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Fast, Furious, and Family

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The Fast and the Furious films are to car culture what Spongebob Squarepants is to marine biology. They are manic, cartoonish representations of actual driving but if you can suspend disbelief for 90 minutes and take them as blistering, bare-knuckle, action-packed entertainment, they are furiously entertaining.

Most people either love or hate the Fast franchise. The acting is either cheesy or intentionally campy depending on who you ask. The liberties taken with the laws of physics are downright outrageous, and there is almost no chance to catch a breath between explosions. For car lovers, the carnage can be seriously worthy of all of the cringe, especially when the victim is a one-of-a-kind classic or an outrageous exotic. So that being said, I actually sat down a while back and added up the cost of every vehicle that was destroyed on-screen, and while I couldn't really account for the heavy modification or aftermarket parts, the total came out to roughly $500 million dollars. That is half a billion dollars. Just stop and soak that in.

While there are countless vehicles being raced, chased, crashed, and smashed, each entry has one or two flagship vehicles that serve as the marquis images for the film's marketing and promotional materials. In the original film, The Fast and the Furious, those two cars were an orange 1994 Toyota Supra MK IV, driven by the late Paul Walker's character Brian O'Connor, and a black 1970 Dodge Charge R/T, the pride-and-joy of Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto. The two vehicles served as sharp contrasts between two very different types of car guys. The Supra was a slick, NOS-infused, rich kid's toy, fitting Brian's clean-cut preppy image, while the Charger was like Dom's biceps – 100% solid muscle. Much like the red Porsche 356 from our last blog post, both vehicles were symbolic of their respective owners' personalities. In fact, they became so iconic that after Walker's death in 2013 midway through the filming of Furious 7, Diesel insisted on a final send-off scene featuring a symbolic last race between the two friends, though this time Walker's Supra was all-white, and was driven by a CGI Brian superimposed on Walker's real-life brother.

It was fitting that brotherhood played such a role in that scene, because over the course of 7 films and 12 years, Diesel and Walker grew to consider themselves family, even referring to one another as “brother.” It was their mutual passion for machines, and for making films that took those machines to such extraordinary heights, that has made the series such a resounding success.

My entire idea for this post came from that sense of family, and the significance that our cars can have to our families. CocoMats is a family owned and operated business and our owner/president/CEO/Head-Mat-Guy Jeff Allwine always puts his family above all else. Our mats won't help your quarter-mile time, and they certainly don't improve your 0-60 or top speed, but neither do crazy spoilers, custom paint jobs, neon lights, or spinning rims. However, the comfort that I find in one of my favorite film series, and the commitment of the actors, writers, and directors to always putting the audience first and never compromising their vision (no matter how ridiculous it may be) is not unlike our commitment to bringing our customers one of the finest additions that they can add to their vehicles.

Every time I sit down in the theater for the latest Fast and the Furious flick, it's like coming home and being part of a big family of fans and enthusiasts. Our CocoMats won't make you go faster, and we promise you won't be furious, but we guarantee that you'll be one of the family.

-Trey Fennell



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