11/30/2013 was a Sunday like any other. California was bathed in the warm rays of the autumn sun, and in Santa Clarita, a suburb of Los Angeles, the charity event Reach Out Worldwide was going to support the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Paul Walker almost forgot about her, but ended up in the passenger seat of a red Carrera GT driven by his friend, financial advisor and ex-racing driver Roger Rodas. It wasn’t supposed to be a dramatic race, just an ordinary ride, but it ended up quite differently. High speed, an elusive skid, a tree by the road and a terrible blow…
I guess everyone would like to die doing something they loved doing, but I suspect that being trapped in a burning, shot-up supercar probably wouldn’t be. Both Paul and Roger were dead at the scene and the shocking news of their unfortunate accident went around the world. Paul Walker’s tragic end was duly mourned by fans, and if it weren’t for the Walker family’s protracted lawsuits against Porsche (which confirmed what we suspected: the car was not at fault, it was a driving error caused in part by the fact that the biting Carrera GT was wearing shoes at the time old and little-used tires), most would have long since forgotten. However, his friends did not forget.
The Fast and the Furious movies became a cult in the tuning community, and its representatives became true heroes. However, the filming brought the protagonists themselves so close that they became – as Vin Diesel aka Dominic Toretto likes to mention – a family. That’s why they finished filming the seventh installment of Fast and Furious with Caleb and Cody Walker, Paul Walker’s brothers, and digitally changed their face to Paul’s. And at the end of the film, there was a touching but dignified farewell to an old friend and brother in a skid.
A young actor (after all, Paul was only 40 years old!) who lost his life in a Porsche – the fate is a bit reminiscent of James Dean. Let’s face it, though, that Paul wasn’t that great an actor, he didn’t have that strong charisma, and the Fast and Furious series may once have started the tuner community, but gradually it had less and less to do with cars. However, Paul Walker remained a true car enthusiast at heart.
His character from The Fast and the Furious Brian O’Conner mainly drove toned Japanese sports cars in the form of an orange Supra (FI) and a blue R34 GT-R (F IV), and Paul himself actually owned a 1300 hp GT-R R35 at one time. However, his collection (co-owned with Roger Rodas) included far more interesting four-wheeled gems – a bunch of Mustangs of various generations (for example, Eleanor, Fox bodies from Saleen and the last GT500), a series of Porsche 911s (a first-generation piece, a 930 Turbo or a 997 GT3 RS), several BMWs ( M1, M3 E30, M3 E36 Lightweight or 850 CSI in manual) and a couple of Ferraris (360 Challenge Stradale, 512 Testarossa, 355 Spider Fiorano), a Corvette C1, a supercharged Ford GT, a Saleen S7 and a host of other amazing pieces. Just watch the video of their collection.
Paul Walker may have been a movie star, but he was also one of us – a car nut. Just look at the video of his visit to the Japanese tuner Mine’s.
In addition, Paul was a nice guy, a hard-working actor, a responsible family man and an enthusiastic surfer. And this world would be a much happier place if he could still walk on it.