The Emptywheel Fabulous Car Blog! Formula One and Car Flicks

So, we shall take a brief respite from the fabulous music blog this weekend to bring you a fabulous car blog. Off to the races!

There has been a shake up in the F1 force. And man is it palpable. By the end of the last circus, it was quite clear that management at Ferrari had come to consider young Charles Leclerc as their number one driver, over four time World Champ and presumptive number one, Sebastian Vettel. It was no secret on the paddock from the people I still talk to. Vettel knew it, Leclerc knew it, everyone knew it. It has so come to pass. The 2020 season driver stables were already set, and they will continue as such. But for the 2021 season, which is now well less than a year away, big changes are afoot.

Vettel is out at Ferrari, and Carlos Sainz is in. Sainz is very, very good, and his family has a rich history in motorsports. He is commonly viewed as a very good pilot, but one hampered by less than first order equipment, and I think that is right. Sainz will have that kind of car now. He and Leclerc will make for a great, and energized young team. That is something Ferrari is not usually known for, but this is a great move, and one for the times at hand. Sainz is leaving McLaren, who is poised to replace him for 2021 with Daniel Ricciardo. This is also a great move for McLaren, who sign up a true number one driver, with numerous F1 wins and podiums, to pair with the still quite young, but promising, Lando Norris. Take note: for 2021, McLaren starts getting Mercedes engines to pair with their already ridiculously good chassis. Don’t sleep on McLaren.

Where do the rest of the chips fall? Now there is the great unknown. Vettel is a four time champ, can he find a home at all? Sebastian can still drive, you would think so, but that is up in the air. Do Hamilton and Bottas stay as a team for 2021? My guess is yes, but that is also a question. The F1 season was supposed to kick off in March with the Australian, but the Covid thing put the kibosh on that. It is tentatively scheduled to start with Austria in seven weeks, maybe for two races, and then Siverstone with two races. They are desperate to get at least a fifteen race schedule in, if possible. And will there be fans in the stands? Initially, it looks like no, but stay tunes.

Okay, since not everybody knows F1 as well, we are tossing in car movies for this weekend. There are a litany of great ones. You know what you have seen and appreciated over the years. I am going to throw out a few of my favorites just to get the ball rolling. They are by no means exhaustive, and not necessarily in a perfectly ranked order.

Grand Prix _ John Frankenheimer’s 1966 opus is the gold standard. It is a tad long, but the characters gritty and the performances beyond fantastic across the board. The driving scenes are some of the best ever, as well as John’s innovative use of split screen, a legendary move.

Vanishing Point – From 1971, and calling it a cult classic is not giving it enough credit. Spectacular and haunting in a myriad of ways.

They Drive By Night – Directed by Raoul Walsh and starring George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan and Ida Lupino. It is both a driving movie and film noir, both at their best. Fantastic.

Two Lane Blacktop – This movie is great. The genius is obvious. Really, you have to see it, and while James Taylor is surprisingly good, keep your eye on Warren Oates, in a legendary performance. Duel from the same year, generally considered to be Steven Spielberg’s first full movie. is very good, but Two Lane Blacktop is better.

It Happened One Night – There has to be room for at least one comedy here, and this is it. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are simply perfect, as is the story. Capra and Cohn at their best. Walter Connolly darn near stole the show.

Some honorable mentions in no particular order: Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Thelma and Louise, Used Cars (Kurt Russell and Jack Warden were fantastic. A real sleeper, even if a low budget one), Baby Driver (seriously great and a must watch).

Okay folks, rip this joint with your thoughts!

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148 replies
  1. Craig Sock says:

    My bloodstream is missing these events.
    Lewis Hamilton has lived inside Vettel’s head since before Baku 2017, but that race sealed it.
    I hope Vettel doesn’t retire, but I don’t know why he’d accept a lesser seat.
    Merc should have blown out the mistake-prone Fin and replaced him with DannyRic when they had the chance after 2018; Lewis isn’t going to be there forever, and Ricciardo blows Bottas’ doors off.
    Good on McLaren. I can’t wait for that car.

    nice piece

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, the McLaren setup for 2021 is kind of exciting. Their chassis and handling has been consistently great all along. With Mercedes power, look out.

