Thirteen Shelby GT500 Super Snake Mustangs, worth a total of $1.23 million, were wrecked in the making of the movie “Getaway“.
Shelby American, which creates the limited-edition special-order $94,195 Super Snake from stock Shelby GT500 Ford Mustangs, built seven complete and identical Super Snakes for the film. The cars were then shipped from Shelby’s facility in Las Vegas to Sofia, Bulgaria, where all of the shooting for the movie was done.
Stunt coordinators said many of the seven were wrecked multiple times. Re-usable parts were scavenged from the wrecks and bolted together to build new versions. It was calculated that, in all, the seven original cars were eventually re-purposed into 13 different Shelbys over the course of making the whole film.
That’s just a fraction of the total number of cars wrecked for the film. At least 130 vehicles were destroyed, in the estimation of one crew members. So many were wrecked that, after just the first month of filming, a special “Getaway” junkyard had to be built near the set. (If you want to see how the stunts and special driving effects were created, check out this cool video.)
There are reportedly 40 rollovers in the movie. (I didn’t count.) The total number of crashes is undetermined. (i.e., I lost count.)
Stunt coordinator Charlie Picerni‘s son Steve usually drove the Super Snake during filming and doubled for Ethan Hawke, although Mr. Hawke is shown doing some actual driving. He reportedly attended a race driving school before production began, to brush up on his techniques and make his actions as a wheelman more convincing.
And how well cast was the Super Snake, in its big screen debut?
It certainly looks the part. But it’s rather a brute in city driving, as Mr. Hawke discovered. It is better performer in wide open spaces.
What goes into making a Super Snake? It is created by taking a regular Shelby GT 500 Mustang, which has an MSRP of $54,650, and spending another $39,995 on modifications to make it go faster, handle better, and stop quicker.
The base car makes an already-potent 662 horsepower. The Super Snake treatment brings that up to 850 horsepower. The added 188 horsepower is principally achieved by replacing the original supercharger with a much larger one.
(This is not the most powerful Mustang ever; there’s also a Shelby 1000 in the works.)
How fast is a Super Snake? A car magazine said it did the quarter-mile in 10.66 seconds, with a top speed of 137 m.p.h. They claim super unleaded from a nearby gas station was in the tank – although they did install drag racing tires on it.
A Shelby GT500 can do the quarter in 11.9 seconds, topping out at 123.5 m.p.h.
Both cars have a reported top speed in excess of 200 m.p.h. (Don’t try this at home.)
The movie cars were probably capable of performance somewhere in the range between the Shelby GT500 and the Super Snake. The SS performance quotient was mitigated somewhat by adding armor plating (the Hollywood kind of armor, not the real thing) and a bunch of POV cameras.
At least one of the Super Snakes was rescued from the scrap yard and cleaned up and made whole again for promotional use in connection with the film. No word yet on what might have happened to the leftovers.
September 1, 2013