Vin Diesel and cars is a combo that’s not reserved just for the Fast & Furious franchise

The Pontiac GTO was the brainchild of John DeLorean - yup, that DeLorean, Bill Collins, and Russ Gee. Its name was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, which on the Ferrari, meant Gran Turismo Omologato (homologated grand tourer, meaning it could be raced in the GT class). The Pontiac GTO didn’t have the same status, but you might remember how a heavily modded GTO with enough firepower to wipe out a small state made an appearance in xXx, as Xander Cage’s (Vin Diesel) weapon of choice.

The same car was given the honor of being in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, where it was brought by Thom Sherwood, a living GTO encyclopaedia and owner of two GTOs used in 2002’s xXx movie. Stick around for the juiciest details you’ll ever get about the so-called Flame Car.

Tell me more about the 1967 Pontiac GTO from xXx

It turns out that five driving copies of the Pontiac GTO “Flame Car” were made for the movie, plus a sixth non-driving rig car - this one was used to shoot static frames and details. Out of the five working cars, two were offered for sale on eBay and were bought “as an investment” by a collector in Malibu, California, so he is credited with being the first private owner of a Pontiac GTO from the movie xXx. Interestingly enough, the car that you see featured here on Jay Leno’s Garage is one of those two cars, which Thom Sherwood subsequently bought on eBay from the Malibu guy.

Now, perhaps the greatest thing about the actual car is that it looks exactly like in the last scene of xXx, shot on the Charles Bridge in Prague.

However, what you might perceive as being a convertible, actually started life as a coupe, despite the fact that most people assume that the Flame Car was a cabriolet from the very off.

Well, it wasn’t. In fact, all of the five driving cars used in the movie were all hardtops at their origins. Oh, and just three of the said five cars were pure-breed GTOs, while the other two were Pontiac LeMans models tweaked to look like a GTO.

Pontiac GTO from "xXx" Cruises Into Jay Leno's Garage
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The car in the video started life as a 1967 Pontiac GTO Hardtop and was originally painted in Montreux Blue with a blue vinyl interior. However, Revolution Studios’ special effects specialists performed a handful of tweaks so that it could feature on camera.

Obviously, the hardtop was permanently removed, but a slew of goodies were added: the custom hood scoop features a flame thrower system, the upper headlights are actually the final part of a rocket launcher system, and the dashboard is brimming with custom gauges, monitors, GPS, sat-nav, and a nitrous tank. The interior was also host to a flipping rear seat that revealed more spy-related weaponry, while on the outside, the Flame Car sported Patriot side exhausts, Weld ProStar wheels, and BFGoodrich Radial TA tires.

Pontiac GTO from "xXx" Cruises Into Jay Leno's Garage
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The cool thing about the rocket launcher system is that it actually launched physical projectiles through a pair of breakaway lenses the cover the upper headlights.

Of course, they were not rockets per se, but Revolution Studios decided not to use CGI when it came to the Flame Car, which is kind of cool. In terms of grunt, the Pontiac GTO relies on 335 horsepower coming from a 400 cubic-inch “YS” V-8 engine with Quadrajet four-barrel carburetors. Bolted to the engine is a three-speed THM400 automatic transmission mounted longitudinally.

Pontiac GTO from "xXx" Cruises Into Jay Leno's Garage
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As much as we’d love to keep telling you more about the Pontiac GTO featured in xXx, we can’t honestly do a better job than the video below. Check it out!

Further reading

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge
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Read our full review on the 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge.

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