    • Ken Scott says:

      Yeah, it would be nice to see McClaren back in the hunt at the front and it’s also good to see D.R. back in a driver’s seat. I’m actually more excited about the upcoming chassis changes that could lead to actual passing on the track; you know, a race! I realize the front runners like the aero as it is, because it keeps competitors far enough back to prevent passing or causes severe wear on the front tires due to the loss of aero on the front wing, but they’ve had the talent for a long time now to fix the aero off of the back of these cars. I would simply force them to lower the down force, which would reduce the turbulence. It would make them slower in the corners and make it more likely the drive could screw up, but I like the the idea of more of the race being in the driver’s hands, rather than the car’s tech.

  2. Jim White says:

    Just stop the list after the first entry. Grand Prix is the be-all and end-all of racing movies. That’s because it stars my personal hero, James Garner, who was also the best driver among actors ever.

    • bmaz says:

      This is incorrect. While Garner was very good, McQueen and Newman were both demonstrably better and more accomplished, especially Newman.

    • Edison Carter says:

      Upvote for James Garner who was exceptional. Newman was definitely the better driver but Garner figured out (in The Rockford Files) how to make it part of his day job.

      Used Cars is a sleeper, I love Jack Warden.

      Frankenheimer’s Ronin featured some of the best chase scenes I’ve seen. His director’s commentary on the drivers (couple of Formula 2 drivers, I think) and why he chose certain cars reveals a man who loved and respected automobiles.

      • bmaz says:

        Used Cars really is a great sleeper. And you are absolutely right about Ronin. I screwed up by not remembering and including it. Simply great. And, yes, Frankenheimer had a love for it, deeply and personal. I think the 2003 Italian Job may also deserve an honorable mention.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Ditto about Ronin. Jean Reno and De Niro are great, Sean Bean plays the whiny loser to a T, as De Niro grills him for exaggerating his expertise: “What color is the boat house at Hereford?” [SAS training site.] “Ambush? I ambushed you with a cup of coffee.” The supporting cast is very good. Michael Lonsdale does a superb cameo as a retired hit man, who provides a much needed oasis. If there’s a weak spot, it’s Jonathan Pryce’s Irish terrorist. The script, music, and cinematography are fine. The chase scenes are better than Bourne.

        Bill Friedkin’s French Connection has a reasonably good chase scene underneath a NYC elevated subway.

        And when mentioning Two-Lane Blacktop, which made it into the Library of Congress, don’t forget that every good driver needs a better Mechanic.

        • bmaz says:

          Crap, French Connection and, even more, Bullitt are two more unpardonable omissions for me. Ooof.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Bullitt even has Bud Ekins laying it down shortly before the hit men meet the gas pumps. Speaking of Ekins and McQueen, I would give honorable mention to the Great Escape’s motorcycle chase and the jump over the wire.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            As for They Drive by Night, never let Ida Lupino drive you home and park the car in the garage, with it still running and you in it.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          My favourite moment in Ronin is just as they get to the driving the wrong way through Paris sequence. There is a three-beat cut, bam, bam, bam, as we close in on the sign that says “not this way,” and it always makes my adrenaline jump an extra notch. Great driving sequences are made partly through knowing where to place the camera, but it’s the editing, man, the cutting, that makes it sing. Bam, bam, bam. Great work.

          And while we’re talking cars going fast movies, I have a soft spot for Le Mans. The pacing is not always fabulous, a bit too laid back, but the driving is pretty darn good. And while we’re on McQueen, sometimes when watching The Great Escape, I watch all the motorcycle sequences by starting with the wire stretched across the road, and then skipping anything that doesn’t concern the bike. The way Sturges moves the camera as the bike leaves the village and moves out into the countryside is just a genius move, craning up from almost street level until the camera is about twenty feet up in the air
          . Love it.

