“If one day speed kills me, don’t cry because I was smiling” – Paul Walker
You’ve most likely heard of Paul Walker’s passing in the tragic car accident Saturday afternoon. Walker was reportedly attending a charity event at the Always Evolving auto shop in Valencia, California; a performance shop that he owned. Roger Rodas, the driver of the Porsche Carrera GT, was the CEO of AE and long time friend of Paul’s. “Him and his buddy, his brother in arms at heart just decided to joyride, take a spin. Something we all do. We’re all car enthusiasts. … We’re all here driving, enjoying each other, and God must’ve needed help,” said Antonio Holmes, who said he was a friend of Walker. Today, we don’t want to focus on his loss, but rather remember Paul for the man he was.
Now, if you’re like me, you know that Paul was a car enthusiast first, actor second. If you are involved in the the car community, then this man (in fact the entire cast of F&F) helped shape the entire tuning community; from body-kits and Underglow, to the quotes that we all recite. Some say they hate the series, but still went to watch it in the theater. I will tell you, it won’t be the same without him. It’s said that F&F 7 is still in production, but it’s uncertain what will happen to ‘Brian O’Connor.’ What we do know is that the scheduled release date is April 3rd 2015 and may be our last chance to see Paul on the big screen.
I won’t forget when we heard the news, it’s a little weird to say the least. Most of the Condukt.co crew was together enjoying ‘Friendsgiving’ dinner where we even thanked the car gods for titanium valve springs and ball bearing turbos. When Nate got a phone call, he told us all the rumor. It was silent and we all feared the worst and dove into our phones. After sifting through all the tabloids and as more information was being reported in the news, our fear was realized; Paul Walker was dead.
The overwhelming support on social media spoke volumes on how much he has touched our world. This has given the entire car community a heavy heart. There are pictures and videos of Paul from all over the world talking cars and being a part of this lifestyle we all share. I think we’ve all read and heard enough about Paul’s death, so let’s remember his life. Paul spent a lot of his rare free time at Buttonwillow Raceway and other tracks in So Cal. He inherited his passion from his grandfather, who was a race car driver in his time. He raced himself and had a nice car collection that he tinkered on in his free time. His collection was pretty deep and some can been seen in this video from ‘The Smoking Tire’ doing a walk-around of the Always Evolving shop. When he wasn’t behind the wheel, you could find him volunteering at his charity Reach Out WorldWide. Paul founded ROWW back in 2010 to help others in the time of need. From the earthquakes in Haiti to tornados here in the States, his organization has been on the scene of disasters around the globe. Don’t think Paul doesn’t get his hands dirty either:
“I’m a doer, and whether it was the tsunami in Sri Lanka or the earthquake in Indonesia, I was always saying, I should be there; I should be helping out.”
“I live by ‘Go big or go home.’ That’s with everything. It’s like either commit and go for it or don’t do it at all. I apply that to everything. I apply that to relationships, I apply that to sports, I apply that to everything. That’s what I live by. That’s how I like it.” – Paul
There are countless interviews out there with Paul talking about his cars and passion for them. One of my personal favorites is from Ask Men found here. This is a great read in which he talks about his personal collection and some of his favorites. Be sure to check it out!
Paul was a personal role model of mine; not for his movies, but for what he did for charity and the person he was. He was never in the tabloids or in the spotlight. He was one of us, just a car guy. He was a wonderful father and simply a good guy. That’s hard to find in the world these days, let alone Hollywood. Needless to say, Paul was a selfless individual and it’s a shame that he was taken from the world so young. We need more selfless people like him. Heaven has gained another angel and it’s safe to say that God now has a precision driver upstairs.
We here at Condukt.co are in disbelief and are truly saddened by the loss of a true enthusiast and great person in the car community.
Words by Dave Dorsey