10 Classic Car Movies

Thursday, February 3 by Tom Gordon

Guys' love affair with the automobile can be seen in the 10 classic car movies listed below. Whether the cars are racing each other, chasing bad guys, fleeing the cops or otherwise engaged in thrilling adrenaline-fueled action, the stars of the 10 classic car movies are unforgettable.

  1. "American Graffiti." A young George Lucas recalled his days growing up in the early 1960s, when driving around town trying to pick up girls was the most important thing in the world. This 1973 movie, which featured a host of young Hollywood talent like Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Suzanne Somers and Harrison Ford, is ostensibly about growing up. But it's also about having the coolest, and when necessary, the fastest car around.
  2. "Bullitt." Steve McQueen plays Det. Frank Bullitt in a movie that contains one of the all-time great car chase scenes. In 1968, McQueen was the coolest movie star out there and this movie, set in hilly San Francisco, still holds up as a classic car film. Check out the stunning Jacqueline Bissett in one of her early starring roles.
  3. "The Road Warrior." This 1981 sequel to "Mad Max" has more wild cars and trucks than just about any movie ever made. In the post-apocalyptic world in which the movie is set, gasoline becomes a valuable resource, one worth killing and dying for.
  4. "The Blues Brothers." In typical John Landis style, dozens of cars get smashed up in what becomes a giant chase film starring John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. The music is great the movie is still a lot of fun to watch, especially scenes like the Blues Brothers' old cop car ripping through a shopping mall.
  5. "Christine." A teenager's obsession with a slick 1958 Plymouth gets a little out of hand as the car becomes the symbol of evil in one of the few movie adaptations of a Stephen King novel that actually holds up.
  6. "Cars." Pixar's geniuses hit another home run with this NASCAR-inspired animated feature about talking cars who extol the virtues of driving on the open road.
  7. "Smokey and the Bandit." The black TransAm at the heart of this 1977 blockbuster comedy starring Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, and an adorable Sally Field, became an iconic piece of American car culture and 1970s movie history.
  8. "Thunder Road." This offbeat 1958 movie about moonshiners in North Carolina stars Robert Mitchum and some great old 50s cars. The movie's title also served as the inspiration for the classic Bruce Springsteen song, "Thunder Road."
  9. "The Italian Job." English Mini-Coopers become the stars of this 1969 heist movie starring Michael Caine. The red, white and blue cars are used in the getaway of at armored car robbery in Italy and engage in a clever, choreographed chase scene to close out the film.
  10. "Goldfinger." Unlike most of the movies listed above, a car isn't at the center of all the action in "Goldfinger." But the movie did introduce the world to the Aston Martin DB5, which became James Bond's most identifiable car piece of hardware. Tricked out cars and car chases have been staples in many Bond movies, but the Aston Martin in "Goldfinger" remains the coolest.
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