Gymkhana Seven: How It All Went Down
Wild In The Streets

Set on the streets of LA, Gymkhana Seven is the latest in a long line of brutal internet-breaking videos from Ken Block and his Hoonigans, and is surely the most epic, face-melting installment yet. Sure, we could have just posted the video and been done with it like everyone else, but that’s not our style; we are the Speedhunters after all. With that comes some pretty special opportunities to get the real story behind the story, and our man Larry Chen was able to spend five very long days embedded in the shoot, all in an effort to show you all exactly what goes in to the making of a tyre-shredding, clutch-dumping monster video like this. Behold the majesty of Gymkhana Seven.

Let’s get straight into it. Since I began Speedhunting many years ago, I’ve been able to shoot some very cool things. Shooting on set for Gymkhana Seven, though, has to take the cake. I was on the set for Gymkhana Four - which was Ken Block going Hollywood on all of us – and since then I’ve really wanted to come back. I had scheduling conflicts for Gymkhana Five and Six, but the shoot dates for Seven just happened to land in an open time slot for me. Even better, it was taking place in my hometown, Los Angeles.

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While the car itself is the star of the show, what really got me was the concept. Who would have ever thought to build a Four-wheel drive, drifting, donut-making ’65 Mustang? Appropriately dubbed the Hoonicorn RTR, it’s one of the most amazing builds I’ve ever seen. Stay tuned for an in-depth car feature later this week…

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What I loved most about this shoot is the fact that I can now see my home city in a completely different light. I can say, ‘See that freeway? I took a selfie right there in the middle of it all,’ and ‘See the Hollywood sign? I was on top of that shooting one of the greatest Hoonigans of all time, Mr. Ken Block!’

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It all started late one Thursday night a few months ago when I dropped by Hoonigan’s ‘Donut Shop’ for a sneak peak at the Hoonicorn RTR.

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There the Hoonigan Racing Division team was putting the finishing touches on the Mustang. The last bit of bodywork was being added and it was about to be fired up for some late night testing.

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It was the first time Ken had stepped into the car in full trim. A few months prior he’d had the chance to drive it around a parking lot without any exterior panels, but it had changed so much since then.

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The car was taken to an undisclosed location in Downtown Los Angeles, for some testing. A few donuts won’t hurt anyone, right?

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After a quick midnight wake up call for the neighbors, it was time to call it a night – the next morning we would jump straight into shooting. Right then and there, after witnessing firsthand how absolutely violent the car was, I knew this was going to be something special.

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As with any viral video dream team, you need the best creative minds. Brian Scotto has been working alongside Ken since the beginning of the Gymkhana series, and was also the creative director for Recoil 2, which I was also lucky enough to be a part of.

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There were many more familiar faces from the set of Recoil 2 as well, including director Ben Conrad, who also happened to direct Gymkhana Four, Five and Six. Also on set were these two Hoonigans from Tempt Media. We’ll just call them Tweedledee and Tweedledum…

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Our first stop in the great city of Los Angeles was its iconic Chinatown.

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While it’s all fun for you guys watching the video, what you may not realize is how much time, effort and resource it actually takes to make something like this.

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There were probably at least 80 people on set, each with a very specific job. The hours were long, but looking at the end result the reward was more than worth it.

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The video shoot itself took five full days which lasted from dawn till dusk. It still amazes me as I look back on it, because that wasn’t actually a lot of time considering how many locations we hit up.

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With pretty much no seat time, Ken jumped into the driver’s seat and went for it. It was time for him to do what he does best.

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Countless feature films have been shot on the streets of Chinatown, so it was only fitting for the guys to choose this historic location.

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With the utmost precision, Ken wrangled the Hoonicorn RTR around the obstacles. It takes a driver with some balls to tame a 845hp beast, and the last thing anyone wanted was a ’65 Mustang driven through a storefront.

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If you do enough of these viral videos, you are bound to make some friends. Tony Harmer and Alex Bernstein were on set causing trouble with their cameras, as was Will Roegge who, as always, could be found shooting from dangerous locations.

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Our next location was the concrete jungle that is the Los Angeles River. Ken got to live every boy racer’s dream of driving the channel after watching movies like Gone In 60 Seconds and more recently, Drive, with Ryan Gosling.

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The crew brought in a few props as obstacles, some of which seemed to pay homage to Ken’s motoring past.

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Up until this point, Ken had only had a few minutes behind the wheel, but it was time to push the envelope. The water itself was so nasty that I was afraid I’d end up with an extra toe if I stepped into it.

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While the state of the water was less than desirable, I don’t think Ken would’ve been satisfied if he had left the scene with a dry car.

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After each major stunt the crew reviewed the footage to make sure they had what they needed to proceed. In this case it was all good, which was lucky because I don’t think that the Hoonicorn RTR was up for another dip in the luxurious waters of the Los Angeles River.

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I included this photo to give you an idea of how many people were working behind the scenes. This is the largest production there’s ever been for a Gymkhana shoot.

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In between stunts, Brian and Ken would plan out the driving line for the most impactful shot. While the final edit makes it look like everything was filmed back-to-back, there was actually plenty of downtime. This meant that Ken had to stay totally focused when he was behind the wheel.

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The one thing he did not have to worry about though, was the car. It ran flawlessly throughout the entire five-day shoot.

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It was built to be durable and reliable so Ken could jump, hit, and hoon everything.

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This ultimately allowed him to repeat stunts until they were nailed perfectly. Keep in mind that this sort of car has never been built before, and that many of the parts are custom one-off items that the boys at Autosport Dynamics (the guys who build and service Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s RTR Mustang Formula Drift cars) put together.

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Because of the many takes, the Hoonigan Racing Division team burned through quite a few sets of tires. Lucky for them, Pirelli made custom tires for Ken with his name on them. Must be nice, huh!

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The sun was setting and it was time for the last stunt of the day, which involved going flat-out into a huge sweeper.

