10 Best Race Car Movies

Tuesday, February 1 by Yvonne Glasgow

The 10 best race car movies inhabit ideals of any great race. They are rich in sporty race cars, actors playing heroes on the race track and drama. These great movies are sometimes about fictional race car drivers and some are about drivers that will live in our hearts forever, like Dale Earnhardt.

  1. Le Mans featured Steve McQueen in a realistic portrayal of endurance racing in the 1970′s. This 1971 film included actual footage from the 197 24 Hours of Le Mans yet had virtually no dialogue.  Instead, most of the emphasis is on the duel between Porsche and Ferrari.
  2. “3: The Dale Earnhardt Story” is about the famed race care driver Dale Earnhardt. This 2004 movie came after Earnhardt’s death and told the story of his life and love of car racing. A wonderful film starring Barry Pepper, Elizabeth Mitchell and Ernest Whitted.
  3. “Days of Thunder” is a classic tale, and remains one of the best race care movies of all time. This 1990 film is about a young stock car driver who gets a chance at something bigger. A great flick starring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Robert Duvall.
  4. Two Lane Blacktop is a cult favorite focused on two local street racers that challenge a stranger to a cross country race. This film offers a look back into the history of street racing in America on classic Route 66 prior to the introduction of federally mandated speed limits and the 73 oil crisis.
  5. “Herbie Fully Loaded” was an attempt at bringing the classic little race care that could to a whole new generation. This cute 2005 “remake” about the #53 bug was a fun romp on the NASCAR circuit, again. The original movies were cute, and so was this one. Stars the troubled Lindsay Lohan, and Michael Keaton.
  6. “The Cannonball Run” is about illegal racing, but it is still a great (and classic) race car movie. The first film came out in 1981. “The Cannonball Run” stars Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Farrah Fawcett.
  7. “The Cannonball Run II,” 1984′s sequel to the last flick on this list, has Burt Reynolds racing across the country yet again. It also stars Dom DeLuise and Dean Martin.
  8. “Death Race 2000” from 1975 is a quirky tale of a brutal cross-country race where drivers get points for running down people. The movie was recently remade, but the new one does not hold a candle to the original film. “Death Race 2000” stars David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone.
  9. “The Fast and The Furious” brought street racing to the light of day. This 2001 film about a young cop that goes undercover and finds his way behind the wheel of a very fast car stars Vin Diesel Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez.
  10. “Driven” was not one of the very best of race car movies, but it was good enough to be at the bottom of this list. This movie is about a hot shot race car driver who has some issue. This 2001 film’s biggest star was Sylvester Stallone.
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