Fast & Furious star Paul Walker killed in ex-Rahal Porsche Carrera GT
This is the most detailed and graphic article about the tragic death of Fast and Furious Star Paul Walker. As it turns out, according to IndyCar driver Graham Rahal's Facebook page, he was the previous owner of the car before Roger Rodas, Walker's friend who died with him in the car.
Speed was a factor in the crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said. A 45 mph speed limit sign was attached to the light pole knocked down by the Porsche.
The car, which sold for $450,000 when new, is a notoriously difficult vehicle to handle, even for professional drivers, according to Autoweek magazine. A top driver called it "scary," the magazine reported Sunday. It is powered by a V-10, 610-hp engine.
AutoWeek reports - The fifth owner of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT in which "Fast and the Furious" actor Paul Walker and the car's owner and driver, Roger Rodas, were killed appears to have been IndyCar driver and avid car collector Graham Rahal.
The car had six different owners since it was new.
Rodas' Always Evolving car shop was the sixth owner. The fifth owner appears to have been Rahal, who fit the car with the distinctive black alloy wheels -- replacing the stock silver wheels -- that made the car so recognizable at Southern California car events.
Rahal bought the car in Florida, and another Florida dealer apparently sold it to Rodas and his company. Rahal traded the car in for a Ferrari, and it was a Ferrari dealer who sold the Carrera to Rodas.
Rahal had the Carrera GT for a year.
"I get bored with cars pretty quickly," he said in a story published earlier this year. "The Carrera GT is just harder to drive, and I drive my cars a lot. Nothing that I have will not be used. Every car that I have will be driven a lot. I have two cars that are old that don't get used that often, but that is rare."
Rahal compared the Carrera GT to a 2010 Ferrari 599 GTO. Some of his observations and his descriptions of how difficult the Carrera was to drive are chilling in light of the crash.
"It says it has traction control, but that traction control on that car is not going to do a thing to save you," Rahal said. "And that's what I love about it. Part of me is very happy about it and part of me regrets it. It was a great, great car.
"With the GTO, the noise, the shifts, the fact that it's still evolving, with the dual-clutch gearboxes these days, you don't even feel it shift. I'm not really a fan of that," he says. "I like to feel that you're interacting with the car. This [GTO] still has the old style, so you can feel it shift. That's what I personally enjoy about it, whereas a lot of the new cars you can't feel it at all. To me it becomes more like you're driving a computer than driving a car.
"The carbon clutch, things like that are a challenge, whereas the 599 you hop in, off you go. It's pretty simple," he said. "But if I was insanely wealthy and could have 10 supercars, a Carrera GT would be one. I would have to be somewhat of a garage queen, because long-term, I think that is a fantastic investment. I think that the Porsche collectors would agree." AutoWeek.com
Walker's career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as "Highway to Heaven" and "Touched by an Angel."
|Paul Walker, dead at 40|
His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in "Varsity Blues."
His career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O'Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001's "The Fast and the Furious."
The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts.
At the time of his death, he was working on the seventh film of the franchise, due out next year.
Walker wasn't just a car enthusiast on the silver screen; off-screen, the actor competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series.
On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as "outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie ... and I do some acting on the side."
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.