In Memory of Paul, A Smashing Success
The In Memory of Paul Hangout was therapeutic on so many levels.
Seventeen years ago the first Fast & Furious movie was released on the big screen and since its humble beginnings the franchise has arguably changed the face of modified car culture worldwide. It spawned an entire generation of enthusiasts that took inspiration from Japanese-based tuner culture, mixed it with the American domestic market, and birthed a vibrant and healthy niche within the car scene.
Fans looked up to series heroes like Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and when Paul tragically died in a car crash in November 2013, a huge community came together not only to celebrate his character and life, but also support his charity foundation Reach Out Worldwide.
The first ever Walker family-sanctioned car meet-up was held last Sunday at College of the Canyons in the Santa Clarita Valley, California to celebrate Walker and raise money for the foundation. Rows and rows of cars packed out the parking lot next to Cougar Stadium and the crowds were so large that they had to briefly stop letting people in to maintain the event!
Walking through the show, the variety was endless and it really took all sorts to put on such a great display for the inaugural In Memory Of Paul hangout. You’d find a jacked-up Tundra dwarfing a heavily modified S2000 in the space next to it, or a 1930s Ford hot rod parked next to a brand new Lamborghini. The cars were built to all styles, and it was an endless stream of inspiration to see all the different colors, modifications, accessories and more.
Of course, on display were some of the original cars built for the Fast & Furious movies, including the iconic Supra and Eclipse from the first movie, alongside which you could find others like the blue Ford Escort from Fast & Furious 6, or the Maximus Charger – the aluminum brushed beast ’68 Charger from Furious 7.
Outside the franchise-based stars, there was a generous heaping of high-profile builds to ogle over like this insane F-truck dubbed the “Coyote Truck” and built by the team at Needful Thingz. It was powered by yep, you guess it, a Ford Coyote motor and the fit and finish on the entire build was drool-worthy.
There were rows and rows of builds from mild to wild, and a few of the more outlandish ones definitely won over the attention of the crowds like this wild Porsche build with a one-piece lift-off roof and almost Tesla-like styling cues. A few feet away a rat rodded ’54 Chevy shoebox lay slammed on the floor, competing for attention with its twin-turbo motor poking out and over the front clip.
The In Memory Of Paul Hangout drew in a diverse crowd with such a wide-ranging array of cars. The family event was embraced by everyone who walked through the doors, whether they were six years old or 60.
The support shown not only for the actor’s legacy, but the Reach Out Worldwide foundation was heartwarming and spending a few hours wandering through a curated selection of awesome cars – one could imagine – is exactly how Paul would have wanted to spend his Sunday, too.