Horsepower, explosions, and movie magic!

The number of historic movie cars that have penetrated the automotive consciousness is kind of staggering. The Mustang from Bullitt, the Challenger from Vanishing Point, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, any number of Batmobiles and James Bond cars; it’s just the tip of the iceberg. But in that pantheon of movie magic and nostalgia, it’s often the overlooked and forgotten cars that can be the most interesting.

One of the best examples of this that we’ve seen in recent memory is the GTO driven by Vin Diesel in the action film "xXx." One of the stunt cars used in the film rolled through Jay Leno’s garage, and we have been gifted with a full 40 minutes of footage and information on this piece of muscle car magic. And let us tell you, if you didn’t appreciate this car when the movie came out way back in 2002, this video could change your mind. Not only is this particular car a real GTO, not a clone, it was used to perform real stunts for the film. It feature a remote launching soft top, a real parachute mounted in the seats, a set of actual working firearms in the rear seat, and the headlights breakaway to fire flares.

Pontiac GTO XXX Jay Leno

To hell with CG, this real American muscle machine uses real fire and effects, and that makes it all the more amazing.

If there is anything about this video that borders on lackluster, it might the car’s owner sadly. Thom Sherwood is obviously immensely passionate about his Pontiacs and the knowledge he has to share about this particular GTO is frankly staggering. That doesn’t stop his dry delivery from making the video feel a little longer than it really is.

Still, if you have even a passing interest in stunt cars, action movies or vintage GTOs, you absolutely must give this video a watch. Again, at forty minutes it’s a bit long, but we promise you’ll learn something cool. If you absolutely can’t be bothered to watch the entire thing, we must recommend you skip to the 36-minute mark. This is where we get the story of tracking down the molded foam that holds all of the guns. It involves trips to Europe, movie lots, a huge armory, and “the most expensive piece of foam in the world.”

We think it’s the best part of the whole video, so enjoy.

'