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As it was super-dusty there was very little traction on the surface, so it was a challenge for Ken to quickly change direction at speed…

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But it’s nothing that a heavy right foot can’t solve. I’ve never seen smoke billow off four tires with such intensity.

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Onlookers began to wonder what was going on down by the river…

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With just a fleeting few minutes of light left, Ken made a couple more attempts at hitting a small ramp that the crew had constructed. The wild nature of the car and the fact that the surface was so slick, meant it was easier for him to slide into it backwards though.

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It really amazed me how many different locations and scenes were shot in a single day, even with such a large production.

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Day 1 was in the books, but it was just the beginning of a very long viral video shoot…

I Love LA
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The first location for Day 2 was the very center of Downtown, Los Angeles. The streets were blocked off by the police and there was an eerie silence. Downtown has never been this empty – even so early on a Saturday morning.

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The Hoonicorn RTR was proudly parked in the middle of the financial district, bathed in the morning light. While I was eating my morning egg rolls, it all of a sudden dawned on me. Streets were getting shut down and I was beginning to see the bigger picture – this was a big deal.

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Closed streets in Los Angeles are normally reserved for big-budget Hollywood films and car commercials, but on this specific morning it was time for the Hoonicorn RTR to shine.

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Apparently this project was two years in the making. Due to the R&D required, it took longer than normal to create such a unique hooning vehicle – plus then there was the planning and logistics of the actual shoot to work through. Somehow, these two knuckleheads always pull it off while driving around in police cars.

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This kind of opens the conversation as to what’s next? It’s something we all seem to ask after every Gymkhana video, yet somehow Ken and the boys always deliver.

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To Ken, it’s all about being able to do what he loves for a living. To call it a dream job would be a massive understatement.

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The deafening roar of the 410ci Roush Yates V8 echoed around the urban landscape. It was utterly epic.

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Tire smoke trailed behind the beast as it sped through the streets, almost uncontrollably.

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I drive these roads all the time, but I will never look at them the same way again now.

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The next stunt went below a network of Downtown bridges and tunnels.

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The car effortlessly pirouetted through the streets. With so much tire smoke coming out of the front wheel wells, I wondered how Ken even knew which direction he was headed in at times.

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Even after the tires had stopped spinning and the motor was shut down, burnt rubber would bleed out from every orifice of the Mustang for minutes at a time.

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At this point Downtown Los Angeles was filled with tire smoke. It was almost majestic, and it lingered around like a low layer of fog.

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For unsuspecting pedestrians it probably looked like one of the buildings in the area was on fire.

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And just like that the Hoonicorn RTR disappeared back into the tire smoke from which it came from.

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The aftermath was some funky lines that looked like they had been drawn with crayons by a 2-year-old.

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The next location was as quintessentially LA as the famous Hollywood sign. The network of bridges that connect east Los Angeles with Downtown and surround the LA River have shown up in so many major motion pictures.

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Each has it own unique characteristics, but the 6th Street Bridge was the one chosen for filming.

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It’s the same location where I shot the cover for our brand new Speedhunters book: Feature Cars 01. But why was this one being used instead of the 1st or 4th Street Bridge?

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Because it’s the gateway to the LA River, and therefore crucial to the flow of the story.

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While it takes months of scouting and planning, no one really knows if a stunt will work until it’s actually tried for the first time.

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The car was eased down into the river to check for clearance and shot position, all the while attention being paid to not disturb the local residents. It was determined that the front lip was just way too low to drift into the river at speed, so for the final shot they removed it.

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And just like that Ken went from the street into the nastiness that is the LA River.

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Next up was a few shots on top of the 4th Street Bridge, which provides some great views of Downtown LA and the surrounding areas.

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It was planned that Ken would drift onto the bridge and around a few interesting obstacles.

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It took multiple takes, but this one gave me a real Steve McQueen vibe. I’m talking about that unforgettable burnout he did after overshooting the corner during the legendary chase scene in Bullit.

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After many circle burners it was pedal to the metal. Ken could really stretch the Mustang’s legs and reach triple-digit speeds here.

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With all the commotion and loud V8 noises, Magnus Walker, who lives just down the street, wandered onto the bridge to see what was going on. Ken Block pulled up to him in the police car and asked him “What are you doing on my bridge?” Magnus replied, “What are you doing on my bridge”

Highway To The Danger Zone
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At this point I was feeling the fatigue of shooting for three days straight, not helped by the fact that the call times were getting earlier and earlier. On the third day we met at one of the largest and tallest freeway interchanges in the world – the connect between interstate 110 and the 105.

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I showed up just in time to catch the mechanics and production crew preparing for the first shot.

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Southern California has the busiest freeway network in the world, and even on a Sunday morning the motorways are packed. To close down one of the biggest intersections would be an absolute nightmare in any other city, but since Los Angeles caters to the film industry, the California Highway Patrol helped out immensely.

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The first trick of the day? Make donuts until there’s no more rubber left on the tires. Should be easy, right?

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The purpose of this shot was to produce enough tire smoke to rise through the different columns of highways, till it reached the very top.

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When you consider that he would have been driving blind after three donuts, I think Ken did pretty well.

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Going flat-out on the freeway in reverse? No big deal… Just check out how many levels this highway system has. It’s just crazy.

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The boys from Tempt Media were in charge of getting those big shots with a bird in the sky. I had the pleasure of working with them on the set of Recoil 2.

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I was actually really looking forward to this next shot when I saw it in the script. Ken would have a chance to really stretch the Hoonicorn’s legs in top gear going down a section of the 710 freeway. Hitting top speed for the first time must have felt so good.

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Los Angeles is infamous for its high speed car chases, so why not poke fun?

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After Ken blasted by at full noise, a different type of chase ensued.

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I watched it live on television back in 1994, but I never thought I would shoot a recreation…

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The first scene on Day 4 paid homage to Los Angeles’ lowrider scene.

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A few cars were cast for this scene, but one in particular had some serious hop-ability.

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Due to its complexity of timing and how dangerous it was, the stunt was reserved for the latter shots.

