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Best car movies | Top 10

The king of cool, Steve McQueen, in Bullitt. The car is a Ford Mustang.

Genuine wheel-twirling skills, real sound and a half-decent plot all help get a spot in the top 10.


The king of cool, Steve McQueen, is babysitting a mob informant - between bouts of squiring a young Jacqueline Bisset - in San Francisco when he's followed by the hitmen looking to get rid of the informant. The chase is still one of the longest committed to celluloid and features to classic American muscle cars - a Pontiac GTO and a Ford Mustang, the latter being McQueen's steed.


Robert De Niro leads a surly cast through a European heist flick that has plenty of car-based action within a decent plot - anyone doubting the film's intent will soon be hooked by the powersliding Audi A8 limo on cobblestone streets, with Peugeots, old Mercs, Citroens and a BMW M5 all taking turns to tear up the bitumen.

The Blues Brothers

A long-time favourite that totalled untold number of US sedans, a motorhome and a shopping mall with its over-the-top car chases as Jake and Elwood Blues. Borne from a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch, the pair lead police, hicks and Nazis on a merry chase in the Bluesmobile. The car (one of 13 used in the film) was a 1974 Dodge Monaco sedans used in filming, with the 250kW 440 cubic-inch Magnum squad car package - "It's got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks," said Dan Akroyd's character Elwood to John Belushi's Jake. Musical performances by Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker are also a highlight.

French Connection

Gene Hackman - who won an Oscar for his role, one of five awarded to the file - chases a highjacked train through the traffic-choked New York streets. One of the better - certainly the grittiest - chases committed to film as two New York City cops try to intercept a heroin shipment coming from France.

The Bourne Identity

The black-ops thriller with an amnesiac twist has become one of the most popular action flicks around and the first of the trilogy had a sensational small-car chase through the streets of Paris. An elderly Mini takes Jason Bourne and its terrified owner Marie Kreutz down narrows stairways, through tight streets, smashing phone boxes, out-foxing the gendarmes and Gone in 60 Seconds - the original

Quantum of Solace

The opening scene of the second Daniel Craig "Bond, James Bond" 007 adventures sees an Aston Martin DBS engaged in a rollicking car chase with bad guys in Alfa Romeos. If you can't stand seeing beautfiul Italian or English machines being monstrously scarred then look away now, but Ben Collins (the recently-released Stig) does a good job with the Aston as a 007 stunt driver.

The Italian Job, the original

Michael Caine and a stack of Minis are the stars of this 1969 classic that details a gold heist in Turin, Italy, using Minis, Jaguars and a bus. The job is to steal $4m of gold arriving in Italy from China, involving a clever plan to distract the authorities, while the crooks get away in their Minis.

Gone in 60 seconds

The 1974 original and the 2000 remake both have plenty worthwhile machinery over which to drool, but when forced to choose one over the other, Angelina Jolie and the modern "Eleanor, " a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 swing the balance in favour of the modern. The original film, which had "Eleanor" as a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, was famous for destroying 93 cars in its 34-minute chase scene.

Smokey & The Bandit

This film - directed by Hal Needham - did more for the Pontiac Trans-Am Firebird than the GM marketing department ever could. "The Bandit" Burt Reynolds and Sally Field lead the authorities, including lawman Sheriff Buford T. Justice (played by Jackie Gleason) astray and away from bootlegged booze. three modified black 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am "Special Editions"

Dukes of Hazzard

The film version of the 1980s TV Series did little to advance the world of scriptwriting or plot development but some of the driving scenes more than made up for, particularly the giggle factor of out-takes at the end of the film. Raw footage from the making of the movie on YouTube bears testament to the skills of the stunt drivers.