          Sorry for going on so long, but one final observation. In Grand Prix, there’s a scene before the last race where they have guys with flags walk across in front of the cars lined up and ready to rock. George Lucas stole that shot for the beginning of the pod race in Star Wars #1. Just stole it. Out and out theft. Awesome and a bit cheesy at the same time.

          American Graffitti has good cars, but no really good racing. Apologies for the length. About movies, I can talk all day.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Good driver behind that Audi R8 early in the film, drifting through those small Parisian roundabouts. No wonder Sean Bean’s character throws up.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        Heard a story once that Frankenheimer’s contracts for directing usually included a clause where they gave him a nice new car, luxury or sport. Not sure if it’s true, but he did indeed love cars.

        I know it doesn’t really count as a race movie, but Frankenheimer also directed a flick called The Train, which has some astounding sequences involving trains “racing” and definitely crashing, enough to raise the heart rate considerably. Real trains. The French SNC apparently wanted to get rid of some old rolling stock and allowed him to smash up trains and blow up elderly facilities. With real dynamite. You can see the cameras shake on the mounts in the bombing sequence. Plus, Frankenheimer respects the tech, he understands – and shows us – how mechanical systems operate. You get a sense of the physical limits when he’s dealing with planes and cars and trains.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The Train is a sleeper. Lancaster, Scofield and Moreau are very good. The train movements are exciting, the near misses tense. Frankenheimer conveys their complexity, momentum, the scheduling and groundwork that keep them moving, with or without the French artwork being stolen by the Nazis. Lancaster and Scofield partnered again several years later in the CIA noir film, Scorpio.

        • prostratedragon says:

          A favorite of mine, just watched recently on Prime streaming. Did not know about the real explosions, though I always thought they looked awfully good. Le Mans (1971) is another good racing movie.

  3. Raven Eye says:

    For a different take on racing — Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story.

    Streaming on Netflix, which sayeth: “This documentary profiles a defiant driver who challenged racial barriers in American auto racing, becoming the first black man to race in the Indy 500.”

    • jo6pac says:

      Ribbs could have been the first Black in F-1 but he met a blond lady on the first leg of the flight to England so he stayed a few days in NY. Then on to Terrell estate were he was 2 days late, they wouldn’t even let him in the gate. Looking at the history of the drivers that drove for Terrell he screwed himself out of a great ride in the day. He got a great ride NSCAR only to miss 2 practice seasons then was arrested for DUI near the track. My closest friend knew Mr. Ribbs really well and the son was nothing like his dad.

        • jo6pac says:

          Yes he was. My friend traded him a Honda 750 for an Elva Mk 1. Bunny let my friend use his machine shop that was next to his Plumbing business to get the car ready to race. This was in the late 60s and early 70s.

  4. DrHack says:

    Wait, on the list of car movies, where is Le Mans? In my opinion the best racing footage ever (they filmed a lot of it *during the race*). I do love Grand Prix as well, though, and it’s arguably a better, more complete movie as such.

    I don’t see Mercedes changing their lineup. Bottas is a perfect #2 to Hamilton, They obviously have a winning lineup, why mess with success?

    Vettel has let his ego put himself into a difficult position, just as Ricciardo did 2 years ago. I don’t know where Vettel can go from here. The top teams don’t want or need him, and I can’t see him driving for a mid-pack team like Renault. I would not be surprised at all if he retires completely, or goes to another series.

    • bmaz says:

      The racing footage in LeMans was at times excellent. The movie overall though, nowhere near Grand Prix. Same for Winning.

  5. ThomasH says:

    I would nominate in the category of partial road movie: Badlands with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. Kit is part of the fifties hot rod culture and much of the movie is of the couple on the run around the Dakotas.