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Bascially, as the lowrider was hopping up and down, Ken had to time his donuts perfectly. Too early and he would hit the side of the lowrider, too late and the lowrider would crush the Mustang.

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There were some close calls, but then again, nearly every shot for the video had an element of danger to it.

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To fuel the smack-talking fire, Ken decided to do some more donuts around the biggest donut in Los Angeles. Randy’s Donuts is world famous and it’s also appeared in quite a few major motion pictures.

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Cheesy tourist photos aside, it was going to be quite a feat for Ken to pull off the perfect donut, as the space around the shop was very limited. The best part? They were open for business, so anyone could still walk up to the shop in between takes to order a fresh donut.

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I’ve passed by this store my whole life, but I never thought I would get to stand right next to the novelty donut.

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Ken got within inches of the building itself, as well as the many curbs surrounding the shop.

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What better way to finish off a successful day of shooting with some sprinkled donuts.

Going Hollywood
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The fifth and final day of shooting played out at the most iconic location of them all: the one and only Hollywood sign. While there’s no public access to the sign itself, there is a small hiking trail that goes near it. I took this photo from a closed-off area reserved for movie sets where our base was set up.

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While it would have been cool enough to have a shot with the sign in the background, drifting above it would be even cooler.

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Which of course is exactly what Ken did. This was the very first time this location has been used for anything remotely close to what we were doing, and being the highest point in Los Angeles County it provided some amazing views of the city – even if there was a layer of smog to contend with.

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Ken came out guns blazing and lit up all four tires with the Los Angeles skyline in the background. Could it have ended any better than this?

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We were only allowed a small crew up top, but of course we made the most of it.

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After a few fresh tire marks it was time to take the ultimate selfie.

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The shoot was a success, and we could not have asked for better conditions or shooting locations. What an amazing view.

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After the smoke cleared we checked out the tire marks. You can clearly see how close Ken got to the edge of the mountain.

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Brian Scotto was very happy with the results, but there was still one last scene to shoot that would tie the whole thing together.

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Welcome to one of the last steel mills in Los Angeles, or as I called it, a photographer’s wet dream.

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This location was full of character, and it was the perfect setting for the video’s intro.

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This is one of my favorite behind-the-scenes images from the entire shoot. You can see how much goes into rigging for those special shots.

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I think we can fit a few more GoPros on the car don’t you think? Or perhaps we just give one to Ken to hold while he’s driving?

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One by one the crew knocked out the shots that were needed for the intro. At this point they were really chasing the sunlight.

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Five days of non-stop shooting was taking a toll on everyone, including Ken. At this moment it felt like my body was getting ready to shut down.

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Luckily for Ken his family was there on site to support him. Not only is he a racing driver and media genius, he is first and foremost a devoted husband and father.

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His kids loved being on set, and I think it provided everyone with some much needed comic relief.

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Now it was time for the head Hoonigan to suit up one last time for the final trick – the one that was probably hardest on the Hoonicorn RTR.

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The crew chained the monster down to the foundations of the building and let Ken rip all four tires to shreds.

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Within seconds, thick smoke was billowing out from beneath the car. The sound was deafening, and it reverberated through my body.

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The Mustang eventually disappeared into the smoke, and at this point all you could hear was the motor bouncing off its 8,000rpm rev limiter as the tires clawed for traction.

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And just like that, the Hoonicorn RTR was unleashed to wreak havoc on the streets of Los Angeles. This is backwards storytelling at its finest!

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This begs the question, what is next for Ken Block? Gymkhana in North Korea? What about the moon? Either way you know I will be there, spacesuit and all…

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto
larry@speedhunters.com

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182 comments

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1

Deja vu?

2

Love hoonigan, the car, ken, the video, and this article! marketing genius and tons o' fun

3

Gymkhana Detroit! It has to be done!

4

Gymkhana Detroit! It has to be done!

5

The best GYMKHANA yet. Awesome post Larry, bet that was a fun shoot.

6

THIS guy has the best job of all time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7

Excellent article Larry!  Was a blast sitting in that room with that car and meeting you as well.  Best Gym yet!

8

Yup, the internet has been won. Shut it down, folks.

9

Any intentions to do a feature on the car?

10
Gianluca FairladyZ

Pirelli Corsa Trofeo R! I like...

11

Great! The video is amazing! The best so far!
The Mustang is just batshit crazy!
Congratulations on the article Larry, I enjoyed it a lot.

P.S. I watched the video 3 times already!

12

Very Nice! The last time we were doing HONDA down at that river location ... there was a fellow, totally in the buff, just sitting in the water.

13

Good car, Good driver, good photos. Boring video. Most boring Gymkhana of seven.

14

The slide underneath the hopping lowrider blows my mind. That musht have been insanely difficult to time and given that lowriders sometimes hold themselves together and sometimes don't that must have just added another level of difficulty to that particular stunt.
I must have watched just that part over for a good minute...

15

is the mustang 4wd?

16

paulvang96 Yes

17

I wouldn't put it past Block to do Gymkhana 8 on the moon......haha

18

DaveT Yes, this lowrider part is veeeery good. I agree. But... From 12 minutes of "Seven" video you can cut out 9-10 without losing a great moments. Gymkhana 5 much more dynamic and epic, without boring moments.

19

Mr. Block should come to Gatebil Rudskogen 2015. This Mustang will fit in perfect with the Gatebil crowd.

20

Block can drive, I feel he is seen overrated because of all these videos, D/C & Rob Dyrdek gimmick, but he does have talent.  Surprised LA shut down a piece of the 405 for this, that seems crazy to me. This one felt RAW, real, the aggression of the Mustang was intense. I was quite impressed, this may be the best one of the bunch.. PROPS to all involved!

21
Speedhunters_Bryn

@asdcvcb That's a fine idea.

22

Gym8- Alaskan snow

Gym9- on an active volcano
Gym10- under water
Gym11- upside down , in water, on a volcano
Gym12- Pandora planet

Gym13- Inerstellar fifth dimension Mustang drift into time to an alternate universe where Marty McFly is a real person.

