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The Real Story Behind Jesse's VW Jetta From The Fast And The Furious – HotCars

by Oct 24, 2022Blog0 comments

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Jesse exited the popular car movie franchise in a rather unceremonious way, but his Volkswagen Jetta lives on in our hearts.
Difficult to imagine a more famous action franchise than “Fast and Furious.” For over two decades, Dominic Toretto, Letty Ortiz, and the squad made us fall in love with drag racing events, dangerous driving, and speed races. We also got a brilliant lesson in engineering and learned how to pimp our rides. But more importantly, we got to dream about some of the coolest and fastest cars in the world.
To some extent, the original cars presented in the first episode were less impressive than the ones that came later. In particular, who could forget the Gurkha LAPV, a gigantic armored military vehicle in “Fast Five” or that spectacular Koenigsegg CCX R that ended up with Roman Pearce?
However, despite a limited production budget, the original movie had some really cool rides that could eclipse many of today’s fancier cars that get too much hype. For instance, Jesse’s 1995 Volkswagen Jetta managed to keep up with Johnny Tran's Honda S2000 that had a $100,000 upgrade. And although Jesse was gunned down and exited the car movie franchise in a rather unceremonious way, his Volkswagen Jetta lives forever in our hearts.
Related: 10 Coolest Cars Featured On Fast And Furious And Their Top Speeds
Although this car has become an integrated part of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, and now we see it as the ideal choice for the movie, the VW Jetta was not the directors’ first choice. In fact, Jesse was supposed to drive a Volkswagen Golf, BMW M3 or Audi A4/S4, but Craig Lieberman, technical director for the movie, couldn’t find one of these cars with incredible tuning, so he turned to Scott Centra who owned the Jetta.
Initially, Centra refused to borrow his car, but after a back and forth, he finally agreed. Interestingly enough, the rent price is still hush-hush, so we can only guess how much the producers paid for renting Centra’s car, but what we know is that the car was insured during the filming for a staggering $200,000.
For years, netizens and gearheads complained about the lack of brake calipers on Jesse’s Jetta in a specific scene. Discussions have become so intense that fans even came up with their own theories, so let’s elucidate the mystery. Centra’s car, which is also the hero vehicle, wasn’t used in that scene because producers decided to bring in a replica car. Naturally, replicas weren’t constructed with all the upgrades like the original vehicles.
Years later, when Centra’s car was sold at a Barrett Jackson’s Scottsdale auction, the original automobile appeared with brake calipers, so fans can rest assured the VW Jetta is still an incredible vehicle worthy of the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
Usually, original cars that appear in famous movies fetch top dollars at auctions. For example, the 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider from “On The Beach” ranked in $2.5 million, the 1966 Batmobile from “Batman” was sold for $4.6 million and a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta from “The Love Bug” reached $6.71 million.
“Fast and Furious” original cars have become something like iconic memorabilia thanks to the loyal fan community that follows the action-packed movies and the personal adventures of its actors; so although these cars don’t reach the same value as the Aston Martin vehicles driven by James Bond, they still raise considerable sums of money. Just to put things into perspective, the 1994 Supra that appeared in two movies fetched $550,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas auction, according to MotorTrend.
The VW Jetta driven by Jesse also brought in lots of cash. CarThrottle reports that seven years ago, the VW was sold at a Barrett Jackson’s Scottsdale auction for $42,000. But that’s not all. In 2018, the Luxury Auto Collection of Scottsdale, AZ listed it again for $99,900.
Related: 10 Of The Best Hero Cars In The Fast And Furious Saga
When you watch a “Fast and Furious” movie you expect to see powerful, fast and modified cars. Pimped-out vehicles make the franchise so enjoyable, mostly because we love to imagine that with a smart investment, even our boring Honda Civic coupe or Nissan Maxima could become such cool rides.
Jesse’s VW Jetta wouldn’t be too impressive with its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with automatic transmission without the professional tuning. Inside the cabin, the Jetta has a Sparco steering wheel with NOS buttons. Additionally, it has a custom-made stereo that comes with a PlayStation 2 game console. As for the semi-bucket racing seats, these give the interior a more dynamic look. Meanwhile, the exterior has its own standout features, such as a customized body kit, spoiler, wheels and the coolest racing stickers.
Eugenia Akhim is a luxury car aficionado. She naturally gravitates towards the legendary 911 and the classic Ferrari because they are fun to drive and have a killer aesthetic. In her column, expect to read more about turbo-powered vehicles.