The Fast & Furious franchise is notorious for featuring some of the sickest, coolest, snazziest looking sports and muscle cars on the market. Unlike some films, they don’t just go for the most expensive supercars money can buy; they sometimes opt for more affordable production cars with some fine aftermarket tuning, a slick coat of paint, and equally eye-catching wraps. The franchise has helped invigorate interest in all manner of different cars (here’s looking at the Dodge Challenger and Charger) as well as spotlight some favorites that have never left the consciousness of car-shopping consumers, such as the Nissan 370Z or “Godzilla,” the Nissan GT-R. If you’re in the mood to visit a used Nissan dealer to grab one of these classic tuner-ready street cars, maybe we can help nudge you in one way or the other with our list of the 5 coolest Nissans featured in the Fast & Furious franchise.
(five) Nissan Silvia S13
One of the more standout Nissans in the Fast & Furious series is the 2001 Nissan Silvia S15. Even though it was a 2001 model year, it did not appear in the 2001 film. It was actually used first as a major hero vehicle in the highly under-rated (yes, I said it) 2006 film The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift. Despite not featuring any of the main characters from the main-line series other than Han, played by Sung Kang, it’s actually a lot more representative of the original 2001 film than the sequels that followed it.
A large part of the appeal of Tokyo Drift is literally in the name. It’s a film about Tokyo’s drift culture, the mechanisms required to make drifting possible, and the oh-so-beautiful cars that bring the art of drifting to life. One such vehicle is the 2001 Nissan Silvia S13, decked out in the attention-grabbing livery featuring an admiral blue body color with silver, black, and orange vinyl detailing. It’s lovingly referred to in the film as “Mona Lisa,” and with good reason. It’s a work of art.
The vehicle features plenty of mods from C-West, including a bodykit and decals. While the engine may be stock, the rest of the powertrain was decked out with aftermarket parts and upgrades, including a Sard Arouse MIG R exhaust system and a nitro-boost system to radically improve performance. Despite getting the short end of the stick in the film, it looked every bit the “Mona Lisa” that it was claimed to be.
(four) Nissan 240SX
I’m sure there are some people who are bummed that the Nissan 240SX makes the list but not the 1995 Nissan GT-R R33 that Johnny Strong’s character, Leon, drove in the original 2001 Fast & Furious. However, the Nissan 240SX had a much stronger showing in the series than the R33. As much as Johnny Strong looked cool in the yellow Skyline, he unfortunately didn’t do much in the tricked-out 1995 two-door sportster. So the cool factor was diminished not so much due to the vehicle not being cool, but rather due to its showing (or rather, lack of showing).
The 1997 Nissan 240SX, however, is one of the hero cars (or should I say heroine cars?) in the original film. The 240SX is driven by mainstay character Letty Ortiz, played convincingly by series regular Michelle Rodriguez. It featured a purplish-burgundy body color with a cool rocket decal and gold highlights. It wasn’t used prominently throughout the film, but it did manage to get in its licks with some wins and appearances as a formidable specialty sedan.
According to Fast and Furious Facts, the vehicle sported a VIS GT aluminum rear wing and was given a Full Zeal Bay Speed bodykit to help add to the on-screen visual appeal. It may not live on with the popularity of some of the other Nissans featured on the list, but by gosh, did it look good in the film. The vehicle is just one of the many Z cars used throughout the Fast & Furious franchise and is also one of the coolest looking to appear during the movie that was the springboard for the franchise.
(three) Nissan Fairlady 350Z
Who could forget the appearance of the Nissan 350Z in the 2006 Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift film? It belonged to Brian Tee’s character, who was aptly named the “Drift King.” Hence, the 350Z was then both lovingly (by admirers) and fearfully (by competitors) known as the Nissan 350Z “Drift King.” What a domineering title to have, eh? Well, the car matched the antagonist’s intentions every bit of the way.
Unlike the other cars on this list, the Nissan 350Z was actually a villain car, not a hero car. However, even though it was depicted as the big bad of the Tokyo Drift universe, it pulled off some very impressive drifting feats. The aggressive livery and paint scheme also helped sell it as the menacing race machine that the movie portrayed it as.
Like nearly every other vehicle featured in the Fast & Furious franchise, almost nothing required to make the vehicle perform as it did on-screen was stock. As detailed in its auction listing (so no, you won’t likely find this particular vehicle at a local used Nissan dealer), the vehicle was outfitted with a custom VeilSide Version 3 bodykit, carbon fiber hood, improved twin turbochargers, and various not-so-subtle components to help give it that tuner feel.
(two) Nissan GT-R R35
With only five slots to fill in this article, it meant picking and choosing only the most worthy of Nissans to make the cut, and what better space than for the successor to the Nissan Skyline? That’s right, Nu-Godzilla had to make the cut, as it was the last vehicle used by Paul Walker’s character in the 2015 film, The Furious 7.
The GT-R featured in the film is actually a 2012 model year, decked out with a midnight blue livery and a darkened carbon fiber hood. The GT-R gets a spectacular hero moment in the film as it attempts to out-drive an attack helicopter and a killer drone. Nissan really managed to recover some positive karma after the Fairlady 350Z’s bad-guy turn in Tokyo Drift, eh?
The body for the car was modified with side skirts, a custom trunk, and the aforementioned carbon fiber hood. The front fascia also featured a thicker covering for the grille. The performance for the vehicle was buffed up with SP Engineering’s Alpha Package, giving it the extra oomph it needed during the high-speed chase sequences. Of the seven Nissan GT-R R35 cars used during The Furious 7, only one actually managed to survive production, and amazingly enough, it continues to live out the rest of its life as a tribute to the late Paul Walker in the Hollywood Star Cars Museum Collection. Maybe with a bit of luck, you can find a pre-owned GT-R at a used Nissan dealer and deck it out to look like a replica of the one in the film?
(one) Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
It may not be in production anymore, and you would need a pot of lucky charms to find one in the United States, but the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 is probably one of the most iconic production Nissan vehicles ever made. In the tuner scene, this is the holy grail of Nissans, and rightfully so. The car handles like a dream and has been used in all manner of different racing segments, thanks to how well you can scale its performance.
However, the Skyline’s presence in the Fast & Furious franchise has always been heavily felt and popularized thanks to being one of the early hero cars in the franchise. While several appeared as torn-up parts machines, used by main character Brian O’Conner in the original 2001 outing of The Fast & The Furious, it was actually the sequel that really set hearts on fire and eyes blazing. The Skyline wasn’t just a hero car in the film; it projected the poise, menace, and power to catapult itself up the ranks as an unforgettable pop-cultural icon when it comes to silver screen automobiles.
For the 2003 outing of 2 Fast 2 Furious, a 1999 model year Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 was used by Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner. It featured a silver-dream body color with a custom gradient blue livery and decal job. The vehicle was topped off with neon blue under-body lights, a race-worthy rear wing, and a modified body kit. This vehicle looked supreme and was treated as thus in the film.
Despite the vehicle no longer being produced and fewer than 20 examples being street legal in the United States, the presence of the Skyline GT-R R34 in the series, especially in 2 Fast 2 Furious, made it one of the most iconic on-film vehicles of all time. People love the way it looks, and it has even been featured in a number of video games, has various toys modeled after it, and even has dedicated communities and fan channels that offer guides on how to replicate the livery or tune a Skyline to match the one from the film. If that isn’t dedication to the cause, I sincerely don’t know what is.