23

Gym8- Alaskan snow

Gym9- on an active volcano
Gym10- under water
Gym11- upside down , in water, on a volcano
Gym12- Pandora planet

Gym13- Inerstellar fifth dimension Mustang drift into time to an alternate universe where Marty McFly is a real person.

24

Honestly guys, i would like to see a Gymkhana @ Canaveral cape and especially in NASA's Space Center!!!

That would be f**king awesome!

25

ra64freddy! WHAT HE SAID. Very raw and cool.

26

this is going too far.
just like the seventh part of Fast and the Furious.
it was awesome sight at first, and six parts later, most people just yawn

27

Now THIS is the actual definition of what a mustang truly is.

28

Well Gym7 has officially rustled my jimmies.. gonna go shower, be back for seconds.

Author29

Make sure you guys check out presentation mode for high resolution photos.

30

They need to get this car featured in the upcoming Mad Max movie, this mustang really looks like it came out of the dystopicworld of Mad Max

31

Put that car at GRC.... and FORCE every other driver to build and race their customer cars!!!!!!!!!!

32

What is the car geared to? Looks low for max acceleration like a rally/rallyX car? Maybe 120mph or so flat out in 6th?

33

WTF is happening here? Almost 1k people listening at the same time? Never seen anything like that on SH and I am a regular since Dec 2008.

Chen's stocks are skyrocketing. I thought Rocket Bunny was the internet sensation of 2014. I was wrong. 
You keep saying #poopcomingout. I reckon you must be shitting bricks from excitement. Well done to Kenny and Chen for this exclusive behind the scenes post. It is hard to troll on this occasion. Solid post!

34

watched this within 10 min of it being uploaded and it already had over 300 views! :o
gotta love look of shadows in tire smoke...!

Author35

@TROLLS ROYCE I was waiting for your comment since this was published. Thank you for the kind words. Kenny and the rest of his block will be pleased.

Author36

@TROLLS ROYCE I was waiting for your comment since this was published. Thank you for the kind words. Kenny and the rest of his block will be pleased.

37

Larry Chen Come on, man. There is no way you were waiting for my comment. I am obliged to be kind since this post is of epic proportions and being an exclusive is definitely a plus to my eyes. I have to say dude, if you ever think of advertising, I am definitely buying. You are that good. Take care and keep feeding us with posts of this level. ;)

38

Larry Chen Come on, man. There is no way you were waiting for my comment. I am obliged to be kind since this post is of epic proportions and being an exclusive is definitely a plus to my eyes. I have to say dude, if you ever think of advertising, I am definitely buying. You are that good. Take care and keep feeding us with posts of this level. ;)

Author39

Kevin Angeloni He probably agrees with you.

Author40

Paddy McGrath cool guy!

Author41

@donfrondo That is going up this week.

Author42

SeBaBunea Thanks, I had fun shooting on set for sure.

Author43

makofoto We saw a similar thing, and it was not pretty.

44

By far my favorite Gymkhana, mainly because I just spent the last 8 yrs in LA; and know most every location that was filmed.
Love your images Larry! Always top notch!

45

ra64freddy! Totally agree man

46

The white Bronco police chase! XD It goes without saying that the video was great, after I saw the SEMA pics of the Mustang I could not wait to see this installment. But the still shots! Great job Mr. Chen, great coverage!

47

Looks like mr blocks gymkhana series is running stale. Recoil 2 alone was leagues better than this.
Everyone knows by now that huge power and awd equals reverse drifts and big donuts.. this vid brings nothing new to the table.

48

this is great i hope make something good again!!!
my favourite gymkhana!!!!!!!!!

49

this ken bloc kid needs to stop doin this fake vids and win some races

50

The Gymkhana is very successful ... But in my point of view and this being a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang, the stage would be the right choice for the City of San Francisco and emulate a little of the film Bullitt.
For the rest, all very well but if I've missed less odd feat.
greetings

51

Anybody that thinks that film is not impressive is kidding themselves.
From the car, to the driving, the locations and logistics etc show me anything that compares!
I work in film and cannot imagine how big that was to shoot. If this video was part of a car chase in the biggest Hollywood film it would blow people away.
Nice story Larry.

52

The only problem I found in this Gymkhana video is that previous skid marks are too obvious on the asphalt. Other than that it's an excellent video.

53

Totes amaze. Such Mustang, much smoke, drivatar level 100, so monster.

54

Awesome,Epic, Insane ,Spectacular, Amazeballs, Sick, Bad Ass.. NONE OF THOSE EVEN COME CLOSE TO THE LEVEL OF COOL THIS VIDEO IS. WE NEED A NEW WORD FOR SPECTACULAR ....COULD IT BE ...SIMPLY ...HOONOMINAL?!?!

55

DanKhole you could never pull this off if you were given the keys ....smashed on the first turn.....thats a simple fact.

56

Larry Chen PLEASE do a feature on this car. Where can i purchase posters, Hats, Coats ?? I seriously want everything related to this car.

57

EduGB That was Gymkhana 5. :)

58

gatoonik I bet it's more lucrative to make these videos than win races. Just sayin.

59

Great coverage of what turned out to be an awesome production. You're my hero Larry <3


Also, Gymkhana: North Korea is a great idea. You wouldn't even have to close the roads, no one is using them anyway!

61

Amazing photography! Awesome video!

Pretty good driving too...

62

bscress Sick. That guy is a unique kind of genius.

63

KeithCharvonia gatoonik Depends on the level you win at Keith ;)

64

@TROLLS ROYCE Larry Chen Like you said.

65

Nitrogliserin So ... it's not a narrative ... most of us understand, "First Positions, back to one ..."

66

lol did i say anything about myself? My point stands, earlier gymkhana vids, recoil, gis series and so on, have already covered these stunts, and judging from block previous vids, he is capable of way more than what was shown in this "huge" production..

