Any fan of watching exotic cars being driven through populated city streets at a blistering pace, nail-biting pursuits and high-speed powerslides, will have no doubt have already watched at least one of the Getaway in Stockholm films.
The series was made famous worldwide long before YouTube was on everybody’s TV due to some very desirable cars being driven at top speed through the capital of Sweden. Adding to the high octane action was the Swedish authorities who somewhat amusingly tried without luck to pursue the tuned sports cars over and over again.
One film was released every year for 10 years and although the original Getaway in Stockholm was filmed almost 20 years ago, the identity of both the drivers and the director still remains unknown today. The series sparked a massive ongoing operation which never yielded any results.
And so, the series went on to become legendary and indeed necessary viewing for every young petrolhead. But even after so many years have passed, information about the films and even some of the featured cars is still virtually impossible to uncover.
So get comfortable as we take a trip down memory lane and reveal some little-known facts about what went on behind the scenes while filming these street races and police pursuits. From a questionable first screening of the film, to what scares the drivers more than being chased by the police, we throw a spotlight on the films that popularized car culture worldwide.
25 The Series Started Because Of A Dare
There’s no denying the similarity between Getaway in Stockholm and the legendary 1976 film by Claude Lelouch titled C’etait Un ‘Rendez-vous.’ In it, a Ferrari blasts through the streets of Paris, with a newly developed gyro-stabilized camera mounted to its bonnet. Mr. A, the director of the Getaway In Stockholm Series, was discussing the film with a group of friends when one of them put the challenge to him, claiming “you will never see this type of film in Stockholm, the cops would never let you get away with it.” That was all the encouragement Mr. A needed and he soon recruited a professional driver, Mr. X and started working on Getaway In Stockholm 1.
24 To This Day, Nobody Knows Who The Drivers Are
Although the Getaway In Stockholm films are over 10 years old, the drivers' identities is still a fiercely protected secret. The reason for this is because of an interesting quirk in Swedish traffic law. The drivers cannot be charged unless they are either caught within a reasonable timeframe of committing a driving offense, or they admit to committing the offense. The Swedish authorities were so outraged by the films that they made an appeal to the public for any tips leading to the drivers' capture, and the phone number given out was the direct line to the Chief of Stockholm’s Traffic Unit.
23 Filming Is Done In One Take With No Edits
The series presented some unique challenges for the film crew, including how best to capture the action. Because of the extreme risk, the crew weren’t able to make any mistakes, meaning that the action had to be captured in one take. Mr. A was especially keen to do the filming in one take to avoid people speculating that shots had been edited or manipulated. Uninteresting parts where they occasionally get stuck behind traffic or have to drive slowly are left in for authenticity. The main concept that Mr. A wanted to portray in the film was the concept of speed.
22 They Don’t Hate The Cops, But...
Despite the way the cops are portrayed in the series, and the huge manhunt for the drivers, none of the crew hate them. Mr. A described the strong antagonist relation to the cops as a kind of prank. Explaining further, he said that in the Getaway in Stockholm films, they are playing out a fantasy of flipping the bird and speeding away when the police try to stop them for traffic violations. His intention in doing this was to inverse the typical power relation that cops have when issuing traffic infringements. By making them appear foolish and incompetent, the driver once again has the upper hand.
21 The First Public Viewing Didn’t Go So Well
Before the release of the original Getaway In Stockholm, and before the popularity of the series exploded worldwide, Mr. A wanted to gauge the public’s reaction to their exploits. To do so, he gave a pre-release copy of the film to a friend who was conducting a private seminar for young Swedish professionals. Throughout the screening, the room was filled with the sound of horrified gasps. It seemed that not many people who saw it understood why anyone would drive a car so fast through the streets of Stockholm. The reaction, said Mr. A, was exactly what they had hoped for.
