The walking Wikipedia page that is Craig Lieberman is back, and this time he has more information than you could imagine on one of the star cars from “The Fast and the Furious.”
Although Brian O’Connor’s (Paul Walker’s) Mitsubishi Eclipse didn’t have as prominent a role as other cars, it’s still one of the original hero cars. If you’ve watched the other videos that are part of Lieberman’s video series, you know these cars really weren’t what the producers made them out to be. Any enthusiast with a little knowledge also knows the Eclipse (with technology and parts from 2001) would not run with Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel‘s) Mazda RX-7.
Yet, O’Connor was the film’s hero and he needed a hero car. In the video above, Lieberman breaks down where the car came from and what modifications it featured. The car was the only Eclipse to show up to one of Lieberman’s casting calls in early 2000, so John Lapid was the lucky winner to have his car play a starring role. His car was originally dark green and then silver.
This also wasn’t a top-of-the-line Eclipse. In fact, it was the base model known as the RS for the second-generation Eclipse. The top performers from the second-generation were the GS-T with the turbocharged inline-4 engine and the GSX with all-wheel drive. This car had none of that. In reality, the movie car made 150 horsepower on a good day and it would have never handled the three-stage nitrous oxide system portrayed in the movie.
Lieberman also dives into two scenes that still cause hilarity today: the “danger to manifold” warning and the infamous floorboard piece falling off. The former technical director for the franchise urged the team to choose a different message to pop up on the laptop computer, but others decided “danger to manifold” would be understood better by the general public. As for the floorboard falling out, that was also just for dramatic effect. The producers wanted sparks and that’s how they got them. Nothing about the scene would cause this to happen and Lieberman is well aware Toretto’s legs should be dangling from the car in the scenes to come.
Watch the complete video to learn that the movie used six Eclipses for the various scenes and how to build a replica of the car, which isn’t easy given how old its parts are nowadays.
Lieberman reunited with the car’s owner earlier this year. That video is below for you to reminisce about the tuner scene in its glory days.