67

I have to say of all these videos I liked the San Francisco video the best. By Comparison this one did seem a little more bland, though I did like the part with the low rider. I have a lot of respect for Ken and his car control. 

To play devil's advocate, I do have a bit of a laugh looking at the comments where people say "you could never do this" to someone they have never met. While average Joe would struggle to do the stunts in this video, in the realm of people who race / drive competitively the driving in these videos are really not much more than seat time and getting your timing down. 

Ken's doing well in GRC (which isn't a legitimate racing series IMO) and has certainly found a niche of fans who admire his work. At the end of the day he's having fun and that's all that really matters. I enjoyed this video and look forward to Gymkhanas 10 when he is in fact on the moon.

68

Donuts around Randy's was epic. "Yes please, I'll have some Donuts with my Donuts!"

69

Block and roll. This guy is living the life!! Nice coverage as well Mr. Chen.

70

Cinematography at it's finest, automotive or otherwise. 

The race is now on to see who can make a GTA 5 parody/recreation.

71

KeithCharvonia Maybe so, but I doubt Mr. Block is strapped for cash...

72

ok this is how the 8th will go... starts out in a mall in a raptor with the engine in the back and then breaks through the front doors and crushes all the cars in his way, and trucks through 3 feet of snow onto a skate park for cars and then ends with plummeting into the ocean

73

Now that's my kind of Pony. I'm impressed with Ken's weapon of choice and overall shocked on what lie underneath. 
Ripping up LA, donuts around Randys' Donuts and Chinatown, all is needed was an actual police chase to make it all the sweeter. 
Love the OJ Simpson Ford Bronco cameo. 

Again Mr. Block, I tip my hat to you. Awesome posts SH! Keep em coming!

74

Unreal.  The shots of the suspension working were pure gold.

75

Larry, I think I enjoyed the pictures more than Gymkhana itself! The photo's are immaculate and the story gave an awesome insight to actually being there!
Does anyone know what the red button on top of the E-brake handle does?

76

Gymkhana 7 is just like mix between Gymkhana in SF and Gymkhana in France (I forget about the number :p )
the feels and everything  just like that two film :D

where Gymkhana 8 will be start filming?
Singapore, Japan, Italy, Germany, or where? :D

77

Great coverage Larry!  I've got to ask, did they contemplate going up the concrete banks of the LA river?   It would have been very Gymkhana 3 where he went up the banks of the autodromo in France.

78

I am speechless!  Serious goose bumps after just looking at the photos!  I love LA and been to many of the places shown here! .... mmmm... doughnuts!!

79

Gymkhana 8: Ken Block drifts an amphibious vehicle in and around the waters of Miami, Florida... We'll call it "Gymkhana Vice".

80

His mustang looks like something straight out of Mad Max.

81

Ken really outdid himself this time! Awesome car, fantastic video.

Can't wait for the feature!!

82

Amazing work Larry! Photographically, one of my favourite features on here of all time!

83

Amazing work Larry! Photographically, one of my favourite features on here of all time!

84

ok so does anybody know about why it says NEEDED FOR SPEED NO LIMITS are they coming up with a new game?

85

MrSOLOMON85 they gotta make money, so it's pretty safe to say yes... and something something ken block's car is in it.

86

KeithCharvonia gatoonik it's only more lucrative when you can't win, go ask Loeb if he'd rather be slinging t-shirts or a 9 time champion. But yes, this is the right move for Block and he has admitted so in interviews as well.

87

From a purely entertainment value standpoint, this video is great! Keep up the fun times Ken!!

88

MrSOLOMON85 It's supposed to be a game developed for smartphones.

89

awesome video stunned that it's the first awd performance mustang ever made. plus love the part in the article where Magnus and Ken are talking about “What are you doing on my bridge?” found that pretty funny especially when Ken went over the bridge it got me wondering if Magnus is watching. and last i have to say is love the car looks like something you would see from Mad Max so love the video and hope they make more Crazy Gymkhana like this or even better.

90

Piranha426 Yipes!

91

Vadim_A wholeheartedly agree.

92

DjaranJones It isn't..

93

one sick video! love the sound of that stallion.

where can  i find the bandana that he wares over his mouth?

94

First of all, I think the Hoonicorn looks like something Linhbergh would hashtag. Automotive dookie. 
There, I said it.
That said, I can't wait for the in depth feature because from an engineering standpoint this thing must be an absolute beast!

The thing I like the most about this BTS was seeing the production that goes into making something like this. Being into videography myself I find the scale of this production to be mindblowing. The fact that they closed off entire parts of the city, absolutely insane :) Also, Larry, the photography was on point(as always), I have yet to see a shot from you that doesn't capture what's going on perfectly... I'd even go as far as saying that I enjoyed reading this article more than watching the actual video :p

95

Axis of Oversteer has issued a challenge to Ken Block: Drift and recreate the RUF Yellowbird video from  the 90s and they will give him free loafers and a polo shirt. 

http://blog.axisofoversteer.com/2014/11/open-letter-to-ken-block-7.html#disqus_thread


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTGvHskGKI4

96

@WhoAmI DjaranJones yeah

97

Thanks for the great feedback kphillips9936!

98

Michael Atwell Mr. Block if you are reading this, please consider this comment. Best idea ever. 
PS: Add some wapons and call it ''GTAkhana Vice City''

99

You can try searching at hoonigan's website

100

Mountain roads of Japan, i hope.

101

I would want to see him drift in a rwd car and see how he does.

102

like i have been saying for years this man is a fraud. he takes multiple shots of a corner and picks the best one and people are on his nuts. if it was one or maybe two runs i would be impressed but this is like shooting a music video or a movie. hes an actor at most. too many edits to call it talent. hes just a rich guy with an ebrake.

103

I for one would love to be a "Rich Guy with an E brake"!! I revel in the fact that somebody has figured out how to have a blast and make bank doing it. Respect to you Mr. Block.

104

Uh, actually, it's AWD (all-wheel-drive), not four wheel drive - there's a difference, you know.  You'd think a site named "speedhunters" would this.

