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18 Best Car Films Ever

18 Best Car Films Ever

By Swansway Motor Group 26-02-2018

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To celebrate the new 18 car registrations plate we take a look at the 18 best car films ever. These include, Christine, Bullit and more...

To celebrate the new 18 plate we’ve searched high and low for the 18 best car films ever made!

There are films about cars and films that feature cars, some cars are the stars and some are the supporting actors; these are our favourite films where cars are in the thick of the action.

If your favourite choice isn’t featured let us know in the comments section below!

Here we go, in no particular order:

CHRISTINE – 1983

From the pen of horror writer extraordinaire, Stephen King, came ‘Christine’, a novel where the car was very definitely the star, though not one you’d like to meet! A vintage red Plymouth Fury, Christine was the stuff of nightmares, possessed by some ghastly supernatural force and out for vengeance, the car seduces Arnie Cunningham into becoming her willing partner in crime and horrifying deaths ensue.

One to watch from behind a cushion!

The vintage red Plymouth Fury the star of creepy horror film, Christine

THE LOVE BUG – 1968

Ahhhhhh! A blessed relief after the monstrous Christine! The Love Bug was the first film to star the loveable VW Beetle, Herbie, who show his gratitude to his rescuer, Jim, by taking him to race victory after victory. Success brings his ruthless previous owner back on the scene and much mayhem ensues.

Who doesn’t love the adorable Herbie!

Loveable VW BEttle Herbie starring in his first outing, film, The Love Bug

TRANSPORTER - 2002

First film in the Transporter series, this Luc Besson written film, is all French Riviera action starring Jason Statham, as Frank Martin, an ex-Special Forces Officer and highly skilled driver who once behind the wheel of his BMW 750iI, will transport anything, no questions asked; he enters the criminal underworld as their courier of choice. Things start to unravel when one parcel turns out to contain a young woman. Starring Jason Statham, this film has the lot and is in a different league to the sequels that followed.

Easy on the eye, Jason Statham, makes this film popular all round!

THE ITALIAN JOB – 1969

What can we say? Surely one of the most iconic grand-robbery movies of all time, the Mini Coopers, the music, the humour, all thoroughly British with the stunning Italian city of Turin playing a big part as the counterpoint to this thoroughly rollicking film. Noel Coward, a dangling bus and star, Michael Caine, who hadn’t even passed his driving test when the film was made!

Best way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon!

The Mini Coopers in the Italian Job movie with their boots being filled with gold bars

BULLIT – 1968

Many petrolhead’s choice as the THE best car movie of all time, Bullit stars movie legend, Steve McQueen, as hard-as-nails detective Frank Bullit. With a full 10 minute long chase scene through San Francisco, the car is very definitely McQueen’s co-star in this one. And the car in question…a 1968 Ford Mustang, in a colour akin to British Racing Green, finished off with a blacked-out radiator grille and not a badge to be seen.

If you do nothing else, just watch the incredible 10 minute car chase!

Steve McQueen starred in cult film Bullit along with the green Ford Mustang

AMERICAN GRAFFITI - 1973

A look back at more innocent times in early 60’s small town America; filled with nostalgia for those of us of a certain age this coming-of-age film follows four teenagers cruising the streets on their last night before starting college. Full of fabulous American cars, flashy hot rods and iconic rock and roll tracks, this is a real feel-good film.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the parade of awesome American classic cars!

RUSH - 2013

Oscar winning, Ron Howard, bring to life the chalk and cheese rivalry of quintessential, louche, Englishman, James Hunt and self-disciplined Austria, Niki Lauda. The sumptuous cinematography brings the excitement and adrenalin of Formula 1 to life. Add to this the very real rivalry between the two protagonists and you’ve got yourself one of the most authentic racing films ever.

A sensationally shot and beautifully acted film, which just happens to feature F1 cars!

BACK TO THE FUTURE – 1985

The car was never meant to be the star, but it’s thanks to this fabulous film everyone knows what a DeLorean is! A true one-off, the short-lived DeLorean was unmistakable with its brushed steel outer panels and gullwing doors and it made the perfect the time-machine for this truly engaging film. The movie made a star out of Michael J Fox and made sure that the DeLorean would forever have a place in our hearts.

With its two equally wonderful sequels, you can spend a day going Back to the Future!

