Ken Block is back to entertain in Gymkhana Seven. This time, he’s not in his Ford Fiesta but a 4-wheel-drive 1965 Ford Mustang ‘Notchback’ with 845bhp. He has taken his location to a cityscape, specifically Los Angelas!
The twelve-minute flick opens with Ken’s new ride chained to the wall. Thanks to a high-revved drop of the clutch, Ken gives a very visual demonstration of exactly how a four-wheel-drive Ford Mustang lays down its power – or, rather, doesn’t lay down its power. Lighting up all four corners in gratuitous slow-mo, Mr Block turns his tires into smoke at a rate we’ve never witnessed before.
Warehouse suitably hotboxed, he then heads out on the streets to leave a giant Pirelli-inked spirograph around some of Los Angeles’ most iconic locations.
Downtown, Randy’s Donuts, the freeways, the Sixth Street Viaduct, Chinatown, and the LA river all fall victim to Ken’s unique territory tagging, as he shows what a Dakar-spec all wheel-drive transmission from Sadev can do.
Entering corners in a fashion technically described as ‘mostly backwards’, Ken seems to have rather nailed this drifting thing, kiss whatever apex he’s aiming for with at least one of the lenses of the GoPros peppered around the deranged ‘Hoonicorn’.
Having booted his way through the city – and away from The Law – the film ends with a sideways, snaking run through the canyons to the top of the Hollywood Sign. Where, predictably, he celebrates with some donuts… on the side of a mountain.
“The access to locations for this project was incredible,” said Block. “Obviously the film commission in Los Angeles is quite good and accustomed to working with projects that involve driving all the time. However this was the first and only time that anyone has done actual live-action driving and filming at the top of the Hollywood sign. Some of the permissions we had to obtain from the Department of Homeland Security were intense!”
With the help of his new monstrous Mustang, the combination of local lowriders and impeccable/ballsy timing, a quick dip in the LA river and a smoky run in with the cops, this is the most cinematic version of Ken’s successful formula we’ve seen yet.