Along with every great thing the internet has brought us, there is this - people who nothing about something can claim to know everything about it, when they don't even know the basics.

105

...and the last thing anyone wanted was a ’65 Mustang driven through a storefront.
Yeah, leave that for the Dirty Harry movies. :D

106

all due respect, but still nothin compare to Giorgi Tevzadze in his 5series

Author107

2xthefun KeithCharvonia gatoonik I bet you more people know Ken's name versus Loeb.

108

Censport We did that for a Peugeot commercial on the steep hills of San Francisco ... but we built fake store fronts for the non-peugeots to drive through.  :-)

Author109

Every photo is high resolution if you enter presentation mode.

110

Insane photos Larry. Absolutely gorgeous!

111

Gymkhana in North Korea is awesome idea, I would like to see him drifting at that square where military parade was,
But i don't think it's gonna be posibble

112

You do realize there is a difference between AWD and 4WD, right? If Ken's car was AWD, it would be fairly hard to regulate the drift as different torque would be applied to each tire, making it inconsistent. 4WD is direct and makes the Mustang more powerful and more consistent in a drift. His mustang is 4WD.

113

You do realize there is a difference between AWD and 4WD, right? If Ken's car was AWD, it would be fairly hard to regulate the drift as different torque would be applied to each tire, making it inconsistent. 4WD is direct and makes the Mustang more powerful and more consistent in a drift. His mustang is 4WD.

114

He's making bank off of idiots that know nothing of cars. Congrats.

115

KeithCharvonia Already been than in the Gymkhana five was on the streets of San Francisco, but in my point of view, would've been more successful making the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang on the streets of the city, or not .. . on the streets of Detroit
#MuscleCarForever
Greetings

116

This car should be at Gatebil 2015!

Please forward this message to Mr Block.

117

SkanderFekir It's a VIDEO, not real life rally! If you had any inclining into what goes into a production and getting the right shots then you wouldn't be talking such non-sense.
EVERY movie that has a car chase or car scene no matter how good or bad the stunt driver relies on multiple takes to get the desired shot. There's a lot more going on then a guy driving a car. Look at the photo with the people on set, 70 of them making sure its all perfect and you expect one take for everything...right.
Lastly, for you to call him a fraud and a rich guy with an e-brake is pure ignorance and idiocracy. He's spent years honing his craft and learning to drive which he deserves a lot of credit for. So what if he has money to help him fund his passion. He didn't buy his right to do this he earned it.

Time for you to stop drinking all that haterade and talking so much BS.

118

petertarach SkanderFekir OK my turn. From my understanding of movies, filming and whatnot its the crew that's doing the work, now I'm not saying he has no say in how he wants his video, he could direct it himself. But it is a video like you said so don't front like you are a race car driver bringing skill when you keep taking footage of the same turn until you get the right one,then move on to the next corner. Like i said earlier an actor at best and too many edits for talent. Now I'm not saying don't practice it, but at least record it all in one go.

Now again I understand this is a video so maybe he should tell the people watching it that it is fake and not one run because the majority of the people think that it is. Only hiping his reputation on a movie, therefore not his driving. Do you understand that he is doing one section at a time? As a video it is awesome, great filmography. But again, i can not state this enough, there's little skill here. 

Now lets talk cars. AWD cars, all you have to do is go fast, ebrake to the angle you want then mash the accelerator, childsplay. The more power the easier to straighten out. Watch him in any of his videos and listen to the car, that's all he does. Ever. He wont be able to do it in anything else but an AWD car. Yes he does know the angle that he needs to get into, but knowing his video took a week to complete, a day is enough time to get the whole place down, maybe two. Yet he does one section at a time. Anyways, do you see any AWD drifting? No? Well thats because AWD is cheating. It takes a lot more to control a car exiting a drift.

And lasty, isnt he the coowner of DC shoes? All he did was build a car and make a video with people, hiping himself up. If thats not buying your way in, I dont know what is. 

No haterade here, just keeping it real buddy.

Oh and since I have no idea what I'm talking about, heres a video of me drifting my S14. I'm sure you wont watch it, but someone will :)

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=171965152948501&set=vb.100004050528940&type=2&theater

119

SkanderFekir petertarach Clearly you don't get it. He's not fronting, he doesn't care if you think its easy to drive an AWD car, he's out there creating a video that promotes his brand and others. Which, correctly if I'm wrong has done amazingly well so he is accomplishing what he wants. He has a ton of fun doing it, works with all his friends AND makes money from it all.
You should look up him driving an old Ford Escort Cosworth or some of his WRC rally videos. Then tell me he doesn't have skill or is not a race car driver. But you're right AWD is cheating because you've done both and know how easy it is to control an AWD car in a power slide. 

Great video BTW, it clearly proves that you've mastered the art of drifting and car control especially that part where you almost tank slap it into the dirt. Maybe you should be giving Ken Block some lessons since your skills are so good.

Oh and here's a video of me driving a RWD car and NOT sliding it. You're probably going to tell me how easy it is to drive tarmac rally and that I have no idea what I'm talking about... 

http://youtu.be/NmVeWNqPX1A?list=UUKnM8fn3oiMjXNWFnYCAXlw

120

I did mess up in my video,I'm not perfect. Just some regular guy that loves cars and driving. And I don't believe I was comparing myself to him, that's all your doing. I'm not looking for fame nor am i trying to be cool, just a gear head. I do get your points but mine are obviously missed. Good day sir.

121

DjaranJones > stunned that it's the first awd performance mustang ever made.


It isn't. Not even the first 1965 Mustang... The Ferguson FF is well known to the non-skate shoe crowd. Neko.

122

SkanderFekir I think those are the points you're missing. He's just like you! A real gearhead but how he differs from you and I is that he has the means of doing very cool unique stuff and for that nobody should be dissing him as bad as you were.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but when you come at Ken Block the way you did, it's not justified becase he's got lots of talent and working hard to get where he is.

I bid a good day to you as well.

