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Car Movies and Movie Cars

Updated on August 8, 2016

Good Movies about Great Cars

Do you love Great Car Movies? If you want to read about some great movies, and the cars that made them so great, then you've come to the right place.

Reminisce about great movies from your past and discover some that you might not have seen before.

Car Movies - The Fast and the Furious
Car Movies - The Fast and the Furious | Source

The Fast and the Furious - 2001

The Fast and the Furious delivers heavy doses of what car enthusiast want to see in a movie:

  • cars - lots of heavily-modified, sleek, fast cars

  • girls - also heavily modified... sleek... you get the idea

  • high-speed action

  • gear head jargon

This movie impacted a generation and put feet to the tuner-car genre with its bold, aggressively designed cars and thumping soundtracks. Special FX inside-the-engine shots following the NOS streams are recognizable to car-tech novices and exhilarating to horse power junkies.

An LA policeman goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of suspected high-jackers. Split loyalties lead to some hard decisions but, in the end,nobody goes to jail and somehow both the cop and the King of the street racing scene come out heroes.

Don't let the cliché of a story line fool you, this is a must see that spawned four sequels (although the franchise did decline significantly after the second movie - 2 Fast 2 Furious).

Car Movie - the Road Warrior
Car Movie - the Road Warrior

The Road Warrior - 1979

Road Warrior Car:
1973 XB GT Ford Falcon with nitrous oxide and an on-demand Weiand Supercharger.

Road Warrior Cast:
Mel Gibson

Joanne Samuel as Jessie

Hugh Keays-Byrne as Toecutter

Steve Bisley as Jim Goose

Tim Burns as Johnny the Boy

Vincent Gil as Nightrider

Great Movie

Mad Max The Road Warrior started the "Survivor" theme that has become a popular subculture within the custom car and custom motorcycle circuit. What was Ford thinking when they decided that the XB GT Falcon (351 Cleveland engine, 9 inch rear differential and front disc brakes all being standard equipment) wasn't right for the American market? Come to think of it, what's Ford thinking now by keeping the Falcon out of the U.S.?

Cult Classic film showcasing the futuristic degradation of society and the lone man still willing and able to stand up for what's good. Great crash scenes. To American eyes, the cars and motorcycles look bizarre, yet strangely familiar - and totally Bad A$$. Check out these Mad Max Road Warrior clips.

Car Movies - Smokey and the Bandit
Car Movies - Smokey and the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit - 1977

Smokey and the Bandit Cars:
1977 Pontiac Firebird Special Edition

Kenworth W900A

Smokey and the Bandit Cast:
Burt Reynolds as Bo "Bandit" Darville

Sally Fields as Carrie "Frog"

Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice "Smokey Bear"

Jerry Reed as Cledus "Snowman" Snow

Great Movie

Some movies don't age well; Smokey and the Bandit is not among them: Burt Reynolds wears his best mustache, Sally Fields never looked better, Jerry Reed is just being Jerry Reed and nobody can cuss better than Jackie Gleason could cuss. Add in some 1970s trucker CB slang and an hour and a half of "high speed pursuit" and you've got a timeless classic.

The Bandit and Snowman are hired to run a truckload of bootleg Coors from Texarkana to Atlanta in just 28 hours. The only way they can make it in time is if the Bandit gets in a speedy car and runs blocker.

Car Movie - Gone In 60 Seconds
Car Movie - Gone In 60 Seconds

Gone In 60 Seconds - 2000

Gone In 60 Seconds Cars:
There are a lot of cars and the 50-car pick list changes throughout the movie but, the one that everyone remembers is the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 - code name "Eleanor."

Gone In 60 Seconds Cast:
Nicholas Cage

Angelina Jolie

Giovanni Ribisi

Chi McBride

Robert Duvall

Scott Caan

Will Patton

Timothy Olyphant

Christopher Eccleston

Vinnie Jones

Good Movie

Imagine being able to drive any car that you want: the hottest, fastest, most exotic cars ever made, all for the taking. That's what makes Gone in 60 Seconds so exciting. All you have to do is get over that whole felony car theft hangup.

A retired car jacker reunites his team for one last, huge score. They have 72 hours to steal 50 specific cars in order to save Memphis Raines' kid brother's life. Memphis stares down the-one-that-got-away so many times before - Eleanor.

