If there’s anything I like more than cars, it’s movies about cars. I watched The Italian Job (2003) last night and this morning I woke up itching to see a few more good car flicks. So, I thought I would share some of my favorite ones with you. Here’s my top 20 (in no particular order). What’s your favorite car movie?
1. Dazed and Confused : This film about the last day of school in 1976 might have stars like Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey in it, but I know it really stars a 1970 Pontiac Judge GTO, a 1972 Chevrolet C10, a 1972 Plymouth Duster, a 1955 Chevrolet 3100 pickup, a 1975 Chevrolet El Camino, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454, and a 1974 Pontiac Trans Am SD-455 just to name a few. This movie makes me think I was born a decade too late.
2. American Graffiti : The iconic car film from George Lucas has not only a great story but some great cars. Among them are a 1932 Deuce Coupe, a 1955 Chevrolet, a 1958 Chevrolet Impala, a 1951 Mercury, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, and a 1961 Ford Galaxy.
3. Two-Lane Blacktop : A great cross country drag race movie staring folk singer James Taylor. Yes, the same James Taylor that sings music your parents listen too. This movie, set on Route 66, pairs up a primered old 1955 Chevrolet against a 1970 Pontiac GTO. The GTO was rumored to be a Judge, but no decals are present anywhere on the car to indicate it is.
4. Bullitt : The best car chase scene ever is in this film. The seven minute chase through the streets of San Francisco was between a 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 and a 1968 Dodge Charger.
5. Ronin : Another great car chase movie, but the first on this list to star mainly imports. Among the cast were 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL, a 1991 BMW 535i disguised to look like an E34, a 1998 Audi S8, and 1995 Citroen XM.
6. The Smokey and The Bandit franchise : Who can forget these three movies in any list? Not me! The series covers 1977, 1980, and 1983 and each time The Bandit got a new Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Also among the great cars in this movie are a wide variety of motor homes, big rigs, and earth moving equipment. There’s something in here for everyone!
7. The Cannonball Run : One big car chase across the US, this movie stars a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, a 1977 Ferrari 308 GTS, a 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S, and a 1978 Dodge Sportsman.
8. Speed Zone! : Staring in this movie were a 1985 Bentley Continental, a 1988 BMW 735i, a Lamborghini Countach replica, a 1987 Ford Mustang, and even a Ford Econoline van.
9. Catch Me if You Can : This classic of the 80’s car movies depicts a goodie two shoes student government president with the school bad boy against the local drag race organizer in a battle for cash that she needs to keep the school open. Ever heard of “Fast Freddie?” Well, he comes out of retirement to save the day. The stars are a 1968 Chevrolet Malibu, a 1957 Chevrolet Two-Ten, a 1978 Chevrolet Camaro, and a 1967 Lincoln Continental.
10. Corvette Summer : After a trip to the local salvage yard lands a 1973 Chevrolet Corvette junk pile into a local high school automotive class and is then stolen, we find ourselves following Luke Skywalker famed Mark Hamil into Vegas. In addition to the ‘Vette, the movie stars a 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, a Chevrolet van, and a great 1973 Datsun 240Z (that only graces the screen for a few moments).
11. The Driver : This is one where we route for the bad guys, mainly because we like the cars the getaway driver uses. The top cars in this flick are a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280S, a 1973 Chevrolet C-10, a 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, a 1965 Ford Mustang, and a 1973 Ford Galaxie 500.
12. Both of The Italian Jobs : The original was filmed in 1969 and the remake debuted in 2003. The 69 version used a trio of 1967 Aston Mini Cooper S’s to heist the loot, while the updated version updated to the 2003 MINI Cooper S’s now owned by BMW. Also included between both versions are a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 and an Aston Martin DB7 Volante.
13. Both of the Gone in 60 Seconds : This original and remake duo are a car collectors dream. Both centering on car thieves who need to collect cars before a dead line the 1974 version’s main prize is a 1971 Ford Mustang. In the 2000 version, the unicorn is a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. My favorite car in either of these films has to be the 1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda. I’ll let you remember why.
14. Cars : The only cartoon to enter the list, you have to love this movie. It has no people in it whatsoever, only cars! It stars Lightning McQueen, rumored to be inspired by Steve McQueen, as an original NASCAR style car. But real cars were animated for this film including a 1951 Hudson Hornet, a 1986 Buick Regal, a 1959 Chevrolet Impala, a 1951 GM LeSabre, a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, and a 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera just to name a few.
15. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby : Among the funniest movies ever, Ricky Bobby became my favorite NASCAR driver of all time. This film has plenty of NASCAR race cars in the limelight, but off the track the baddest car in this one is the 1969 Chevrolet Malibu that Ricky’s dad drives.
16. Days of Thunder : Keeping with the NASCAR theme, this movie too has a lot of great stock car action. The highlight though is when the two rival race car drivers (played by Tom Cruise and Michael Rooker) start off racing inside a hospital in wheel chairs and end up on the streets in a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina (Cruise) and a 1990 Ford Taurus (Rooker).
17. Faster : This revenge movie staring Dewayne Johnson really stars the super black 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS that he drives. The hit man hired to hunt him drives a 2002 Ferrari F360 Modena because he has entirely too much money.
18. The Fast and The Furious franchise : Among the great tuners and old school muscle in these films are the 1984 Buick Grand National, 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R, 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, 1993 Honda Civic Coupe, 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse, 1995 Toyota Supra, 1970 Dodge Charger, 1999 Ford F-150 Lightning, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, 1970 Chevrolet Malibu, 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, 2001 Honda S2000, 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, third generation Mazda RX-7, 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, 2002 Nissan Fairlady Z, 2010 Dodge Charger SRT-8, 1971 Nissan Skyline, and a Armet Gurkha F5.
19. The Transporter franchise : In this trifecta of Jason Statham movies, the luxury imports reign supreme. Among them are the 2008 Audi A8, 2005 Audi A8 L, 1995 BMW 735i, and plenty of support from Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Renault, and Fiat.
20. The Transformers franchise: Last but not least are these robots in disguise. Among the leading automotive cast are the 1977, 2009, 2010, and 2012 Chevrolet Camaro‘s, 2006 GMC Topkick, and 1997 Peterbuilt 379.