123

@qwerty  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_N54 I guess the guys who made the video are too stupid to know this either, right?

Tell you what - how about you watch the video again, this time paying attention.  To the beginning.

124

#hoonthemoon

125

#hoonthemoon

126

petertarach SkanderFekir You guys are forgetting that Ueo could do this stuff blind folded, in his sleep, 1 handed, in a Hachi Roku with his car seat, backwards, in a child seat, while talking to Tsuchiya, eating doritos, Choku Dori, all day, 1 man, by himself, in a Carolla, no sleep, never owned a shoe, let alone DCs, you ever go drift drift? YOU EVER GO DRIFT DRIFT!?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zQ-EN-EMnw

127

Larry Chen 2xthefun KeithCharvonia gatoonik And your point is what Larry? Is motorsport a popularity contest now? 

How many kids in DC clothing know who Senna is? How about Fangio? If Block wants to become more relevant and respected by the hardcore fans of motorsport (not the GRC / X games crowd) he does have to start winning races. I like these videos, but understand where Keith's comment comes from.

The point is this is a marketing exercise. Lets not confuse marketing prowess with driving prowess. Heres a reminder of what happened the last time Loeb and Block met: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9O7ub40j-c


The ones who know don't have to be told, and the ones who have to be told probably don't know.

128

StevieK The car is equipped with a Sadev SC90-24 transmission.

http://www.sadac.cz/sadev-prevodovka/4wd-transaxle/

129

I just watched it again, this time on a big TV just so I could get the full effect. I love it!
One thing I'd like to say though: I know matte black is all the hipster rage
now, but it sure does not photograph well. Couldn't they have painted it
something colourful? Honestly, I think I might enjoy it more if it were
cherry red.
 
http://mustangsdaily.com/blog/2011/11/03/sema-2011-filip-trojaneks-1966-widebody-mustang-race-car/

130

SkanderFekir petertarach You don't seem to have a very good idea on filming works nor how long it actually takes for a production that size. Generally a standard film day is around 12-15 hours if it is going smoothly. Stunts,effects, and anything action oriented just adds to the time. You have to prepare everything in advanced, from talking to all the businesses that will be affected from street closures, to the city for re-routing traffic, to hiring the crew to keep the locations locked down from pedestrians needing to cross the road. There is the prep of props and making sure the shots are right and going to look good. Safety on this type of shoot is paramount and if it screws up can get people killed and production sued (seen both happen) so he has to be on his game. A lot of money is on the line if he messes up. 

Filming is all about angles and shots, that cheesy sitcom you see on tv where two people are sitting across from each other, looks simple but that type of scene generally has at least 6-8 shots/angles needed for it not including multiple takes for screw ups and inserts. A one hour (45 minute run time) tv show takes 8-13 days to do an episode.  The crew is doing a lot of work and it is all for nothing if the stunt guy (ken in this case) can't get the shot done right. On some of those shots he would have had to repeat the exact same movements for different shots.  Something like this could not be shot in one go, it just would not work and it is not what they are trying to go for. 

I am not a huge fan of Block myself but he does have the race results and you can't deny that his videos have brought a lot of good/attention to the sport of rally in north america and rally cross. 
You are right he was the co-founder of DC shoes and he made his money when he sold it to Quicksilver back in the early 2000s.

131

EvolveWRC Michael Atwell My gosh that's brilliant!

132

After ready that whole article I have a couple questions, what specific shot were all the GoPro's going through the car used for? What did the car end up reaching for top speed? Were there any shots that they only did once because they didn't need to do it again?

133

After ready that whole article I have a couple questions, what specific shot were all the GoPro's going through the car used for? What did the car end up reaching for top speed? Were there any shots that they only did once because they didn't need to do it again?

134

i personally don't find this impressive at all. i think the media team did a fantastic job with the editing. The car that was built is impressive.  However i do not find the driving impressive.  I do not see the point of blocking off streets in LA just for this; to let Ken Block drive a 800hp awd car around and do things that most pros could outdo with 1/4 the power and in rwd. Imagine if LA was shut for someone with driving talent like an episode of Tuerck.  I would watch that one over and over, rather than this one where i shut it off after a couple mins.
Props to Larry, phenomenal photos as always!

135

To be honest all I saw were a heap of U turns and donuts

136

I don't skate but never heard of the ff. cool car.

137

Awesome behind the scenes Larry! ~ Bink Designs

138

kcm Mark_MacInnis crying with joy

Author139

knel_ I have a feeling they did not use those shots.

Top speed was lower because of the crazy acceleration it was geared for, but then again we never knew. If I had to guess I would say 150, considering how fast it looked going down the 710 fwy.

There were many shots that he only did once, look at the Randy's donut scene. Although it's not about that. We were always limited on time, so if there was a chance to do something again he would do it. Wouldn't you if you had the streets to yourself? He is a driver.

Author140

RinaldiGulinao While I will agree with you on black cars, this one had just the right amount of detail for it to stand out. Maybe the car feature will show it better when it drops later this week.

Other than this car, I hate shooting black cars.

Author141

@Felipe Silva Winning.

Author142

ridvantrika1 He does.

Author143

xrockonx Haha awesome, I wish more people would download the shots! That is what they are there for!

Author144

@88IROCZ SkanderFekir petertarach Damn, game over. I like this conversation.

Author145

@88IROCZ SkanderFekir petertarach Damn, game over. I like this conversation.

146

"there was actually plenty of downtime." Why do I think the camera crew might not agree.   :-)

147

Sick photos as per usual Larry! I wanna go back to LA!

148

Sick. I´m just searching for the "100 GoPros" Scene :(

149

Sick. I´m just searching for the "100 GoPros" Scene :(

150

So many haters! Whats wrong with everyone? I thought it was sick, i don't even like Mustang's.

151

Quick proofread on Ch.2; Steve McQueen's "Bullitt" is spelled with 2 "t"s.  
Thanks for documenting some behind-the-scenes.  I feel this was the best Gymkhana yet and was really happy to get some additional details.

