Corvette convertibles are often the vehicles of choice for movie characters. Flashy and stereotypically cool, the Corvette can become an integral part of the central character's persona, helping audiences get a feel for who they are without having to utter a word. If they drive a Corvette, they must be cool; and they gotta have money and the street smarts to back it up.
Such is the role model for our lead actor, a '72 Corvette, that played the role of caravanning LAPD Detective James Carter and Chief Inspector Lee around Los Angeles as they hunted for the bad guys in the '01 New Line Cinema movie, Rush Hour 2. The particular specimen shown here was a duplicate of the Corvette used in the first Rush Hour movie, created by movie-car mogul Ted Moser. The original Corvette from the first Rush Hour was sold off before folks knew there would be a movie sequel. Easy enough to call in Ted Moser, the same guy who brought you those wild musclecars in Fast & Furious 2, who purchased the black Corvette in Las Vegas and set about cleaning it up for the second movie in his LA-based movie prep facility.
"After I purchased the car, we spent time replicating the look of the car from the first movie," says Moser. "I then added the new Appliance mag wheels and painted it black to keep in character. The results were exactly what the director wanted."
The Corvette convertible is equipped with a 350ci, 270hp engine and automatic transmission, the transmission of choice for most movie situations, making it easier for actors to drive the cars and avoiding the need to shift, which can interrupt a scene. Often, movie cars are trailered behind the camera cars with a special rig that makes them look as if they were being driven on the street. In this way, the actors can concentrate on acting and the camera is locked in position to capture key scenes without disruption.
So how did the actors like the Corvette?
"Chris Tucker [the lead actor who played Detective James Carter] liked the car," says Moser. "He's a car fan and owns a Ferrari. The Corvette fit his movie character well. Too bad there weren't any car chases or really fun stuff on that movie, though. It's kind of strange that the movie is called "Rush Hour" and they don't hit any LA traffic. But, hey, that's Hollywood!"