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Paul Walker died in a fiery car crash on Saturday in Santa Clarita, Calif., at age 40. He was the passenger in what local authorities said was a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT involved in a single-car accident that claimed his life along with that of the driver, reportedly identified as Roger Rodas.
Rodas had been a Merrill Lynch financial advisor at The Rodas Group and owner of Always Evolving, a specialty car dealership located in Valencia, Calif.
According to Autoweek, the vehicle that Rodas had been driving had been acquired by Always Evolving in the spring of 2013 after being bought and sold by multiple owners over the past several years. When the car was last offered for sale it listed for $359,000, the magazine reported.
One driver told Autoweek that the Porsche Carrera GT was “scary” to drive even for pros.
Along with the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo and the Ferrari F40, the Porsche Carrera GT was one of Rodas’ favorite cars, he wrote on the Always Evolving site.
Rodas had met Walker years earlier at a racetrack in California and eventually became his financial adviser, according to a Merrill Lynch article detailing the Fast and the Furious actor’s charitable involvement.
The automotive world mourned the death of Walker after the news spread during the holiday weekend.
“Many of our readers credit Walker and those films with sparking their interesting in car culture,” Matt Hardigree, editor-in-chief of car-enthusiast site Jalopnik told The Hollywood Reporter. “If you’re a teenager and a gearhead now, you’ve basically spent all of your life looking up to him and his character.”
Hardigree added: “Paul Walker didn’t just play a car enthusiast on TV, he was one in real life as well, with an interest in SoCal car culture and racing. I had the chance to have a long visit with him on the set of one of the Fast & Furious films and he didn’t want to talk about the script or the filming, all he wanted to talk about was cars.”
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