Car Movies

Best Car Movies

The list of the Best Car Movies of all time, ever!

Death Proof (2007)

R 113 min. Directed by Quentin Tarintino. Starring Kurt Russell, Death Proof Nova. Filmed in Austin, Texas. You'll notice Congress Avenue at the opening of the movie, Guero's and the Texas Chili Parlor.

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Cars (2006)

G 117 min. Lightning McQueen learns valuable lessons. There are a hand full of movies that both children and adult can enjoy. Cars is the best!

If you are interested in knowing more about real life locations, buildings and people in the Cars movie, check out this post by Route 66 News.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

PG 96 min. Directed by Hal Needham. Starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed and Mike Henry. Featuring Pontiac Trans-Am! CB Radios! Beer! Road trip! Romance! Car chase! Smokey and the Bandit had all the ingredients that made this car movie a legend.

"Wealthy Texan Big Enos Burdette (Pat McCormick) and his son Little Enos (Paul Williams) seek a truck driver willing to bootleg Coors beer to Georgia for their refreshment. At the time, Coors was regarded as one of the finest beers in the United States, but it could not be legally sold east of the Mississippi River. The Burdettes find legendary trucker Bo "Bandit" Darville (Burt Reynolds) competing in a truck rodeo at Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta; they offer him $80,000 to haul 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas back to Atlanta in 28 hours; "

So, why was it illegal to transport Coors beer?

"For much of its history, Coors beer was a regional product and its marketing area was confined to the American West. While California and Texas were part of the 11-state distribution area, Washington and Montana were not added until 1976 (Oregon did not approve sales in grocery stores until 1985). This gave it mystique and made it a novelty, particularly on the East Coast, and visitors returning from the western states often brought back a case. This iconic status was reflected in the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit, which centered around an illegal shipment of Coors from Texas to Georgia. The company finally established nationwide distribution in the United States in the mid-1980s." -Wikipedia

Smokey and the Bandit was the second-highest-grossing film of 1977, second only to Star Wars, which was released two days earlier.

Smokey and the Bandit Trailer

The California Kid (1974)

NR 74 min. TV Movie. Starring Martin Sheen, Vic Morrow (Combat!), Nick Nolte, Michelle Phillips, Gary Morgan, and Janit Baldwin.

Watch The California Kid on YouTube.

American Graffiti (1973)

PG 110 min Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Martin Smith, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Candy Clark, and Paul Le Mat.

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Le Mans (1971)

G 106 min. Steve McQueen. Le Mans is a 1971 film depicting a fictional 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. LeMans remains popular today as an historically accurate depiction of its era.

"Le Mans is a 1971 film depicting a fictional 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race starring Steve McQueen and directed by Lee H. Katzin. It features actual footage captured during the 1970 race held the previous June. The film was a flop at the box office in the United States. However, unlike the similar but much more successful 1966 film Grand Prix, LeMans remains popular today as an historically accurate depiction of its era, albeit focusing on racing at the expense of both plot and dialogue." -Wikipedia

McQueen turned down the starring role for Grand Prix (1966). The role was subsequently given to James Garner.

Two Lane Blacktop (1971)

R 102 min. Starring 1955 Chevy! Road trip movie with no real point. Common to 1971.

"Lane Blacktop is a 1971 road movie directed by Monte Hellman, starring singer-songwriter James Taylor, the Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates, and Laurie Bird." -Wikipedia

How did James Taylor and Dennis Wilson get involved with this movie?

"Hellman saw a picture of James Taylor on a billboard on the Sunset Strip and asked the musician to come and do a screen test.[7] Four days before beginning principal photography the role of the Mechanic was still not cast. Hellman was desperate and tested people he met in garages. A friend of casting director Fred Roos suggested musician Dennis Wilson.[9] Wilson was the last actor cast and Hellman chose him because he felt that the musician "had lived that role, that he really grew up with cars".

Regarding the choices for the cars, screenplay writer Rudy Wurlitzer explains, “The GTO is the consumer car par excellence, a metaphor for the consumer culture. It’s absurd, but in a great way. The Chevy is the artist’s car, made and created by people who are in love with the process of building a car.”

Vanishing Point (1971)

R 99 min. As the title hints, the "point" of the movie "vanishes" at the end. But maybe it's deeper than a car chase that ends in a...

Required watching for all philosophy classes when discussing existentialism.

Here's a good overview of the movie.

A made for TV version of Vanishing Point was released in 1997. However, the plot was changed substantially.

Bullitt (1968)

PG 114 min. Starring Steve McQueen, 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn...

Grand Prix (1966)

NR 176 min. Starring James Garner. Includes real-life racing footage and cameo appearances by drivers including Formula One World Champions Phil Hill, Graham Hill, and more!

Grand Prix is a 1966 American drama film about motorsports featuring an international ensemble cast. The picture was directed by John Frankenheimer with music by Maurice Jarre and stars James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Brian Bedford, Jessica Walter and Antonio Sabàto. Toshiro Mifune has a supporting role as a race team owner, inspired by Soichiro Honda. The picture was photographed in Super Panavision 70 by Lionel Lindon, and presented in 70 mm Cinerama in premiere engagements. Its unique racing cinematography – in part credited to Saul Bass – is one of the main draws of the film.

The film includes real-life racing footage and cameo appearances by drivers including Formula One World Champions Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt and Jack Brabham. Other drivers who appeared in the film include Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Joakim Bonnier, Bruce McLaren and Jo Siffert.

One of the ten highest grossing films of 1966, Grand Prix won three Academy Awards for its technical achievements.