20 The First Getaway In Stockholm Film Was The Most Controversial
Although the first film in the series was released over 10 years ago, its authenticity is still debated online today. Two scenes are the source of this disagreement. At 6 minutes and 10 seconds in, the Porsche zooms past a tower with a rotating strobe light on top. If you look carefully you will see the light flashing at an incredible rate of speed, and does indeed appear to be sped up. The second scene is at the beginning of the film when an unmarked car cuts in front of the Getaway Porsche driven by Mr. X, attempting to get him to stop. This led to famous racing driver Patrik Furstenhoff slamming the stunt as fake, which the Getaway in Stockholm team later denied.
19 The Vicious Acceleration Of The Mark IV Supra Made Filming Difficult
Getaway in Stockholm 2 was easily the most popular film in the series, mostly because it featured a 600 bhp Mark IV Supra. Far from stock, the Supra had a completely rebuilt 2JZ engine, a single turbo conversion, intake, exhaust, huge FMIC, upgraded brakes, and aftermarket dampers. Back in the early 2000s when the film was made, the only options available for in-car filming were big heavy television cameras or low quality ‘lipstick cameras.’ The savage acceleration from the modified Supra caused severe vibration through the camera mounts, therefore much of the footage was extremely shaky and barely usable. However given the teams commitment to filming everything in one take, reshooting the scenes were not an option.
18 Getaway In Stockholm 2 – Malfunctioning Cameras
Getaway in Stockholm 2 featured some of the fastest driving in the whole series as a Supra and a Cosworth Escort raced through the city center. The excessive speed caused a whole host of problems with both the filming and sound. The production crew weren’t happy with the sound recording from the Escort, but the main microphone for capturing the sound was attached to a camera on top of the car which had malfunctioned during filming. During the filming they had constant problems with almost every single camera malfunctioning at some point, meaning that a lot of the more technical stunts they carried out during the race were not captured on film.
17 The Honda NSX In Getaway In Stockholm 3 Was So Fast, The Helicopter Had Trouble Keeping Up
A heavily modified mid-engine Honda NSX was chosen to feature in Getaway in Stockholm 3. It was also the film that they introduced footage shot from a helicopter. They had planned to use the helicopter in Getaway in Stockholm 2, but due to the interest that they had drawn from the Swedish authorities after the first film, they had to put the idea on the backburner for a little while. A helicopter would have no trouble keeping up with a regular car, but it’s clear to see that when Mr. X had a chance to mash the throttle on the straight roads, he was actually starting to lose the helicopter.
16 The Brakes On The BMW M3 in Getaway In Stockholm 7 Cost Over $25,000
The BMW M3 E46 CSL is arguably the best performance car that BMW ever built, so it’s no surprise that it was the feature car in Getaway in Stockholm 7. As with all the cars featured, the owner of this M3 had added an ESS supercharger which upped the power to 575 bhp. Of course, with monstrous acceleration on offer, you also need some brakes you can trust. This BMW E46 also had a brake upgrade with the best brakes that Brembo had to offer, at a cost of over $25,000. The owner bought the car brand new and had already fitted $75,000 in factory options, making it one of the hottest M3s we’ve ever seen.
15 In Getaway In Stockholm 2, They Had To Drive Much Harder To Get The Cops To Chase Them
After the original Getaway in Stockholm, the authorities made it clear that they weren’t keen to appear on film looking foolish again. With this action being an essential part of each film, this presented a unique problem for the drivers: how much risk was acceptable to take without endangering other road users? To accomplish this they ran more red lights, drove at a much higher speed (an average, and power-slid around numerous corners. Their tactics worked and following the release of Getaway in Stockholm 2, the authorities launched a massive operation to try and discover the identity of the drivers, which caused some problems with filming Getaway in Stockholm 3.
14 The Ford Escort Cosworth RS Was One Of Only 500 Models Produced
There have been some very desirable cars featured in each of the Getaway in Stockholm series. Some are out of most people's budget (Lamborghini Gallardo) or feature massive horsepower (BMW M3 E46), but the rarest car to be driven aggressively around the streets of Sweden’s capital was the 450 bhp Ford Escort Cosworth RS, one of only 500 made, with many of those being allocated to professional racing teams. The all-wheel-drive Escort is a pretty potent package with a turbo upgrade from the factory T25 and an almost obnoxiously loud dump valve. Although the main sound camera stopped working during filming, the sound of the car is one of the standout features of Getaway in Stockholm 2.
