Lately, there has been a storm of hype around Craig Lieberman and his recent mass upload of interesting behind the scenes information about the Fast and Furious franchise. For those who don’t know, Craig was a key component in helping establish what little realism there was in the movie series and essentially picked all the cars used for the filming. While his videos mostly focus on the cars then, many of the movie cars have been sold off to private owners never to be seen again. The Integra GSR was on eBay not too long ago, Tavarish has the orange Murciealego, and Suki’s S2K was recently uncovered by a YouTuber I don’t remember. Some of the less recognizable cars, too, have found their way into private ownership or were leased to the movie and returned to their owner. This Porsche Cayman was driven by Gal Gadot in Fast and Furious 4 and has been in the hands of its current owner for the past two years. By chance, Ben Battles, a new regular to our blog, ran into the owner, Danny, and sat down for a photo shoot and interview. Everything you’d ever want to know about Gal Gadot’s Porsche’s current status is revealed right here in our exclusive interview, courtesy of Ben Battles with Mad Hatters Photography.
Ben: Thanks for agreeing to do this interview for ECS Tuning. How long have you had the car?
Danny: Bought it on Halloween day 2017 in Atlanta.
B: How did you come about finding the car? Was it even on your radar or were you specifically seeking this one out?
D: No, actually, it wasn’t. I was sitting at my computer and had been wanting to buy some sort of second car. I’m a muscle car collector. 69 Camaro, 454 Chevelle, and other muscle cars. However, I had a 1987 911 and loved it. Only kept it a year and a half due to my son turning 16, didn’t want to keep telling him, “No, you can’t drive it!”. Thought I’d see what was on the European side again. This was the first one that popped up and I just said… woah! You never see a white one. It immediately got my attention. I love Gal Gadot, so when I read the story about the car I had to find it. Called the guy down in Atlanta that owned the car, we talked about it, flew down and the guy picked me up at the airport in the car. I stayed in a hotel overnight and drove it back to Chattanooga the next day. Previous owner did a lot of his own work on it and even gave me a water pump which I later had installed.
B: So the car is full-blown TechArt fitted, what is your favorite modification about the car?
D: The front end. It just really – that one photo of the side / front you got, man – it really shows the angles of it. But yeah, the front end and after that, the wing.
B: Ok, 3 part question: How often do you drive the car? What’s the longest distance you have driven it this far? What was your favorite “road trip” with the car?
D: I drive it every week, maybe 3-4 trips through town, circle around downtown, hit the highway every now and again just because the car needs it. I’ll get it out even if it’s just for a 3 block trip – I like showing it off. I’ve driven it to gulf shores Alabama, don’t know the miles, maybe 700 round trip – maybe more? After that, it’d be my trip into the Carolinas. I’d have to say the most fun trip was probably – geez, it’d have to be the Gulf Shores trip. I enjoy the time behind the wheel – any time behind the wheel. So 7+ hours of driving there and back, yeah, it’s fun.
B: Upon first glance, most car enthusiasts will know that they aren’t looking at your standard vanilla Porsche but they might not know EXACTLY what they’re looking at. Do you have a favorite question that you get asked about the car?
D: A lot of people will look at it inquisitively and ask, “Is that a Cayman?” Yeah, I guess I think it’s funny that a lot of people don’t know what it is. Nothing about it is screaming that it’s a Cayman other than it has (Porsche) under the back glass. A funny thing I see is when I’m on the interstate, when someone drives by in a cool car, the passengers are typically taking a video of me rolling down the road. A lot of people just don’t know what they are seeing.
B: So, how often do you catch people taking photos of your car in traffic?
D: A lot! Sometimes I’ll park it outside my window down the street – I live in an apartment. I’ll look out and see people circling around taking pictures of it – taking pictures of each other in front of it. I like seeing that kind of thing.
B: Have you gone to many shows with the car / do you plan on attending any major events in the future?
D: Actually, no, I have not taken it to one yet BUT I really want to. I want to go to the Knoxville cars and coffee but it’s frustrating because I work weekends! The World Of Wheels is essentially going to be the first major event that I’ll be applying the car for. I may do both the Chattanooga and Birmingham shows if I make it in. I didn’t really buy the car for entering into shows, but once I saw the interest that the car was gathering, I wanted to share it with everyone.
B: What has the maintenance and upkeep been like on this?
D: I literally have done nothing but change the oil. Matter of fact I had the first oil change and water pump put on recently. The guy I bought it from did a lot of the work himself and was very knowledgeable about the car. He even gave me that water pump knowing it needed to be replaced. Other than a finicky brake light issue, there has not been one problem. Not bad for a car that’s 13 or so years old with 50k miles.
B: Do you have any plans to modify the car any further?
D: I absolutely love it the way it sits. If I do anything, it may be a tune – I don’t know – I’ve definitely looked into it! It has some bolt-ons already. I’d like to get a clear motor cover out back… but, yeah, there’s this specific tune that’s out there that adds about 25-30 horsepower but I don’t remember the name of it. Everything about it I like, I’m more afraid of changing something and making it do something I don’t like. The car is responsive – rides like it’s on rails.
B: What’s it like owning a car from the F&F franchise?
D: I can tell you right now – it’ll be hard to top if I ever let this car go and try to get another one. I don’t think I’ll be able to top it. I love watching kids go crazy over the car. I’ve actually only had one person to walk up to me on the street and name the movie the car was from – the guy nailed it! Fast and Furious 4, Gal Gadot’s car. I’d love to keep it and pass it on in the family… I just can’t see getting rid of it.
B: Do you think you’ll own another movie car or do you think you’ve found “the one”?
D: As far as a movie car, I don’t see myself doing it again. I have the one I want and I want to protect it, take care of it, enjoy it and let others enjoy it.
B: I know we met because of the car, but have you met anyone else specifically because of the car?
D: Outside of people just passing by to say, “Nice ride!”, not really, actually. I work a lot! I stay busy. I mean, I drive around and meet so many people, but usually never even get their name. I have talked to a whole lot of people, most of them just ask, “can I have a picture of your car?” and that’s about it.
B: I appreciate your time. Anything else you’d like the people to know?
D: How awesome YOU are and how good the pictures you take are. You’re a car guy – your passion for cars is what put us together. That’s where we are at today is because of your passion. I hope to maybe meet up with some other people soon with the same passion!
B: Well, I appreciate the kind words. Thanks again!
D: See you soon!
If you see this white Cayman running around the middle Tennessee area, be sure to give Danny a wave! Once again, a massive thank you to the incredibly talented Ben Battles who has graciously provided us with yet another exclusive story we are excited to share with everyone. Keep an eye out for more of his work to come!
Photography/Story by Ben Battles, Mad Hatters Photography, Chattanooga, TN.