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5 cars from ‘The Fast and the Furious’ on display in Southern Nevada

Updated April 7, 2017 - 8:29 pm

‘The Fate of the Furious” doesn’t open in theaters until Thursday night, but you can get revved up early by visiting five of the cars used during the making of the franchise.

Two are housed in the Hollywood Cars Museum, 5115 Dean Martin Drive No. 905, while three others are displayed on the casino floor at the Gold Strike in Jean.

Real estate developer Michael Dezer peeled off about 100 of the 1,800 cars he owns to open the Hollywood Cars Museum three years ago.

The cars from 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” — a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse riddled with bullet holes that was driven by the late Paul Walker and a 1993 Mazda RX-7 that was a stunt double of the one belonging to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) — were purchased from the Picture Car Warehouse in Northridge, California.

1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse featured in the first of the Fast and the Furious movie (Benjamin Hager)

1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse, left, and the 1993 Mazda RX-7 featured in the first of the Fast and the Furious (Benjamin Hager)

“When Paul Walker passed away, we had a lot of people come over here and put teddy bears and candles and cards” near the car, says Steve Levesque, the museum’s manager.

Levesque says the cars rank alongside the museum’s Batmobile and a General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard” as its biggest attractions. “We have some pretty famous cars here, but the ‘Fast and Furious’ cars are really popular.”

“People come from all around the world” to see them, he adds. “It’s crazy.”

Three cars from newer installments in the franchise are on loan to the Gold Strike from Vehicle Effects in Sun Valley, California, which builds and modifies cars for the movies.

Roman Pearce’s (Tyrese Gibson) 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 from “Furious 7” has been on display for a while, but Brian O’Conner’s (Walker) 2012 Nissan GT-R R35 from “Furious 7” and the flip car, also known as the ramp car, driven by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) in “Fast & Furious 6” just arrived Tuesday.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 featured in Furious 7 (Benjamin Hager)

Nissan GT-R featured in Furious 7 (Benjamin Hager)

A custom-built ramp car featured in Fast & Furious 6 (Benjamin Hager)

The free attraction, which also includes a Batmobile and a DeLorean from “Back to the Future,” has been open about a year, said Keith McDonald, the casino’s director of marketing. This is the third rotation of “Fast and Furious” cars during that time.

“Well, we’re owned by … a division of Terrible Herbst, and the Herbst family has got a long history and passion for cars and racing and stuff like that,” McDonald said. “So we figured this was just a great fit for us to display those movie cars.”

The custom-built engine in the ramp car featured in Fast & Furious 6 (Benjamin Hager)

The attraction, which does little advertising beyond the casino’s flashing marquee, has proven to be a success, he said.

“We get people to pull off (Interstate 15) just for that.”

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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