USC Student Takes Home ‘Reacher’ Car9 May, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — University of Southern California student Italo Ciccarelli had to withstand more than 36 hours without sleep, the rain, the cold, his own aching body and 17 other contestants to win a 1971 Chevelle SS Clone featured in the movie Jack Reacher. And he still had a bigger challenge ahead of him: finals.
“I got three hours of sleep and had to go to class,” the Giovinazzo, Italy, native said.
Ciccarelli took home the cherry-red muscle car following a contest held by Paramount Home Media Distribution to commemorate the May 7 DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher. Contestants had to keep a hand on the car at all times (with short breaks every few hours), with music blaring in the background and increasingly difficult physical and mental challenges thrown at them to thin out the herd.
The event was streamed live over the Internet from 8 a.m. May 6 until Ciccarelli’s final opponent let his hand slip off the car around 6:30 p.m. May 7.
“He looked a lot less tired than I did,” Ciccarelli said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it.”
When Ciccarelli won, he laid on the hood of the car, which has a rebuilt 350, four-speed 9-to-1 compression motor with 400-plus horse power and a retail value of more than $44,000.
Contestants weren’t allowed to lean or bend on the car, and after the first day, only eight remained.
“One of the other contestants was a smoker, and he lost when he dropped his cigarette and he went to pick it up before it got wet,” Ciccarelli said. “Another was an elderly woman who lasted a lot longer than I thought she would.”
After 30 hours there were only four left, and two challenges — which included lifting arms and legs and holding them as long as possible — got it down to two.
Ciccarelli said it was the most difficult thing he’s done in his life (he almost quit three times), but considering his previous car had more than 350,000 miles on it, it was worth it, he said. He and his wife will take his new ride to the beach first.
Paramount released Jack Reacher via digital outlets April 23, and the Blu-ray Disc combo pack includes a look at the training and stunt choreography behind the fight sequences, an exploration of the Reacher phenomenon around the world with novel author Lee Child, and commentaries by Cruise, director Christopher McQuarrie and composer Joe Kraemer.