 miles on it, paid $24,000 and drove it home.

He immediately started modifying it, adding new bodywork, a coat of yellow paint and 450 horsepower.

The seats were upholstered with yellow to match the exterior, and the sound system was replaced with the one that would become famous because of the film it would one day star in.

Lieberman would take his car to shows, which is where it came onto the radar of Fast & Furious transportation coordinator David Marder.

He drove it to Universal Studios and took the director for a drive, which sealed the car’s fate.

The studio wanted to make some changes first, though, including to Lieberman’s $8,000 paint job.

It was repainted orange and the Nuclear Gladiator graphics were added.

The seats and interior were also reupholstered with blue suede.

This was the ‘hero’ car on set, with seven other Supras serving as doubles for it.

One of these stunt cars would actually go on to be auctioned off for ten times its original value.

No stunts were performed in Leiberman’s Supra, to ensure it wouldn’t get damaged.

Once the film was over, his Supra was returned to him.

Most would want to hang onto such a notable and valuable vehicle, but Leiberman didn’t.

He took it to a few car shows where he was disappointed by the lack of respect the car was shown.

People would lean on it, or even try to take parts of it off.

Plus he found the drive to and from the shows stressful.

“I didn’t want the responsibility of owning a priceless movie car,” he said.

When he received a good enough offer, he didn’t hesitate to part ways with his Supra.

It now lives with a collector in the Netherlands who has made no modifications to it.


Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.