Car Chase Classics:

Feb 27


Mark Mahorney

Mark Mahorney

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

I hit my teenage years in the early 80s about the same time VCRs and independent video rental shops came to every small town in America. This was before yogurt shops and tanning booths hit, and after most of the drive-ins and arcades had faded away, though my town had all five simultaneously.


During that time I got turned on to couple of happenstance rentals now both cult classics. One was Evil Dead and another was the originalGone in 60 Seconds.

It seems cult classic films follow a similar path as collectables. It couldn’t have appeared to have any value at the time for it to have any value now. What is the return on a Franklin Mint collectable? Will Freddy vs. Jason ever be a classic? Probably not.

Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street are classics,Car Chase Classics: Articles no doubt, but they aren’t likely to ever reach cult status. The latter, if I recall correctly, was B movie flop in the theatre, hit the ever-growing network of video rental stores where it caught the attention of kids too young to otherwise have seen it, and then was re-released into the theatres as a hit.

Gone in 60 Seconds was a little known drive-in B movie from before my time that even the rental shops couldn’t bring back to life. And I suspect that the H.B. Halicki series of car chase classics have generated more revenue since the 2000 remake Gone in Sixty Seconds, than in the previous quarter century.

I have an affinity for guy movies that I now never find the time to watch with a wife and child. I’m talking about the kinds of movies you simply can’t watch in the presence of a female. Clint Eastwood the outlaw, the brawler, or the dirty cop. Anything with Charles Bronson. Al Pacino in the Godfather series, Serpico, Scarface, Carlito’s Way, or even Glengarry Glen Ross. Or Paul Newman in The Hustler, Hombre, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, or the hilarious Slapshot.

Along the same line, I’ll take a good car chase movie any day. I like car chases like I like porn. Get right to the action. The better the car chase the less I care about the plot. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry would have been a whole lot better without Peter Fonda’s bad acting. All I wanted to hear was the badass roar of the 440 Dodge Charger.

It is in that spirit that Car Chase Classics is born and what follows is a list of some of my all time favorite car chase, car race, and cool car movies:

Gone in 60 Seconds - Classic must see for the car chase enthusiast.

Deadline Auto Theft - Follow on to Gone in 60 Seconds

The Junkman - More great chases from H.B. Halicki. Check out the official site.

Gone in Sixty Seconds - A boatload of cool cars and Eleanor in a league of its own.

Bullitt - The first of the big block mustangs had mega HP crammed into a fuselage that maintained much of the early mustang a pony car.

Eat My Dust - Ron Howard steals a Dodge Charger, king of muscle cars.

Return to Macon County - Nick Nolte, Don Johnson and hot Chevy.

Bonnie and Clyde - Lots of great classic cars in this film.

Jeepers Creepers - The demon powered ’41 Chevy COE couldn’t be any more ominous.

The Hitcher - Great combination of semi and suspense.

Black Cadillac - Cool old Cadillac Limousine doing the chasing.

Dazed and Confused - Chock full of cool cars. Lots of tire spinning and chase with Chevy PU. This movie epitomizes my teen years.

The Fast and the Furious - Another Dodge Charger in this one.

2 Fast 2 Furious - Lot’s of muscle car action.

The Hollywood Knights - The original rat rods.

Roadhouse 66 - Bad movie with some cool cars racing.

Red Line - Exotic muscle.

Two Lane Blacktop - Classic road film.

Vanishing Point - Challenger pushed to max.

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry - Yet another Charger movie.