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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Jun 25, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

LIGHTS...CAMERA...RAPTOR! By Reed Berry A new feature film is having a flashy Hollywood premiere. But the star of the film is not Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicolas Cage, or any of the other big names you would expect to see on the marquee of a legendary movie theater. The star of this film is the ultimate production off-road performance truck, the new 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.

"Raptor - Born in Baja", is a documentary that follows Ford designers, engineers and aftermarket organizations as they enter the Raptor in one of the toughest off-road races in the world, the grueling 631-mile Baja 1000. Not only did the Raptor finish the race, it placed third in its class reaching the finish line in an impressive 25.5 hours. The site of tonight's premiere is the historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California. Over 500 invited guests, including automotive executives and entertainment industry heavyweights, are in attendance for the event. The Egyptian Theater was the venue for the very first Hollywood movie premiere, Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks, in 1922.

I have come to tonight's premiere with slightly less enthusiasm than I probably would for a major Hollywood film. Honestly, this is a movie about a truck and I have planned on seeing nothing more than an documentary-based infomercial for Ford. In fairness, however, the film is quite good. Strategically placed cameras capture not only the excitement and drama of the race, but the personalities and emotions of the drivers, as well. As members of Team Raptor experience the strains of a lengthy race, from sleep deprivation and inconvenient repairs to a bladder-jarring ride through the desert over 'whoops', the director has done an admirable job of involving the audience in the action. While celebrities may not have starred in this film, there are some here to see it. Making his way down the red carpet on a beautiful summer evening is none other than the ultimate car enthusiast, Jay Leno. Jay arrived in an eye-catching classic from his personal collection. Comedian Judy Tenuta, Kevin Farley (actor and the late Chris Farley's younger brother) and General Hospital's Marisa Ramirez are here, as well.

Raptor aficionado

Automotive designers from Ford have arrived, along with members of 'Team Raptor', the skilled drivers that maneuvered the Raptor through treacherous terrain and in dusty, dangerous conditions. I'm sure the race is an experience those drivers will never forget, but they do look quite happy at the moment to be enjoying some California sunshine and a cold beer. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is "built tough" not just to take on challenging off-road adventures, but for one's daily commute as well. A variety of stock high-performance parts is designed to make the vehicle both functional and durable and creates, according to Ford, a truck that delivers true off-road performance. Following the premiere, a one-hour television version of the film is scheduled for several airings on SPEED in the near future. In case seeing the movie makes you want to speed out and buy a Raptor, the MSRP is $38,995.

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