    I’m in need of clarification; the list of movies in the body of this post lists Two-Lane Blacktop as a Spielberg movie. Isn’t it a Monty Hellman movie? Was Spielberg somehow involved in it? I know the Chevy knocked around Spielberg and Lukas’ orbit; it appeared in American Graffiti for one.

    • bmaz says:

      Naw, that was some pretty bad editing by me originally, and I had already fixed it. Should not type things off the top of my head sometimes, I had that a bit buggered up at first.

        • bmaz says:

          He is one of the best character actors ever. I woke up in the middle of the night once and saw him on a 12 O’Clock High episode on one of the oldie channels. Fantastic, as always.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Oats specialized in playing unassuming characters with understated power. He’s a much bigger part than he seems in a host of films. In the Heat of the Night, for example, Oats’ character practically cements the film together. A few lines from his “supporting” characters:

            “Check both ends of town, check the depot, and check the pool hall. OK?”
            “Pool closed at one o’clock, chief.”
            “I said check it, Sam.”

            “I already know why he changed his route.”

            “Ever stretch out on a tombstone, Dolores, and feel that nice, cool marble all over your body?”

            From implied creepy graveyard sex to real creepy chase scenes, it’s hard to beat the gold ol’ boys – with their Confederate flag decals and square steering wheel – chasing Virgil through the overpass and across the tracks to the empty repair building.

  6. vvv says:

    As a child, my fave car movie was, The Love Bug*. Seriously, because Buddy Hackett.

    Also dug McQueen’s car chase in The Hunter, because Marina Towers.

    Do the Road Warrior movies count?

    *Look, at least I didn’t cite, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      I would say it depends on which RW film. In Fury Road, Miller actually got the studio to pay him to do an update and remake of RW #2 and #3, one that is better than the two originals. Nice truck crash, but the driving kind of takes second place to the story, so I’m not sure it really counts. But it is a fantastic cars going fast movie, so there’s that.

    • Peterr says:

      If you’re going to talk Buddy Hackett and car movies, you’ve got to talk about “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.”

      * * *

      Personal note: I saw this as a kid in the theater with my dad, and we got there just before it started. The place was jammed, and Dad took one look at the crowded main floor and decided we were going to the balcony. We went up, and saw that there were two seats in the front row that were open. As we headed there, the usher stopped us. [Yes, there were ushers back then, and dinosaurs also roamed the earth. I’m old. Deal with it.] “There are seats downstairs that I think you’d like better,” he told us. Dad didn’t pause for a minute. “No, we’re fine here. Thanks.” We pushed past the usher, took our seats, and enjoyed the film.

      It wasn’t til later that I realized the usher was concerned that a white dad and his kid would “be forced” to sit in N***** Heaven.

      I love my dad.

      • bmaz says:

        Well, heck, you might as well cite The Love Bug with Dean Jones and Michelle Lee too. It was not a Frankenheimer or Spielberg film….

  7. Quebecois says:

    Car racing translates very poorly to the big screen. Spending time at a race event proves that. They use too many GCI tricks and speeding up the film is always cringeworthy. Creating a good story around cars and their drivers is almost impossible. I saw all of these, I always cringe.

    I saw Ford vs. Ferrari in january, imax screen. The racing scenes were horrendous, story is well known and bland. The only part of that film I enjoyed is when these guys would sit down in a Cobra, after an intense personal emotional moment, they’d start the yuge v8, and they’d breathe again as if the noise and an accelerator would make everything good again.

    In conclusion, I’m not a big film fan when it comes to racing.

