Staying home? 7 lesser-known car movies you need to binge watch

With an avalanche of events canceled, much of the sports world shut down or pushing ahead without fans (NASCAR in Atlanta and Miami), and U.S. government officials urging folks to stay home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, perhaps you’re in need of some virus-free entertainment ideas for this weekend and beyond. How ’bout a movie?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2020/03/13/7-lesser-known-car-movies-you-need-to-binge-watch

Pretty good listing.

The only other one I can think of is “The Big Wheel” with Mickey Rooney as an Indianapolis 500 contestant.


The Art of Driving in the Rain…? I think you meant Racing.

Another film worth watching is The Driver, starring Ryan O’Neal as a professional getaway driver. The sequence in which he destroys a Mercedes belonging to thieves trying to hire him exemplifies violent automotive disassembly.

It was “The Art of racing in the rain”, it was a good movie and Hagerty did a really cool Drive in showing of it in New York.

If nothing else I am grateful that I got to take my kid to the Drive in, going to the Drive in with my parents was a huge part of my childhood.

As for the other movies listed here, Greased Lightning was a great movie, it was one of Richard Pryor’s few dramatic rolls and if you want to see a true story about the early days of NASCAR this is a great one.

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@fotogmike - Sharp eye. We are updating now!

What no mention of Hollywood Nights!!! You have Car Crafts Project X, a Cobra, GTO…and the list goes on. A little sophomoric humor wise, but great cars.

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“The Transporter” movie series. Great chase scenes throughout entire movie.

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The California Kid, starring Martin Sheen driving the real California Kid hot rod.

Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.


Although it’s not a lesser-known movie, my ultimate car movie is American Graffiti. And it’s amazing how many later-known stars got their start or in the infancy of their careers were cast in roles for this one.

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I agree Hollywood nights a forgotten classic

The Green Helmet with Bill Travers has some great shots of early 1950s racing in Europe. A Man and a Woman has racing as a sub-theme.

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I saw a movie about a guy who raced a primer grey car against the whole town of racers sponsered by a root beer company, included all of the police in hopped up patrol cars. It was a fun movie and could never find the title or the piece. Anyone know?

I highly recommend ‘The Boys of Bonneville’. The story of little known Ab Jenkins is truly epic!

My favorite all-time car movie is “USED CARS” with Kurt Russell and Jack Ward. Never ever laughed so hard and of course, “GRAN PRIX” best sound effects with the opening of the film with the camera lens inside the tail pipe then pulling out as the engine revved

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“The Last American Hero” or as it was retitled “Hard Driver”. (Extremely) Loosely based on Junior Johnson who was pardoned by Ronnie Reagan for “running shine”.

Ronin has a great chase scene.


I agree with your list, especially Thunder Road. This movie has been my favorite since I was a little kid. If you have not seen it I would highly recommend watching it.

One of the best chase scenes ever