Bad Movies but Great Cars

The Green Hornet

1965 Chrysler Imperial Crown

Corvette Summer

1973 Chevy Corvette

Speed Racer

Mach 5

Car Movies - Herbie the Love Bug
Car Movies - Herbie the Love Bug

(Herbie) The Love Bug - 1968

I know that I'll get flack for this but I don't care; I like Herbie The Love Bug! If you don't like him, then make your own list. Ok, maybe I don't like all of the Herbie movies, but I like them enough to recommend the first (The Love Bug - 1968) and the last (Herbie: Fully Loaded - 2005).

Through the magic of Disney, a Volkswagen Beetle comes to life and becomes a world-class race car. Refreshingly, the last Herbie sequel carries all the charm and fun that the first had thirty seven years earlier. Unfortunately, I find the three in between to be a little repetitive - even Disney can only get so much mileage out of a good idea.

Car Movies - Death Proof
Car Movies - Death Proof

Death Proof - 2007

Death Proof Cars:
1970? Chevy Nova

1969 Dodge Charger

1970 Dodge Challenger

1972 Ford Mustang

Death Proof Director:
Quentin Tarantino He also wrote the movie and played Warren the Bartender.

Death Proof Cast:
Kurt Russell

Rosario Dawson

Rose McGowan

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Eli Roth

Good Movie

Full of fast action, gratuitous violence and hot chicks that love muscle cars - but in Death Proof, the flat black Nova with white death-head STEALS the show. Tarantino is a master at balancing the realistic and the totally bizarre. If you've ever wanted to see Kurt Russell play the bad guy, then this is the movie for you.

Three women borrow a souped-up muscle car and set out to have a little fun. A serial killer that's also fond of American muscle gives chase... until the women turn the tables and start chasing him. ***Spoiler Alert: the women win.***

Car Movies - Death Race 2000
Car Movies - Death Race 2000

Death Race 2000 - 1975

Death Race 2000 Cars:
Mostly VW based Kit Cars themed to resemble a bull, a rocket powered missile, a gangster-style car, etcetera. The star is a Shala Vette kit car themed to resemble a green scaly monster with red eyes. This was the 70s, folks.

Death Race 2000 Cast:
David Carradine

Sylvester Stallone

OK Movie

You know those games where you earn points for running over innocent pedestrians? Death Race 2000 started it all way back in 1975. The original Death Race 2000 is a Sci-Fi cult classic deserving of a better remake than the 2008 sequel, which shares little more than a name with the original. This is not the kind of movie that you'll watch over and over again, but it's worth having in your collection.

In the futuristic year 2000, a jaded and moral less society craves a new form of entertainment - the Death Race. Competitors gain points by using machine-gun laden race cars to kill spectators, geriatric patients (or the doctors and nurses), helicopter-flying terrorists and any random pedestrian that's unfortunate enough to come within range. It's fun for the whole family.

Death Race 2 is an updated, but uninspiring sequel. Death Race 3 is better - the story line has a few unexpected twists that do the original proud.

Car Movies - Goldfinger
Car Movies - Goldfinger

Goldfinger - 1964

Goldfinger Car:
Aston Martin DB5

Goldfinger Cast:
Sean Connery as James Bond

Gert Frobe as Goldfinger

Harold Sakata as Oddjob

Bernard Lee as M

Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny

Goldfinger Bond Girls:
Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore

Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson, the girl who's painted gold

Great Movie

No other car capture the spirit of 007 better than the Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger - equipped with: bullet-proof windshield/rear glass, tire-slashing extending wheel caps, machine guns, homing missiles, smoke screens, oil sprayers and an ejector seat. Oddjob, with his statue-decapitating hat, makes one of the greatest henchmen of all time. Pussy Galore is just legendary.

Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"

Goldfinger: "No, Mister Bond. I expect you to die."

Goldfinger plans to contaminate the Fort Knox gold supply with radiation, thereby causing world-wide financial collapse and a subsequent increase in the value of his personal supply of untainted gold. Fortunately, 007 saves the world once again.

Car Movies - Christine
Car Movies - Christine

Christine - 1983

Christine Car:
1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine

Christine Writer:
Stephen King

Christine Director:
John Carpenter

Christine Cast:
Keith Gordon

John Stockwell

Alexandra Paul

Robert Prosky

Harry Dean Stanton

Kelly Preston

Great Movie

The "possessed car goes on a killing rampage" story line is not a new one (although Christine had a much higher budget than most others). Why do we like this story, so? I think that it allows us to subconsciously and vicariously live out our otherwise pent up Road Rage. Christine makes the world a safer place to live.