The incredible DeLorean tine machine car from Back to the Future movie

DUEL – 1971

Steven Spielberg’s first full length film is tense and menacing, a heart thumping illustration of road rage gone mad. You can feel Dennis Weaver’s fear as he flees from the pursuit of the unknown driver of a huge tanker truck. The entire film features Dennis Weaver’s character, David Mann, trying to escape the pursuing tanker. The hideous cat and mouse action between Mann’s Plymouth Valiant and the monster tanker truck ends in the only way it can, with death.

Watch this and you’ll never honk you horn or gesture at another road-user again!

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS – 2001

The original film that spawned the Fast & Furious franchise; if you’re an all-action fan and an adrenalin junkie, then this film will fulfil your every wish. Suspend your disbelief, sit back and enjoy the ride. With incredible stunts, high-speed chases and some of the most intense car scenes ever to grace the big screen; it may be short on plot but it’s high on fun!

Watch the whole series with like-minded friends and you could lose a weekend!

SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT – 1977

The critics panned this film on its release, but audiences loved it! The legend that is Burt Reynolds stars and spends the vast majority of the film involved in one, very long, car chase. Burt’s co-star in the film was a black and gold Pontiac Trans Am and when the film hit cinema screens it made the Pontiac hot property, turning it into one of the biggest selling cars of the year.

Pure escapism, it’s no Oscar winner, but it’s plenty of unadulterated fun!

THE DRIVER - 1978

This enigmatic film stars a nameless getaway driver played by Ryan O’Neal; in fact the film’s not big non names at all, adding to the strangely haunting quality of what could just have been another burning-rubber extravaganza. It was a highly influential movie, credited with inspiring Quentin Tarantino, and the strange dichotomy of quietness and heart-pumping car chases has helped make it a cult film.

More than just a car chase movie, this one will make you think.

THE CANNONBALL RUN – 1981

Remember the Wacky Races cartoon that was on telly when you came home from school? This is the movie equivalent! With a star studded cast including Roger Moore, Burt Reynolds, Jackie Chan, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, to name but a few, there a literally cars galore in this screwball comedy. There’s an illegal cross-country race and all the aforementioned want to win, nothing more to say, other than it’s brilliant!

So watchable and great for both car and people-spotting!

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – 2015

The Mad Max franchise is like marmite, but for sheer weird and wonderfulness of vehicles, you’ve got to give it to Fury Road. The post-apocalyptic storyline is largely irrelevant, but the hand-built vehicles are absolutely amazing, even more so when you realise that they were all hand built and then driven into the Australian desert where the movie was filmed. Many of the incredible special effects, crashes and explosions were done for real, meaning few of these weird vehicles remain.

Not for everyone we know, but if you love it, you love it!

THE BLUES BROTHERS – 1980

Cars are probably not the first thing you think of when you think Blues Brothers, but watch it again and you’ll see they play a major role in this cult film. 103 cars were written-off in the making of the movie and the indoor car chase, through a shopping centre is a corker. The music and the storyline are fab, so it’s no hardship to watch this one again with the car action in mind.

More than just shaking your tail-feather, this is a cult classic!

GONE IN 60 SECONDS – 2000

This 2000 movie is a remake of the original 1974 film. Super car thief, Randall Raines, played by Nicolas Cage, agrees to steal 50 cars in one night to get his brother out of trouble. Plenty of cars and plenty of action: this remake made the cars the stars and led to a revival of automotive films coming out of Hollywood including the Fast and Furious franchise. A car lover’s dream, see how many you can spot.

Edge of your seat stuff with Nic Cage and Angelina Jolie leading the way!

DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY – 1974

Led by the iconic Peter Fonda, with Susan George by his side; this is really just a petrol-powered romp with a Chevy Impala and a Dodge Charger heading the cast. On the run, after holding-up a grocery store, the story may not win too many prizes but the non-stop car chase and unbelievable stunts are a must for all petrolheads.

If you love an action film, you’ll love this, which was a shock hit at the box-office.

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG – 1968

A very different kind of car film, where the car is very definitely the star! This classic family movie features Dick van Dyke as Caratacus Potts and Sally Ann Howes as Truly Scrumptious. Madcap inventor, Potts, builds his children an amazing flying car which takes them on a brilliant adventure. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to love this film!

Settle the kids on the sofa, break out the popcorn, sit back and enjoy!

Iconic film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring the amazing car and Dick van Dyke

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