13 The Supra Was Driven So Hard That Mr. X Wore The Clutch Out
Occasionally the drivers would encounter some mechanical issues with the cars. One of the GT3s had gearbox issues and filming of Getaway in Stockholm 4 had to be delayed because the Honda NSX was found to have worn out tires. Although the Toyota Supra had been heavily modified, it still had a stock clutch and a stock transmission. And putting 600 bhp through a stock clutch and transmission rarely ends well. With speeds reaching over 300 km/hr., the car was being driven to its absolute limit. In such instances, it’s often the weakest link that gives out and in this case the car was returned to the owner with a blown clutch.
12 Only One Car Was Ever Seized
By the time Getaway In Stockholm 5 was released, the cops were really getting desperate to find out who was behind the high-speed driving. However this time, they decided to focus on the cars instead of appealing to the public for tips about the drivers. The owner of the Mazda RX7 that appeared in the film was identified even before the film’s release, due to authorities snooping around the online forums. They arranged to seize the car but they were too late as the filming had already been done. Unable to prove who the real driver was, they had to choice but to return the car after several months.
11 In Getaway In Stockholm 2, The Authorities Were Onto Them From The Beginning
At the start of Getaway in Stockholm 2, we hear a radio that the crew was able to record from their scanner. Translated from Swedish, the officer states “we’ve gotten several calls from upset drivers that there are two cars, one black, one red, probably sports cars that are driving like maniacs. We have received complaints from Centralbron, Klarabergsleden, Solna and now they are heading for central Stockholm.” Despite the numerous complaints from the public, it’s clear the cops knew that another high-speed film was being made, and they did not want to get involved. We can see them dismiss this tactic on the third film though, as they start to act much more aggressively.
10 The Lamborghini Gallardo Was The Fastest Car They Filmed With
When it comes to high horsepower cars, the Getaway in Stockholm crew had their choice of the fastest cars in Sweden, including supercharged BMWs and Porsche GT3s. However they saved the best, and fastest until last, when they took to the streets of Stockholm in a 560 bhp Lamborghini Gallardo, driven by the film’s producer, Mr. A. With a top speed of 202 mph and a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds, the 120 bhp Volvo cars did not present any problems whatsoever. The supercar was not only superior when it came to straight-line speed, at one point in the film the Getaway drivers almost lose the cops during some low-speed cornering, due to the supercars amazing handing
9 The Honda NSX In Getaway In Stockholm 3 Was Sold Immediately Afterwards
After Getaway in Stockholm 2 went viral, the Swedish Police launched a huge manhunt to find those responsible. They appealed directly to the public for tips on national television and started to bother anyone who was driving a modified car. Because of the rarity of the Honda NSX, and the blistering performance and handling, the crew used it for two consecutive films. This made the car highly sought after by the authorities and the owner was unable to drive it for fear of being identified. He made the decision to sell it shortly after the filming wound up. The new owner is a serious car collector and the NSX was never driven on the road again.
8 Getaway In Stockholm 3 Was Supposed To Be A Feature Film Until...
The producers of the series had larger plans and Getaway in Stockholm 3 was actually planned to be released as a feature film about the thriving Swedish car culture. This had to be canceled after a serious accident in 2002 involving a modified Audi S3 that was driving at high speed by a distributor of the Getaway in Stockholm films. After this occurred the fuzz intensified their search for those behind the production of the films which led to some footage being destroyed out of fear it could lead to the identification of Mr. X and Mr. A. However it was not all bad news as they were able to use the additional camera angles and filming methods planned for the successive films.