    Looking at the present driver’s market, Vettel’s options are very limited. His ego is massive, he’ll never accept not to be viewed as number one driver for the team that will hire him. If he’d take a step back and mellow down, Mercedes would be perfect to close his career. He’s certainly be faster than Botas, to have one of the great car of the grid is a damn good idea. He could be as fast as Hamilton, but he’s just making too many mistakes,

    Off for a bike ride, carbon fiber marvel. https://www.argon18bike.com/fr/velos/route/mbs-silver47

  8. Tom says:

    The first road movie that comes to my mind–though it involves a pair of trucks rather than cars–is the 1953 French film, “The Wages of Fear” (“Le Salaire de la Peur”). The plot involves four men down on their luck who are willing to risk their lives driving two trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous road called “The Washboard” in order to deliver their explosives to blow out a burning oil field fire. It stars Yves Montand and was remade as “Sorcerer” in 1977 with Roy Scheider in the lead role. The suspense in certain scenes is incroyable

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Saw Sorcerer in an almost empty movie house when it first came out and was just blown away. They apparently called it that because Friedkin’s big hit at the time was Exorcist, and word of mouth killed it because it wasn’t a horror flick. But it’s amazing nonetheless. Real trucks, real jungle, real raging rivers. Have been a Friedkin fan every since, though he is uneven at the best of times.

    • AlfaNovember says:

      The Wages of Fear is such a great film. My young kids are always bored with “Dad’s cultural education hour”, but dammit they’re going to like Wages when they’re old enough.

  9. drouse says:

    I wonder how much that little dust up in Brazil has to do with Vettel departing the team? The very Italian gesture made by Leclerc actually made me laugh. In sympathy but still it was just so fitting to the situation.

  10. mass interest says:

    “Duel,” directed by Spielberg, is still the stuff of my favorite nightmares.

    Can’t look at the grille of a Peterbilt without a major case of goosebumps.

  11. drouse says:

    Whatever we get for a 2020 season, I fully expect that Mercedes will dominate. I think this because Mercedes has a really winning team in Hamilton and Bottas plus some not quite trivial technical matters that put Ferrari at a disadvantage. For example, the other teams led by Red Bull have figured out how Ferrari was getting their straight away power advantage and it wasn’t quite kosher.

    https://www.racefans.net/2020/03/16/how-the-fias-new-encrypted-fuel-flow-meter-targets-ferraris-suspected-aliasing-trick/

    Plus, Mercedes found a trick that didn’t technically break the rules but will only be allowed in the 2020 season.

    https://www.thedrive.com/accelerator/32313/mercedes-amg-f1s-controversial-dual-axis-steering-ok-for-now-axed-for-2021
    So I expect Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren to battle it out for second and third.

    • dimmsdale says:

      Real soft spot in my heart for Thunder Road, as a kid the first real celebration of the fast-cars-hot-women car culture I ever saw (other than catching glimpses of the hopped-up jalopies of the older kids in high school; the real high priest in our preadolescent pantheon was the HS dropout who worked as a mechanic at the local gas station, with his lowered, nosed & decked Moon-equipped gray-primer ’52 Ford coupe parked out front). The coolness of Thunder Road was seriously intoxicating, even if a little heavy on the ‘mushy stuff’ with Keely Smith. Incidentally, there are celebrations of those cars all over YouTube: just type “Highland NC” and “moonshine” and there they are in high-def full color.

      • Scorpio Jones, III says:

        I must have seen Thunder Road a dozen times as I got to driving age…”And there was thunnnnnder over thunder road….still can sing it almost all the way through….

  12. Peterr says:

    Another sleeper for you: The Blues Brothers.

    When Elwood picks up Jake at the beginning of the film, as Jake gets out of prison:

    Jake: What’s this?

    Elwood: What?

    Jake: This car. This stupid car! Where’s the Cadillac?

    [Elwood doesn’t answer]

    Jake: The Caddy! Where’s the Caddy?

    Elwood: The what?

    Jake: The Cadillac we used to have. The Bluesmobile!

    Elwood: I traded it.

    Jake: You traded the Bluesmobile for this?

    Elwood: No, for a microphone.

    Jake: A microphone?

    [pause]

    Jake: Okay I can see that. What the hell is this?