From a time when most horror films were nothing more than slashers comes Christine, a true horror film and one of the best horror films of all time. Arnie, a dark and awkward teen, bears the brunt of a bully's attention - that is until Arnie finds Christine, a car with a thirst for blood going all the way back to the assembly line. Midnight hit-and-run missions (set to a classic 50s soundtrack) eliminate anyone that is perceived to be a threat to Arnie or to the relationship developing between Arnie and Christine.

Car Movie - Cobra
Car Movie - Cobra

Cobra - 1986

Cobra Car:
1950 Mercury Monterey

Cobra Cast:
Sylvester Stallone

Brigitte Nielsen

Brian Thompson

OK Movie

Nobody will say that this is a good movie. The only memorable parts of Cobra are the Cobra car and the Spiked Cobra Knife (that knife was a hot item in the late 80s). The big question: is a really cool car enough to save an otherwise forgettable movie? In this case, it is.

Marion "Cobra" Cobretti is a city cop out to catch (more probably kill) a serial killer. Lots of action, violence, guns and one real sweet ride.

Car Movies - American Graffiti
Car Movies - American Graffiti

American Graffiti - 1973

American Graffiti Cars:
1932 Ford Deuce Coupe

1958 Chevy Impala

1955 Chevy

The movie's set in 1962, so everything's vintage (although there is a Mustang shown in the background once - Oops, Mustang's weren't made until 1964 1/2).

Director:
George Lucas

Producer:
Francis Ford Coppola

American Graffiti Cast:
Richard Dreyfuss

Ronny Howard

Cindy Williams

Wolfman Jack

Harrison Ford

Suzanne Somers

Paul LeMat

Charles Martin Smith

Candy Clark

Mackenzie Phillips

Bo Hopkins

Great Movie

Did American Graffiti rekindle the Hot Rod craze? It sure didn't hurt it. American Graffiti spawned the TV show 'Happy Days" and that definitely kicked off the 50s craze that hit during the 70s. Fortunately, sock hops died again; Hot Rods are here to stay.

Two all-American youths enjoy one last night of "cruisin' the circuit" before heading off to college.

Car Movies - Hollywood Knights
Car Movies - Hollywood Knights

Hollywood Knights - 1980

Hollywood Knight Cars:
1957 Chevy

AC Cobra

1956 Chevy Sedan Delivery wagon

1965 El Camino

1940 Ford Coupe

More... lots more.

Hollywood Knights Cast:
Robert Wuhl

Tony Danza

Michelle Pfeiffer

Fran Drescher

Great Movie

The Hollywood Knights is an obvious knock off of American Graffiti. They don't just share the same elements, Hollywood Knights uses basically the same story line right down to: the radio dedication that must go out tonight, the vandalism done to the police car, the car club initiation, the walk back after being stranded in the middle of nowhere, the drive-in diner and the big race.

There are some differences of course. American Graffiti is a drama focusing on the story line. Hollywood Knights is a comedy, gratuitously focusing on crude humor, shiny paint it's good-looking cast. If this were a review on cinematic merit, American Graffiti would win hands down but it's not, it's a review of Car Movies. For the average guy looking for a great Car Movie, Hollywood Knights fits the bill.

A group of all-American youth enjoy one last night of cruising their favorite hangout.

Car Movies - Tuff Turf
Car Movies - Tuff Turf

Tuff Turf - 1985

Tuff Turf Car:
1968 Camaro

Tuff Turf Cast:
James Spader

Kim Richards

Robert Downey Jr.

Paul Mones

Claudette Nevins

Olivia Barash

Good Movie

This is the only movie I can think of where James Spader plays a good guy. Robert Downey Jr.'s character is not nearly as over the top as usual. Sometime in the 10 years after "Escape to Witch Mountain", Kim Richards got really Hot!

Then there's the car: a muscle-bound 68 Camaro with a 327, in flat black with a brown primer top coat with a smoked headlight cover.

If you're into 80s pop culture, Tuff Turf is a must-see. Complete with popped collars, lace gloves and a boom box so big that you need a red wagon to pull it in. This movie is actually better appreciated now than it was in 1985.

