The ‘Fast and Furious effect’ isn’t limited to JDM icons such as the Nissan Skyline or the Toyota Supra, it also extends to the Volkswagen Jetta you see here.
Driven by Jesse (Chad Lindberg) in the first film, the price of this Jetta keeps going up, and the car is now just as expensive as a brand-new supercar.
That fact that Hollywood star Frankie Muniz used to own it probably helped, too.
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The original car was sourced and modified by Craig Lieberman, former technical advisor for Fast and Furious.
Lieberman got the car from Scott Centra, a California-based garage owner and car collector.
Even though it didn’t get as much screen time as Brian’s Supra or Toretto’s Charger, the VW became hugely popular chiefly because it was associated to Jesse, a character that fans absolutely loved.
The vehicle you see here is a prop, meaning it isn’t the original car but it’s one of several identical mules built for the film.
It’s a faithful replica, mind you, with the same exact livery, engine mods and interior, and Paul Walker actually signed the spoiler at the back.
Frankie Muniz (Dr Dolittle 2, Big Fat Liar) forked out $42,000 to buy this very car at auction in 2002, when he was only 16 years old.
Over a decade later, in 2016, the Jetta was auctioned off again, this time through Barrett-Jackson, and it fetched $100,000.
This was the first time Universal Pictures did something crazy with an everyday family car, but it wasn’t the last.
Along with Jesse’s Jetta, the first Fast and Furious also featured a Nissan Maxima driven by Vince (Matt Schulze).
A few years later, in the movie Tokyo Drift, Twinkie (Bow Wow) can be seen driving a heavily modified Volkswagen Touran (below) with a ‘Hulk’ theme.
The Fast and Furious franchise has moved on from the street racing theme and the car element is definitely less prominent these days.
Even so, the Fast effect isn’t dying down.
Fans are going crazy over Han’s Alfa 2000GT in Fast X.
It’s probably just a matter of time before this classic Alfa, or another car from Fast and Furious, hits the auction block.