    Elwood: This was a bargain. I picked it up at the Mount Prospect city police auction last spring. It’s an old Mount Prospect police car. They were practically giving ’em away.

    Jake: Well thank you, pal. The day I get outta prison, my own brother picks me up in a *police* car!

    Elwood: You don’t like it?

    Jake: No I don’t like it…

    [Elwood Blues floors the pedal and jumps over an open drawbridge]

    Jake: Car’s got a lot of pickup.

    Elwood: It’s got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?

    [a brief thinking pause while Jake attempts to light a cigarette]

    Jake: Fix the cigarette lighter.

    Then there’s the end, as Our Heroes sneak out of their big concert with the proceeds that have to get to downtown Chicago, to pay the taxes on Saint Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage in Calumet City, Illinois. It is spectacularly epic, beginning with these immortal words:

    Elwood: “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

    Jake: “Hit it.”

    Aretha Franklin in pink as the owner/server at a diner.
    Ray Charles as the proprietor of “Ray’s Music Exchange.”
    James Brown as an honest-to-God preacher.
    And the cars. Hundreds of cars. Thousands of cars. Millions and billions and trillions of cars. What’s not to love?

    Pro tip: do NOT play a drinking game in which you have to drink every time a car crashes into something. Not that I would have personal experience of that, mind you, but I’ve heard that people have attempted this.

  13. Peterr says:

    Re the Circus . . .

    Per Germany’s Stern, the Red Bull team had an Austrian consultant named Helmut Marko, who made a serious suggestion when the Australian GP was cancelled: take all their drivers, all their junior drivers, and all the drivers from their sister team Alpha Tauri, and purposely expose them to the coronavirus. His logic was that they were “all young strong men in really good health,” and getting COVID-19 and getting over it now would prepare them that much more for when the racing started again, giving them a leg up on all the other teams.

    The reaction from the drivers, according to the team, was underwhelming. “Let’s put it this way: it was not received positively.”

    I’d love to have video of that non-positive reaction.

  14. BobCon says:

    Rat Race is not a good movie, but episode 9 of this season’s Joe Pera Talks With You where he tries to recreate Rat Race is one of the best things I’ve seen on TV this year. It’s worth watching in sequence, though. Most episodes are available for free at

    https://www.adultswim.com/videos/joe-pera-talks-with-you

    Episode 3 of the first season, Joe Pera Takes You on a Fall Drive, where goes for a drive through the Upper Peninsula in the 2001 Buick Park Avenue he inherited from his grandfather, is also a good car episode, although the entire series is worth watching.

    • Adams says:

      Thanks for that hit. Just brilliantly choreographed. OK, OK I’ll watch the whole thing again. For the fifth time. This is so much more fun than trying to keep up with GG and EW pecking at each other. Maybe not as interesting, but definitely more fun.

  15. Frank M. says:

    Horatios Drive, a documentary by Ken Burns, is very interesting. In 1903, a doctor bets $50 he can drive a horseless carriage, for the first time ever, from San Francisco to New York. His adventures make you appreciate what we have today for highways.
    (Moderators it has been a long time since I posted, I think my screen name was the one I used last time)

    • bmaz says:

      Nope, you are fine, and consistent I think, on the screen name. And thank you for caring about the same.

      For the life of me, I got to drive this art museum specimen of a 1904 car that once participated in a race from Paris to …. somewhere. This was well over 40 years ago, and I drove it around a residential block. But, wow, it ran, and it was marvelous. There is such hi-tech in cars now; but think about just how much there was relatively circa 1903-1905. Cars are an amazing spectrum of life and technical evolution.

      • Raven Eye says:

        The closest I’ve been to something old, fast, and very classic was when I helped push-start a Bugatti at a vintage car race (Watkins Glen?). Something from the ’30s, open wheel. Being aft of the pipes when that thing fired up –JEBUS!

