Everything To Know About The Nissan Silvia S14 From The Fast And The Furious

For an iconic movie car, Letty's Nissan Silvia S14 featured in "The Fast and the Furious" is quite as enigmatic as its on-screen driver. In the film, Letty — played by actress Michelle Rodriguez — drove a purple Silvia S14 that didn't get as much screen time as other fan-favorite hero cars. That is until Letty demolished a cocky driver with it during the movie's epic Race Wars segment. While this certainly shined a spotlight on the Silvia S14, some might still not know what exactly Letty's car is. 

First of all, Letty raced in a modified Nissan 240SX, which was the U.S. equivalent of the Silvia S14. These sporty compact coupes are considered one of the best cars Nissan ever produced, with the S14 popularizing not only the street racing culture but the drift scene as well. A good Nissan 240SX can reportedly go for as much as $100,000 if it comes with an intriguing story attached to it (Motor1). Likewise, the "Fast and Furious" 240SX has an equally riveting background before gracing the silver screen. However, Letty's car isn't exactly what it seems, and how it was portrayed in the film is quite far from what it really was.

Origins of the furiously fast Silvia S14

There were four Nissan 240SXs used in the film, with the main hero car undergoing changes that befit its beefier S14 counterpart. According to Fast & Furious Facts, a site managed by the film's technical advisor Craig Lieberman, the hero car belonged to Helen Jasmine Cho and was originally in burgundy. After it was rented by Universal Studios, it was painted purple and was fitted with aftermarket parts. The 240SX's original KA24DE engine was then swapped for the Silvia's SR20DET engine, generating about 220 horsepower overall from additional upgrades. However, this change can't be heard in the movie, as Lieberman revealed in his YouTube video that Letty's Race Wars scene actually utilized dubbed engine noise from his own Toyota Supra.

Although Letty's car managed to outpace her rival's Mazda RX-7 in the film, it can barely keep up with it in reality. Lieberman revealed that Letty would've lost even if her ride was an upgraded S14 using nitrous since it was up against a "powerhouse" that produced about 400 horsepower. Of course, Letty wasn't even going to drive a Nissan in the first place, as Lieberman explained in another YouTube Video he wanted her to be in a Toyota MR2, while the film's original script saw her in a Mitsubishi Eclipse instead. Since the "Fast and Furious" Silvia S14 finally solidified its place in movie car history, the next question is, where did it go afterward?

Where is Letty's 'Fast and Furious' car now?

Just like Letty, an air of mystery also surrounds her car's real-life counterpart. The hero car was apparently re-used for the warehouse scramble scene in "2 Fast 2 Furious" before being sold in 2003, but not much is known about the vehicle's fate ever since. Lieberman claims the owner was "a ghost," and his numerous attempts at contacting her were ultimately met with silence. 

In a YouTube video, the car — still bearing its orange paint job from the sequel — is seen being hauled back to its new home. This particular example was allegedly purchased straight from the movie set. However, its teardown video shows how it differs from the hero car, including different interior and exterior bits, as well as the lack of known upgrades on its engine bay. It, however, still resembled the same "Fast and Furious" car Rodriguez actually sat in during the Race Wars close-up shots, including the holes in the steering wheel that contained the nitrous button. 

While the hero car's whereabouts might remain a mystery even to Letty herself, fans should feel at ease knowing the stunt car it inspired is being restored to its former glory. Because it's such a memorable movie car, it's no wonder people want to see Nissan bring its S14 back so badly.