152

I actually liked GYMKHANA 5 & 6 better. This was pretty sweet but it was only the car and the idea that sold it. The stunts in the previous two were much better.
That being said, if someone offered to give me the other two cars is probably take them but if.I has money is buy two or three Hoonicorns. That car is sick!

153

The car is very obviously not as nimble as the Gymkhana cars and I felt that the videos stunts were hampered by this. 

I preferred the last video.

154

Larry Chen xrockonx Bro I have at least 1000 SH desktops in rotation, changing every 30 mins. And 5-10 more per week (20-30 if Lindbergh). There are a LOT of people doing the same I'm sure :)

155

SleeperSim ^^^^ who killed himself drifting in traffic. End of story.

156

that shit was awesome, elite driving skills like always blocky, great shots, nice editing cuts, flawless work team keep it up. Gymkhana fives still my fav. an all you haters guns hate don't be jealous you can't shut down a city with your pennies.

Epic work people keep them coming. 

Peace

157

that shit was awesome, elite driving skills like always blocky, great shots, nice editing cuts, flawless work team keep it up. Gymkhana fives still my fav. an all you haters guns hate don't be jealous you can't shut down a city with your pennies.

Epic work people keep them coming. 

Peace

158

MrSOLOMON85 did someone from SH put you up to that question?

159

D1RGE EXE Larry Chen xrockonx and here i thought i was the only one...

160

D1RGE EXE SleeperSim ...he wasnt driving ...got killed as a passenger

Author161

makofoto I should probably clarify that there was plenty of downtime for the talent. haha.

162
michaelrogers1210

That is the "baddest ass thing" of all things ever built.   Always a hater here and there, but theyre just that, haters.  This car is f***** amazing.

163

Larry Chen you're in the media business Larry, you could be the hammer that drives that change! You have the opportunity for flashbacks to McRae, or spotlights on Loeb.

Block is cool, and he's good for motorsports in general. He's definitely not a bad guy. I think I used to be brutal when speaking about him and now I try to just speak more truthfully. He's good but he makes his money off of these stunts, not from winning. 

Overall though, you are absolutely right.

164

Awesome Coverage!  Just watching the video, I was like yupp awesome as usual, but then seeing how much actually went into the making of, how long they have been planning it, how short of time it was shot in and then the actual story line to the video in general definitely adds a lot of respect to it.  Thanks for sharing!!

Author165

@Chris 2xthefun KeithCharvonia gatoonik We need more people like Ken in the industry, kids don't have posters of race cars on their walls anymore. Loeb does not even have a social media presence, but then again he does not really care does he? The driving speaks for itself. The problem is kids in America have no idea who Loeb is. How are we going to have the next generation of motorheads if they don't even know who the best drivers are?

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2xthefun Believe me, I would love to do these types of stories on the legends, on Loeb, but guess what. When I shot him at x-games and Pikes Peak, he runs away. He is not really into media, he does not care, because guess what, we will cover him no matter what because he wins.

You guys have to remember ken started driving rally when he was 30 years old. It's his passion, and he is grateful to be able to compete at all. 

Why is it that no other American competes in WRC? Because no one else has the marketing dollars that Ken has. Wouldn't anyone want to drive in WRC if they loved rally and if they had the money to do so?

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Larry Chen 2xthefun I really commend your guys effort with Sterling Moss. That was a great opportunity to let people get close to him. Didn't know Loeb wasn't into media. 

Good point as well on Americans in WRC. Even F1: Scott Speed tried and it didn't really pan out, now he runs in GRC. I really wish people here embraced more of the European styles of racing. 

I wrote an article for you guys a while ago and did some snaps of a friend's Formula Atlantic car, but apparently the pictures were too dark. I'll be going to a kart track with him in the next few weeks and I'll do a story about 125cc karts for you guys. I'd like to see more stuff like this featured.

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RichieTipsyKariuki

Huh, is that OJ =)

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kblock43 Hi Ken, how about #GymkhanaEIGHT in London? I'm sure the queen won't mind doughnuts outside her house.

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This was freaking bad ass. For all those negative comments, how many of you can drive let alone control an all out over 800 HP all wheel drive car and perform the maneuvers he did this was awesome and it should be built by ford. I know I would buy one.

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D1RGE EXE Larry Chen xrockonx
Yeah I do the same. I have a folder with ~600 speedhunters photos in it, and still growing, that I use for my screensaver and for desktops.

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so awesome to see what goes on behind the scene. Watching the movie I could hazard a guess at the logistics involved.
Number 8, how about b cities, in 8 countries and make the scenes tie together as if it were all one take in one city?? that would be pretty cool!

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amazing write up, really shows the work that goes into these videos by all involved. 

as an english man looking to travel to LA next year, would it be possible for someone to be able to produce a map of the LA with the stunt locations? would love to see a couple of the locations used.

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Don't worry Larry, I downloaded almost all of the photos! That car is absolutely beautiful!

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Awesome! I don't think I realized that until now. Now to go back and get some Quattro pictures as well.

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RockstarStickertinted

very nice job!!! love it damn much larry chen!!..i wonder what will happen next gymkhan!!! keep it up guys!!

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For all of you that assume Ken has no skill, let me ask you. When was the last time you drove a 800+hp 4wd mustang? How does it drift? Was the clutch just a little firm for your taste? Now that that's out of the way, I must say: awesome video. Apart from the stunts alone, the angles of the scenes and the crystal quality make it superb. You guys captured the essence and agression of the car perfectly.
As for future GYM's, why not get block back in his habitat: on the dirt. We've seen what the mad man can do on pavement, but how about a run in nothing but gravel, dirt, mud...maybe even snow? After all, the sport of rallying isn't an asphault affair. Chen, if Block reads these commemts tell him to take a trip into Oregon. He might find some inspiration in the roads that hide here. #BringBlockToDirt

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Ken Block vs. Sabine Schmitz would be a great gymkhana 8.

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jphilbrook1 That is an AMAZING idea actually!

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