      • Frank M. says:

        That must have been a great drive bmaz. Spent the last couple winters in Tucson, and they have a great Franklin automobile museum just north of the University. The oldest one was either ‘03 or ‘04, and looked like the cars of Mr. Toads Wild Ride at Disneyland. Franklins were air cooled and very high quality cars.

    • scribe says:

      Once upon a time I had to babysit an estate’s mid-30s Packard, straight 8 and drip carb. Every week, go over to the garage, start it up, run it for 10 or 15 minutes then shut it down. Put it in neutral and roll it a few feet front, then the next week back, to make sure the tires didn’t get flat spots.

      The way that engine turned over easily and ran – utterly smooth and just burbling a little bit at idle – explained to me in the way no written material could just why Packard got the contract and the license from Rolls-Royce to build the Merlin engines that powered almost all of the P-51 Mustangs built.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That Merlin V-12 really was magic. It was in the Spitfire and Hurricane fighters, and the Mosquito and Halifax bombers.

      • bmaz says:

        NOOOO…..They really want to be driven around the block at least so that all the moving surfaces, bearings, gears and whatnot keep in moving order!

        But, yes, the Packard Straight 8 is, in many regards, the most bulletproof engine ever. They were, and the remaining ones still are, marvels. The Packard twelves were fantastic too, but the elegance and simplicity of the 8 was just remarkable.

          • Raven Eye says:

            V-12s.

            The USAAF/USAF used a two-engine V-12 variant in at least two hull lengths for armed crash/rescue boats. A USCG Reserve commander I worked with in the 80’s was a crewman on those as a young man. He said they could get up and go — but could be a hard ride.

            • scribe says:

              Allison V-12 in the PT Boat.
              Here’s the first of 3 industrials put out at the end of WWII by the manufacturer. It’s fascinating.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8tQP3s9DIQ

              In my unit back in the 80s we had bridge boats, built to a British design. They ran on diesels, propelled by water jets. The geniuses who designed them included chrome-plated cylinder heads. And this drew the motorhead troops to freely spend Saturdays down in the motor pool cleaning and polishing their motors.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Eisenhower did something similar after WWI. It was rough going then and until his post-WWII administration’s highway construction program. Intended to enable the military to speedily transport troops across the country, it was a massive infrastructure and jobs program, and subsidy to auto and petroleum manufacturers and their suppliers. It enabled the railroads to abandon passenger traffic, which they regarded as an expensive nuisance compared to freight transport – which didn’t complain or litigate safety, performance, and comfort issues.

      Commercial transportation volumes and speeds went way up, as did the traffic death toll, and it changed the face of small town life and commerce forever. (Route 66 became the nostalgic title for a television anthology series.) The project also created a seemingly limitless number of local and statewide real estate developers millionaires many times over, for much the same reason the railways did.

  16. dimmsdale says:

    I have a couple of nominees. First is not a movie, but a Youtube short I discovered while looking for anything I could find about the Ford-Ferrari 1966 race (after having seen the movie): stumbled on an absolutely fascinating account of the 1965 LeMans race (briefly touched on in Ford V. Ferrari) from a guy named John Ficarra. His story of the ’65 event is almost as riveting as the Ford v Ferrari movie (possibly more so) and only runs 20 minutes, but Ficarra did tons of research into the ’65 race and can REALLY REALLY tell a story, covering all the vicissitudes of racing that led to an entirely improbable result. (rather than post a link, if you go to YT and search “LeMans 65 Ficarra” you ought to find it.)

    Second is “C’était un Rendezvous,” a 9-minute 1960s film from Claude Lelouch, in which he hangs a camera on the front end of a (supposed) 275GTB and barrels through Paris as the sun comes up, at breakneck speeds, with plenty of gear changes, V-12 engine revving, tire squeal and near-misses. Terrifying, exhilarating. (Unfortunately it’s not quite what it seems, but a blast nonetheless).