7 Most Of The Cars In The Videos Were Tuned By Nordic Tuning Dalarna
Eagle-eyed viewers of the series will notice one car tuning workshop coming up in the videos over and over again: Nordic Tuning Dalarna. The workshop has been around for over 30 years and has a steadfast reputation as the high horsepower heaven for those in the Swedish car scene. Some of their high powered customers include an 850 bhp Mark IV Supra, and a 650 bhp Saab 9-5 Aero. All of their work is done in-house and they even provide custom engine tunes up to 1300 bhp. They also have a track team, Nordic Motorsport that competes at all levels. Almost all of the cars used in the series were tuned by this workshop.
6 There Was Only One Way They Could Get Caught
Although the chases are arguably one of the most thrilling aspects of the Getaway in Stockholm series, there was really no chance of the drivers being caught. Their highly modified cars were pushing out close to 600 bhp, which was always going to outperform the Swedish policeman’s weapon of choice, a Volvo V70 tuned to 120 bhp. In a radio interview, Mr. X was asked if there was anything the fuzz could do to catch him. His reply was curt: “Supercharge their cars.” Clearly, they didn’t heed his advice and Mr. X and Mr. A were never prosecuted over their high-speed stunts.
5 The Only Thing Scarier Than Being Chased Through Stockholm
Mr. X and Mr. A were not the only drivers to take part in the high-speed pursuits. Other anonymous drivers would occasionally take part, meaning Mr. A would sometimes be relegated to the role of co-driver and navigator. When Mr. A was asked if he ever got scared being a passenger during such high speeds, his reply was somewhat amusing. He explained that all of the drivers were professional track drivers that competed nationally and internationally in motorsports, and he trusted them more than if he was behind the wheel himself. He went on to quip that even though he has driven at speeds in excess of 300 km/hr., the only time he gets scared in a car is when his mother is driving.
4 Low-Speed Chases
If you’re a fan of the series, or if you listen carefully, you’ll notice that during some pursuits the drivers are only occasionally stabbing the throttle and not flooring it to get away as fast as possible. In fact, when the fuzz did give chase, often the drivers had to lower their speed and drive more conservatively. Mr. A explained that safety was always their primary concern and when a pursuit started they never knew if a spike strip and a roadblock was around the next corner, or if one of the cops was going to try and ram them off the road. They always tried to be as safe as possible hence the early morning filming schedule, when most Swedes were asleep.
3 From Getaway In Stockholm To The Gumball Rally
One of the series’ most entertaining aspects is the extras feature that is included with each DVD. From these, it’s clear to see that the Getaway in Stockholm crew are heavily involved in the Swedish car scene with hours of footage shot from car shows, track days and meets. One event that the Getaway in Stockholm cars are seen regularly taking part in is the Gumball Rally 3000. Launched in 1999, the rally allows participants to drive their supercars across Europe for an entry fee of $8,700. One thing that is not clear, however, is who is driving Sweden’s most wanted cars as the film’s producers are fiercely committed to protecting the identity of both the drivers and the cars owners.
2 The Drivers Never Use Their Own Cars During Filming
The Getaway in Stockholm crew needed to keep their identities hidden for another reason besides potential jail time. As professional drivers, they have sponsor obligations and being arrested would undoubtedly sour the relationship and were therefore unable to use their own cars out of fear of being identified. Luckily, they had people lining up to loan them their highly tuned cars to be featured in the film. In fact, you can watch their reviews of some of the cars they were able to choose from in the extras section of each DVD. In return, the owners got to see their cars being driven to their absolute limit by professional drivers.
1 Getaway In Stockholm 3 Features A Special Maneuver
Getaway in Stockholm 3 features one of the more dangerous maneuvers carried out by the cops, and shows how desperate they were to stop the crew. Around the 8:30 mark, you see lights flashing on an adjoining road. Suddenly as Mr. X drives over a small crest in the road, a member of the Police Special Forces in an SUV cuts into his lane, blocking his path. Mr. X is quick to react, slowing the car down and making a sudden U-turn, leaving the official's car in his dust. Mr. A quipped that the Special Forces are the ones they were most worried about, because ‘they seem to have higher testosterone than the regular police.’
Sources: archive.org, germanautoforums.com, m5board.com, mestmotor.se