Paul Walker: An Inspiration to a Generation

Fast and Furious protagonist’s tragic passing sends shockwaves among all of the franchise’s cult followers
By Jason Amico
The tragic passing of film star and humanitarian Paul Walker has been a devastation to his family, friends, and fans alike. His death after a tragic car accident in close friend Roger Rodas’s Porsche Carrera GT supercar has been heavily publicized, largely in part to the notion that Walker’s most famous role as protagonist Brian O’Conner in the The Fast and the Furious film franchise. With Rodas, Walker started the organization Reach Out Worldwide, which was holding an event for Phillipinnes typhoon victims that the two men were leaving from at the time of their accident. The two men also started the famous performance automobile shop Always Evolving in Valencia, California, which was known to have one of the most extravagant car collections in the Western Hemisphere.
Paul Walker’s role as a cop-turned-criminal-turned-cop-again in the The Fast and the Furious films, along with Vin Deisel’s part as criminal mastermind Dominic Toretto, helped initiate a newfound infatuation for car culture among youths in the current generation. The idea for the films came from an article about Los Angeles nighttime illegal street racing in Vibe magazine in 1999, and once the first installment of The Fast and the Furious was released, everyone wanted to put Nitrous Oxide cans in their car and complete a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds. Walker’s own passion for import automobiles and insane engine modifications spread throughout the U.S. like wildfire, making everyone desire a twin-turbo “10-Second Toyota Supra” and the road-illegal R34 Nissan GT-R, famously known as Godzilla in Japan. This passion for cars inspired a passion of my own; in fact my favorite version of my favorite car, the BMW E36 M3, was Walker’s favorite as well; he had 7 limited edition “Lightweight” E36’s at his Always Evolving garage. I only hope more people are inspired by Walker and his devotion to instill that people should always be passionate about what they love doing; “My philosophy is: If you can’t have fun, there’s no sense in doing it.”