Most of us love a classic car. Whether we see a Mustang from the ‘60s on the highway or a bright red Ferrari zooming past, we can’t help but appreciate these incredible feats of design.
Ever since motor vehicles came onto the scene, we’ve been enamored by them. So much so that we’ve immortalized them in countless films over the years. Here, we’re sharing our favorite movies that celebrate one of history’s most iconic innovations: the car.
The Italian Job (1969)
You may have seen the 2003 remake, which we can admit was impressive. But the original, featuring the same old-school Mini Coopers, is a must-see.
This exhilarating heist movie has cars zooming through unexpected escape routes and crazy tunnel scenes, sprinkled with undeniable English humor.
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974, 2000)
Eventually remade in 2000, both versions of Gone in 60 Seconds will excite any car lover from start to finish.
Perhaps it’s the 40-minute car chase with grueling stunts in the ‘74 film. Or maybe the parade of beautiful cars in the 2000 movie is all you need to be satisfied. Regardless, it’s clear both versions belong on this list.
Featuring a 1962 Aston Martin DBI, a 1999 Bentley Azure, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB4, and more, some truly gorgeous cars grace the screen during these films. You’ll be in heaven.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
With Talledega Nights, cars and comedy are one and the same. Sure, the writers are poking fun at Nascar drivers and Nascar culture at large. Still, car racing enthusiasts surely can get a kick out of this popular movie.
Starring Will Ferrel, John C. Reilly, and Sasch Baron Cohen, just try not to laugh out loud at this ridiculous display of car jokes and exaggerated stereotypes.
Back to the Future (1985)
What’s one thing we all remember about Back to the Future? The DeLorean. Although the futuristic-looking vehicle was a total flop in real life, it’s a cultural icon that deserves a mention.
Forgoing the car chases and action sequences, Back to the Future focuses on the car in a different way. It’s interesting that of all the machines Doc Brown could choose as the foundation of his time machine, he picks a car.
Vanishing Point (1971)
This cult classic is the perfect balance between the rebellious spirit of gear heads and the pensive reflection that we find behind the wheel of a car. The lead character, an ex-cop played by Barry Newman, drives a white 1970 Dodge Challenger from Colorado to California.
He’s being pursued by an onslaught of police cruisers which can get quite thrilling. But the real scene is set by what he’s listening to on the radio which inspires a moodiness, necessary in any cult classic.
The Car (1977)
The Car is a movie that fits right into the context of when it was made. Emerging alongside other “monster” films like Jaws and Killer Bees, The Car is about a predator car that hunts people. No, we’re not kidding.
Even though the premise of this movie is obviously ridiculous, it’s one to watch if you’re interested in film history and the horror genre of the time. If anything, it might make you laugh. Plus, the featured 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III is pretty cool too.
Grand Prix (1966)
Filmed in the ‘60s, Grand Prix was a precursor to many car films that would come later. It’s one of our favorites because of how seamlessly the melodrama of the story blends with the action of Formula 1 racing.
For the first time, audiences saw intimate racing footage that made you feel like you were really there. It’s a unique car movie that’s worth the watch.
The Fast and the Furious (2001 – Present)
It’d be remiss to talk about car movies without mentioning Fast and Furious franchise. If you’re into action movies with flying cars and crazy chase scenes, these films have it all.
Car fanatics have a few favorites from this super successful series including Fast Five, Furious 7, and Tokyo Drift. So, if you’re not planning to sit down a binge-watch all eight Fast and Furious movies – with a new one coming out in 2021 – stick with these top three.
Before E.T., Steven Spielberg was testing the waters with Duel, his first feature-length film. It was originally set to be a shorter TV movie, but after Spielberg showed off his mastery behind the camera, it was extended.
A driver is chased through the Mojave Desert by a tanker truck and this movie brilliantly captures the terror and confusion that goes along with being pursued for apparently no reason. Talk about some serious road rage!
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Two-Lane Blacktop stars two of the Beach Boys: James Taylor and Dennis Wilson. They live a drifter lifestyle, along the way fixing up their awesome 1955 Chevrolet 150.
Throughout the film, the two leads bet on car races and face existential problems. Even with cars as the centerpiece, it’s one of those pure-hearted movies that never quite got the recognition it deserved.
Another classic ‘60s car movie is Bullitt. Starring Hollywood’s resident “gearhead” Steve McQueen, this movie revolutionized what we now know as the classic car chase.
The intensity of the iconic sequence featuring McQueen in a Mustang and his enemy in a Dodge Charger set the bar for the industry of car films.
To be honest, we could go on and on. The world’s infatuation with cars, both new and old, has been glorified in movies since the beginning of moving pictures. These vehicles are incredible works of art and we’re glad they’re in the spotlight.
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