Autopia was founded on a love of cars, and many of the members of our staff (female and male) are self-confessed “petrol heads”. This passion for cars goes beyond just liking perfectly engineered and heavily powered machines, to almost anything car related, including TV shows and movies.
So, with that in mind, we decided to compile a list of our ‘top seven favourite car movies’. The list expands from movies with good looking cars to those with memorable road trips, without forgetting, of course, those with insane car chases that keep you on the edge of your seat.
We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did, debating the finalists and even be inclined to watch (or rewatch) some of them, to strengthen your fondness for cars even more.
7. The Fast and the furious
The best way to describe this franchise is that it’s the car version of Point Break. Although the storyline/actors may be cheesy, the movie is a flashy distraction with hot and fast cars. The highlight is Vin Diesel’s character, Dom, muscle car – a black 1970 dodge charger with a supercharged engine on the bonnet. There’s no denying it stirs up a desire to drive the cars and streets like they do – without the fighting/hijackings of course.
The mission for a group of specialists is to steal a metallic briefcase from the Russian Mafia and a lot of other people willing to pay the ultimate price to get their hands on it. Ronin has one of the most thrilling car chases in a movie. Mercedes, BMWs and some Peugeots wind through the streets of Paris, its narrow roads (even on the other side of the road which stirs up pure adrenaline inside of you as you watch) it’s just completely insane, and DeNiro is as cool as ever while doing it. If you like the Bourne movies, then this movie will resonate with you.
5. Gone in 60 seconds – (2000 version)
A retired “master car thief” is called upon to steal 50 cars in one night to save his brother’s life. Sounds intense, it delivers thrills, excitement and another wild car chase. Nicholas Cage drives in reverse for a part of it, probably better than most drivers in general. A powerful performance by Cage and the selection of cars to be hijacked is as good as him, including Chevrolets, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Cadillacs and more. The film’s feature car is Cage’s “Eleanor”, a Grey 1967 Ford Mustang fastback, depicted as a Shelby GT500, with a customised body kit designed by Steve Stanford.
4. The Italian job – (2003 version)
This is another purely fun movie in the genre of heist/car/action movies. After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Mark Wahlberg and his team plan a flawless gold heist against their former ally. It’s good to watch Ed Norton get screwed over because he plays the “bad guy” so well. The chase scene through the streets of LA involving a helicopter, motorbikes and the star of the movie – the MINI Cooper, ends with the helicopter (Norton piloting) and Wahlberg’s Mini playing “chicken” in an underground car park. This movie makes you want to buy a Mini S, including the aero body kit and all.
3. The Adventures of Priscila, Queen of the Desert
“This is the story of three hard working guys who dress up in women’s clothes and parade around mouthing the words to other people songs”. Two drag queens and a transsexual go on a road trip from Sydney to Alice Springs in the pink/lavender bus, titled Priscilla – Queen of the Desert, to perform a cabaret show. The interior of the bus has some amazing lighting designs, and scissor lifts so that people can rise in and out of it. Fun fact: The man who designed the lavender bus also created the cars in Mad Max: Fury Road. Entertaining, hilarious and touching, it has some of the funniest lines, sensational costumes and music, it’s definitely one of the most fun road trip movies around.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
The movie is basically one long chase scene. The characters played by Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron are totally badass as they drive off into the desert wastelands; and back in an armoured semi-truck, the “War Rig”, with a bunch of apocalyptic, modified biker gangs in monster trucks, with shiny guns chasing after them. Full of action, emotional, visually impressive and sometimes super loud, George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is an awesome movie.
1. Detroit rock city
The plot involves a group of four teenage boys doing whatever they can to attend a Kiss concert, “..and in Detroit no less”. It’s all about the ride to get there, even if it’s stealing Lex’s mum’s car. For eye candy, there’s a very cool gold Trans Am driven by the disco bunnies. An original script and first class acting, it’s hilarious and totally entertaining from start to finish, it makes you want to take a road trip while listening to cool tunes with your best mates.
- Blues Brothers – for a period of time it had the record for most cars crashed in a movie!
- Bad Boys – for good looking cars in films you cannot beat the Mike Lowry’s 911 Turbo in the original Bad Boys film.
- Back to the future – Not a car movie but it got a DeLorean
- Smokey and the Bandit – A classic!
- Duel – Spielberg’s first film and is basically one long car chase. Awesome!