The Yellow R33 GT-R From Fast and Furious Was an Original Motorex Import That Got Crushed

Leon's yellow GT-R? It has one hell of a backstory.

There were tons of cool, unique cars in the original Fast and Furious, but any gearhead who's seen the movie will tell you one car that sticks out: the yellow R33-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R driven by one of the supporting characters, Leon. Though it didn't have a major role, it's still a big point of discussion because it was a true JDM import, and stood out among the American-market Supras, Jettas, and RX-7s.

Craig Lieberman, senior producer for the first three Fast and Furious films, spoke with former Motorex employee Sean Morris to break down the story of this iconic Skyline in his latest video. It turns out, this R33 was one of the first imported by Motorex in the Nineties as a research and development car to get the GT-R federalized for road use in America. It had some serious clout before it became a star on the big screen—it raced Pikes Peak in 1999 in the hands of Rhys Millen and did One Lap of America in 2000.

Producers were interested in making the R33 one of the star cars, but importing more examples to turn into stunt vehicles would've been too cost-prohibitive. So, this single car was cast as Leon's on-screen vehicle. It was originally painted white, but got a yellow respray and a bunch of cool stickers for its role.

After the movie, Morris turned it into a drag car, where it went through several different engine configurations. Eventually the engine was removed, and the car sat for awhile before being sold to a buyer in Georgia. That buyer then sold it to Justin Beno of Wisconsin. Here's where things get interesting.

Beno listed the car, as well as another Skyline, for sale, and became the subject of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The investigator pretended to be a buyer, and when Beno told them it wasn't exactly possible to get either car registered in Wisconsin, they were seized, and he was charged with a slew of offenses, including two felonies and two misdemeanors. The state agreed to have the felonies dropped if the cars were crushed, so that's what happened. The original Fast & Furious R33 was lost forever.

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