On May 7, 2013, Jack Reacher
hops into a 1970 Chevelle for an exhilarating car chase on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from Paramount Pictures. Tom Cruise plays the lead character, Jack Reacher, performing all the stunt-driving himself. The film was adapted from best-selling author Lee Child's wildly popular series of novels, Jack Reacher
Pounding through the gears in a 1970 Chevelle SS for action shots, Cruise drifts around corners and delivers one of the best car chases in recent memory.
Before production could begin, nine Chevelles were purchased. However, only 3 remained after the movie was finished. While hunting for the Chevelles, one legitimate SS396 was unknowingly purchased and kept by Cruise. With less than 4 weeks to prep the Chevelles for action, an independent group of guys assembled the cars, working for forty-two straight days.
Pete Mandel, Justin Mann, Bill DeLuca, Trevor Mann, and Jeff Walters were responsible for the build of the Chevelles. They hunted down four of the muscle cars in Michigan, two in Ohio and three in Connecticut. The cars were quickly modified, one had a 540ci stroker Merlin big-block, and another had a 502ci. The "crash Chevelle," used for interior shots, was equipped with an exterior exo-skeleton, had the beefed up 540ci, dart heads, and a Holley 850 cfm carburetor.
The car used for the exterior shots had a factory automatic, while the cars used for the interior angles had Muncie 4-speed manuals to highlight power shifting. Center force clutches gave the manuals necessary resistance to the intense abuse on set.
The prep-crew had little time between purchasing the Chevelles, transporting them, and then prepping with suspension upgrades. A set of beefed-up front shocks, and a rear Hotchkis kit were installed. The biggest difficulty was braking. To get the Chevelles to drift properly, the team had to engineer custom brackets to mount rear disc brakes.
With the help of Greg Kuter, SSBC calipers were installed in the rear. Dual 44mm, 4-piston calipers, and hot-blue pads committed the car to stopping on short notice. C-clip eliminators were used with a 12-bolt rearend for strength around hard turns. Each car was given an 8-gallon fuel cell to prevent fires.
Check-out our photo gallery below: