10 Best Car Films of All Time

10 Best Car Films of All Time

I’m a self-proclaimed car and film addict; it has been an addiction since my childhood. So it made sense for me to write what I believe are the top 10 films involving cool scenes with one or more automobiles.
As there are a huge number of people who are extremely passionate about these two subjects, I’m sure that other car and film nuts will have different choices and in a different order. But I know there will be some films which we can all agree are absolute classics with era defining car chases and other cool moments of genius.

This list will be in order of my personal preference starting from my tenth favorite to the number one car film of all time.

So without any more babbling, here is the top 10 lists.

  • 1 – Mad Max 2

    If you have ever wanted to see what kind of vehicles we will have to drive after an apocalypse then this film will be a good learning experience for you.

    It amazes me the number and variety of designs which they came up with for this film.

    The film features some great chases between these weird vehicles and a fuel truck driven by Mel Gibson’s character. The stunt work and filming during these scenes in my opinion were top class. Perhaps some would say it is now dated but I’d choose this over any modern day film with too much CGI any day.

  • 2 – The Italian Job

    The original made in 1969 is an absolute classic which I think is one of those films that almost everyone would agree is in their top 10 car films of all time.

    It features some amazing chase scenes with a number of Mini Coopers.

  • 3 – The Blues Brothers

    While not a pure car or racing film, this has a fantastic car chase near the end involving a huge number of vehicles.

    Most of them were police cars that got smashed up in what I think was the biggest crash scene ever at the time of filming.

  • 4 – Bullitt

    If there was ever a movie which defines ‘cool’, this would be it.
    It’s another film starring Steve McQueen who drives the heck out of Ford Mustang.

    I think they went through a lot tires shooting this film. Once you’ve watched it you’ll know what I mean!

  • 5 – Ronin

    The word Ronin means a master-less Samurai of ancient Japan. The reference this film has to the Ronin is the mercenary characters that are like the modern day versions of the Ronin.

    The scenes with cars were only a fairly small part of the film but I just love the way they were shot; very gritty scenes indeed.

  • 6 – Le Mans

    Starring Steve McQueen, this film features some truly realistic racing scenes. McQueen himself loved cars and owned quite a collection. He plays one of the racing drivers of the Le Mans race.

    I particularly liked the ultra-quick cuts in the lead up to a race. The scene cut from McQueen’s headshot, the starting flag and the crowd, with the cuts showing quicker each time, until the race starts. I think this part was genius.

  • 7 – Death Race 2000

    I’m not talking about the recent remake (which to be fair wasn’t bad) but the original 1975 classic.

    It was a very low budget film but had some truly unique cars and rather disturbing scenes involving drivers getting points for running down people. As I said, it is a very disturbing film but in regards to the vehicle designs, it was a good film.

  • 8 – The Love Bug

    This is another film which spurned what seems like an endless number of sequels.

    But the original was a classic, where the car had just as much personality as the main characters, some say more!

  • 9 – The Fast and the Furious

    Forgot the seemingly endless series of sequels but the original starring the underrated Vin Diesel was like pure joy for petrol heads.

    It features some superb street racing.

  • 10 – Cannonball Run

    This wacky film had a whole host of well-known stars including Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin, Roger Moore and even a young Jackie Chan!

    This isn’t a ‘cool’ car film but you can see that they put as much thought into the actual vehicles in the film as the dialog and story. Okay, there wasn’t much of a story at all but it had some very funny scenes with various vehicles.

    If anyone doesn’t laugh when they see Captain Chaos then they probably don’t have a sense of humor.


Dan Lenson who writes for www.autoco.co.nz, a company that sells cars in New Zealand. Unfortunately Auto Co doesn’t sell any of the more unusual cars in my list but they are competitive on everyday vehicles.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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