This Is How Letty's Nissan 240SX Ended Up in a Junkyard and Got Crushed Without Mercy

Letty's Nissan ended up in a crusher 9 photos
Photo: Craig Lieberman | YouTube
Letty's Nissan ended up in a crusherLetty's Nissan ended up in a crusherLetty's Nissan ended up in a crusherLetty's Nissan ended up in a crusherLetty's Nissan ended up in a crusherLetty's Nissan ended up in a crusherLetty's Nissan ended up in a crusherLetty's Nissan ended up in a crusher
Letty's Nissan 240SX seemed unbreakable. It survived stunts and crashes and just about everything the producers of the Fast & Furious franchise put it through on the set. Twenty-three years later, it ended up in a junkyard and was crushed.
The Nissan 240SX in the series was a 1997 American-spec version belonging to Letty Ortiz, Dominic Torretto's girlfriend, played by Michelle Rodriguez. There were three similar cars on the set of the first episode of the franchise, which hit movie theaters in 2001.

Referred to as Stunt One and Stunt Two, two of them were used for stunts in chase scenes, drag races, and everything in between, while the crew tried to keep the main one looking its best, with no bents and dents, especially because they had to return it to the owner after the shooting was completed.

The two stunt cars came with the stock powertrain but got the livery that would trick anyone into believing the three vehicles were one and the same. Meanwhile, the main car, which had been rented by the production crew from its owner, James, came with 400 horsepower.

To make it look like a hero car, the crew installed a Zeal body kit on it and painted it from silver to purple. However, filters and color grading on the camera made it look bright magenta. Whoever saw it live had trouble believing it was the one and the same car.

Letty's Nissan ended up in a crusher
Photo: Craig Lieberman | YouTube
However, it wasn't easy to find the right car for the part in an era when there was no Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube. The only way to reach car owners back then was through the car forums. They needed someone to entrust them with the car, allow them to modify it, and risk taking it back home torn to pieces. They could not guarantee it would remain intact.

Eventually, that someone was James, who rented his Nissan 240SX for $6,400. His car was just what they needed. It was equipped with an SR20DET that brought the extra oomph. Still, it stayed away from the drag racing scene when Letty smokes her opponent after hitting the NOS switch. The shot from inside the car was filmed in the hero car, while the drag racing scenes were shot using one of the stunt cars.

The team purchased two more SX240s, a red one, for which they paid around $11,000, and a blue one that they got for about $10,600. They got them painted, fitted the body kits that made them look identical to the hero car, and sent them to the set.

Many of the cars in the Fast & Furious series were treated right and are still on the road today or in some storage facility. But this one, the most important of the three Nissan 240SXs looking the same, considering its screen time, did not get that lucky.

Letty's Nissan ended up in a crusher
Photo: Craig Lieberman | YouTube
Craig Lieberman was a technical advisor for cars for Universal Studios and also worked on the first episodes of the Fast franchise. He helped the crew choose the cars and the necessary parts and oversaw the bills for the vehicles that underwent makeovers to fit the script or needed to be fixed.

Now, Craig discloses the heartbreaking fate that the Nissan 240SX had, in a video uploaded to YouTube. The Stunt One and Stunt Two cars were sent to a storage facility a year after the movie. Both of them were painted and facelifted in Miami, and used in the 2 Fast, 2 Furious. After the movie, they were sold and they changed hands several times.

However, the hero car did not get that lucky. Its owner, James, painted it back to silver. The model showed up in car magazines several times, and it seemed that its 15 minutes of glory would double, triple, and quadruple. It turned out to be just an illusion.

James sold it to actress Jasmine Chow from the "Pirates of the Caribbean." She was quite a car girl and enjoyed every feature of the 240SX. She sold it years later and then sold some more. But the next owners did not appreciate its background much. Furthermore, the Fast & Furious franchise was starting to lose ground because it had become irrelevant to car enthusiasts.

Letty's Nissan ended up in a crusher
Photo: Craig Lieberman | YouTube
There were too many Mission: Impossible-style stunts, there were too many Dodge Chargers, too many expositions, and too much shooting. Amazing machines were only getting a few minutes of screen time before they were lost forever, which made it frustrating for those who had received the franchise with open arms back in 2001.

In 2009, the Nissan was purchased by someone who started stripping it. He used the transmission and suspension for other vehicles, leaving the former motorized Hollywood star reduced to just a shell. The owner sold the shell to a junkyard. They all knew its exact provenance, they were all aware that it was a movie car but did not give a damn about its stardom and crushed it anyway.

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