Posted Dec 1st 2013 5:00PM
Shocked fans of the popular Fast and Furious films continue to grieve and offer their condolences just hours after learning the untimely death of franchise star Paul Walker in a tragic car crash yesterday. Many fans are already saying the Fast and Furious films will never be the same again following the actor's death.
In his personal life, Paul Walker was also widely recognized as an avid car collector and hardcore driving enthusiast. His strong passion for car culture, aftermarket tuning and auto racing went far beyond his lead role as character Brian O'Conner (which Walker played in six of seven Fast and Furious movies).
Which begs the question we'll explore below; Could Paul Walker's fast and furious lifestyle off the movie set have ultimately contributed to his tragic and sudden death?
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For those who don't know, Walker (whose grandfather was a race car driver) owned an impressive and valuable car collection ranging from between 20-30 vintage and modern sportscars (including the highly coveted Nissan Skyline R34 from one of his films). Plus, he held an active dealer's license, owned a business manufacturing performance parts and frequented a number of race tracks and racing events on a regular basis.
Reports say the fiery crash which claimed Walker's life (as a passenger in a friend's 2005 Porsche Carrera GT) happened after hitting either a post or a tree before the the rare $450,000 supercar suddenly burst into flames. It certainly doesn't help that V-10 Porsche-powered exotic also has quite the reputation for being a handful to drive, with previous Carerra GT owners and prior crash reports raising many safety concerns and even resulting in a $4.5M lawsuit settlement.
The driver, identified as financial advisor turned Pirelli World Challenge World Challenge racer Roger Rodas, was both a friend and business partner of actor Paul Walker and the two were known to frequently hit race tracks together at events like the 25 Hours of Thunderhill and other time attack-type events throughout California.
Walker was returning from a fundraiser to help raise money for the victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines at the time of the horrible crash. Often described as quiet philanthropist, Paul Walker used his wealth and success to help those in need and did so without ever seeking an ounce of attention for himself.
Many wonder if Walker would still be with us today, had he not lived such a fast life and stepped into the passenger seat of his pal's Porsche on that fateful Saturday afternoon. But then again, that's the kind of "life in the fast lane" guy Paul Walker will always be fondly remembered as by his many friends and fans.
Click here for more on the tragic loss of actor Paul Walker and watch the videos below (including a tour of Walker's personal car collection).