The new kid ( a misunderstood troublemaker who really has a good heart deep down inside) falls for the girl friend of the real local bad guy and street thug/gang leader.

The Car (movie, 1977)
The Car (movie, 1977)

The Car - 1977

What Evil Drives

The Car: Lincoln Continental Mark III

The Car Cast:
James Brolin

Kathleen Lloyd

John Marley

OK Movie

The Car is a cult classic and, as such, deserves to be seen. It won't become one of your favorites, but you won't feel as though you've wasted the evening, either. This movie was probably really scary in 1977.

Barris Customs tricked out some Lincoln Continental Mark IIIs with:

  • black paint (matte on the custom fenders)
  • no chrome
  • shaved handles
  • open pipes
  • a menacing-looking custom bumper
  • headlights that almost look as if they're sunk into cheeks and
  • blacked-out window tint all around (black from the outside, orange from the inside)

For some unexplained reason, The Car becomes demon possessed and goes on a small-town killing spree. Best scene? - when the Car won't enter the cemetery.

D.C. Cab - Car Movie
D.C. Cab - Car Movie

D.C. Cab - 1983

DC Cab Cars:
a whole fleet of yellow Checker Cabs

D.C. Cab Cast:
Mister T

Gary Busey

Adam Baldwin

Bill Maher

Paul Rodriguez

Irene Cara

Max Gail

Marsha Warfield

Otis Day

Whitman Mayo

Great Movie

D.C. Cab is one of the great, classic movie from the 80s... and it's even better today than it was then. Granted - it's not your typical Car Movie, but it is about Taxi Cabs - right?

Remember when:

  • Mr. T would get top-billing on a movies' credits?

  • we thought Gary Busey was good at playing the crazy guy? Now we know that he is the crazy guy.

  • people still listened to Irene Cara?

  • everyone recognized Grady from "Sanford and Son"?

  • nobody recognized Bill Maher?

If you're a fan of the 80s, you just have to watch DC Cab, again.

More Great Car Movie Reviews to Come

Vanishing Point

Cars (Pixar)

Bullitt

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

Transformers

Streets of Fire

Roadhouse 66

Other Great Movie Cars

Ghostbusters

Ecto 1 - 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance

The Blues Brothers

Blues Mobile - 1974 Dodge Monaco

National Lampoon's Vacation

Wagon Queen Family Truckster - Ford LTD Country Squire

Animal House

Deathmobile - 1964 Lincoln Continental

Back to the Future

DeLorean DMC-12

Dazed and Confused

1973 Duster

1970 Chevelle SS

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

1961 Ferrari GT250

Sex Drive

1969 GTO Judge

Grease

1948 Ford Deluxe Convertible

1949 Mercury

1949 Dodge Wayfarer Convertible

The Warriors

graffiti painted late 50s Cadillac Hearse/Limo/Ambulance

Car Movies that Just Didn't Make the Cut

Nothing against these cars - I just didn't want to have to watch these movies again.

Used Cars

Car Wash

Mother, Jugs & Speed

Batman

Greased Lightning

Tucker - The Man and His Dream

What's the Best Car Movie or Movie Car?

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    • profile image

      othellos 3 years ago

      American Graffiti for me. Nice observation on the Mustang. I will check it out myself to see if I'll be able to catch the scene. Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive guide.

    • Cassidy Wadsworth profile image

      Cassidy Wadsworth 5 years ago

      I just watched Tucker and liked it, though it's not an action-car movie

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I need to brush up on my car movies - thank you for the recommendations. Blessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do not remember any movie that is without a car, however I appreciate your list and would surely want to see some of the movies listed here.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      My favs here are Smokey and the Bandit, The Love Bug and, (sorry!) The Green Hornet.

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      My husband really likes car movies, I think he has seen all of these.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Nice lens idea. I really liked Herbie The Love Bug. Congratulations on getting featured in Squidoo's Car Show winners circle!

    • tammikibler profile image

      tammikibler 5 years ago

      Smokey and the Bandit is my favorite, I am so in love with the car, Burt, Sally, Jerry, Jackie. I probably sound like an old fuddy duddy, but I feel like they don't make movies this fun anymore.

      Not that you asked, but I think Days of Thunder should be included in this lens. Not that it's a great movie, but it is a Nascar movie nonetheless.