Volo Auto Museum officials have bought and sold hundreds of celebrity and film-famous cars in the decades since the museum’s 1960 founding.
They never have regretted a decision to let one go that they were willing to pay more to bring it back than they made on its sale – until now. And they’re pretty sure Dominic Toretto and “Fast and Furious” franchise fans everywhere will approve.
Officials at the museum are anticipating a return of the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T from 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” – the hit Vin Diesel-Paul Walker pairing that launched a fast car-drenched film franchise dynasty. They have undertaken an extensive remodeling project to house it.
“This car is the hero car – one of three Chargers modified for use in the first film, and the only one that wasn’t beat up,” said Brian Grams, director of the museum at 27582 Volo Village Road. “We’ve had close to 100 cars from ‘Fast and Furious’ over the years, including some other Chargers from the later films. None were as iconic as this car. This particular Charger is as much a cornerstone of that franchise as Vin Diesel (who plays Toretto) himself.”
The car – actually a 1969 model that filmmakers modified to make look like a 1970 model, featuring a false Roots-type supercharger blower above the hood – is on its way back to Volo all the way from a collector’s man cave in Norway. It will be highlighted in a new display on pace to open Dec. 26.
This will be the car’s third return to Volo. Officials first bought it in 2002, then sold it to a collector in Reno, Nevada, before later buying it back from that man and selling it to the Norwegian man, who has had it since 2008.
Grams learned that the Charger was on the market again this fall when a broker called to inquire about the car’s pedigree.
“I told him if the deal he was working on fell through, I would buy it back,” Grams said. “I saw it as an opportunity to correct a mistake. This is the ultimate ‘Fast and Furious’ Charger, and it belongs here, where fans can enjoy it.”
Renovations are underway to group the museum’s three key “Fast and Furious” cars, including Toretto’s Charger, a Subaru Impreza WRX STI that actor Paul Walker used in his final franchise appearance in “Furious 7,” and a 1963 Corvette Grand Sport Roadster featured in “Fast Five.”
During construction, half-off admission is available to any visitor who displays at the ticket gate the offer available at volocars.com or on the museum's Facebook events page. The offer is good through Dec. 23.
The Volo Auto Museum features about 400 classic, muscle and Hollywood cars. It is open from 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. daily. Admission is $15 for adults, $9 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children 4 and younger. For information, call 815-385-3644, visit volocars.com or find the Volo Auto Museum on Facebook.