    Third is (sorry, kind of off-topic) the TV series Route 66; one episode in particular in which our hero is forced into running the Corvette in a race at Riverside, against a villain plus a gallery of typical early-60s race cars. Improbable, sure. But fun! (in my defense I’d contend that the Corvette was a major character in every episode, and if it was seldom driven full-tilt, there was always the POSSIBILITY that it might be, which made every episode feel like racing.)

    Fourth I’m just going to mention another YouTube: “The Story of the 1958 Alpine Rally”, shot in 16mm color by Shell (wonderful old scenery, classic cars, etc). I tried to get a copy of this from Shell in the UK (apparently they still have extensive archives of all the racing films they shot over the years). They would have pulled me a DVD dub of the film for a reasonable price, but to convert it to US video format was like $75 bucks (not for me). BUT, if you’ve got the scratch and see something on YT from the Shell archives, maybe affordable for you?

    • John Paul Jones says:

      For some reason, a local cinema paired “C’était un rendezvous” as a short subject with Quadrophenia, which is where I saw it, I think in 1980 or thereabouts. YouTube has it, says it is 1976. I guess Quadrophenia could be a sorta kinda car flick, even though it’s mostly scooters and motorcycles.

      • dimmsdale says:

        Yeah, I stand corrected on the date. I would not have wanted to see either of those flicks on psychedelics. I’ll have to check it out on YT, see what’s said about it. I have a DVD, paid $34.50 for a nine-minute video, but it was worth it!

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, there is a LOT of discussion you will find if you drill down into C’était un rendezvous. What was the car? Who was the real driver? Is the motor/exhaust note overdubbed? How coordinated was it? My quick take is:

          1) It probably was a Merc 6.9. That feels and looks right. And the pretty unique air cushioned suspension (it is like a low rider the first minute or so after starting it, no speed bumps!) of the 6.9 would have really made it possible. If you never drove one of those, they are remarkable. Looks like a normal Benz sedan, but holy shit, they are not. The engine originally came out of their giant airport limousine, and then was finely tuned. Somewhere here I mentioned a tricked out Z-28, but the unassuming like 6.9 could match it for acceleration and probably exceed it for top speed. Ridiculously great car.

          2) I am not sure about that. Lelouch claims he did the drive. Legend is that it was Jacques Lafitte. I don’t know, but that was no normal driver, so I have questions about that.

          3) No, the motor, shifts, and exhaust note are clearly dubbed. Lelouch admitted that part. Likely a Ferrari 275.

          4) Also another mystery. Supposedly there was coordination, but some of it failed. Don’t think that is clear either.

          But, hey, if Catherine Deneuve was waiting at the end, who would not attempt that drive?

  17. BillyBob says:

    I would include “The Seven-Ups”. The late Bill Hickman was perhaps the greatest stunt driver of the seventies. The golden era of cinema.

        • BillyBob says:

          Hickman was heavily involved in “Herbie the Love Bug”, as well.

          The guy was a driving, and stunt directing legend. What they did without permits on “The French Connection” was outstanding.

          • BillyBob says:

            If we want to go full tilt, then the ‘Ghost Rider’ has it down pat. Not film… but hey, why not? Patrik Furstenhoff has taken his own life and others on the line in his vids. No wonder the Mad Max wants to take down the Night Rider.

            The vids are there for consumption.

            One of my dreams is to attend the Goodwood.

  18. APB44 says:

    I nominate the documentary “Senna”. This film, which happens to be about F1 racing, gets at the competitive drive that propels all great athletes and sports rivalries. For those who are interested in some additional insight into the central conflict check out the recent Beyond the Grid podcast featuring Julian Jakobi who managed both Senna and Prost.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh god, “Senna” was fantastic. My wife let herself, very grudgingly, be dragged to the theater to see it with me. She left entranced. What a perfect doc.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Six inches either way, and he would have walked back to the paddock. At least that’s what his mates tell themselves, being devotees of a dangerous business.

  19. PeterS says:

    Ah F1, I miss you. 

    Who’s this an impression of: “everyone else has better strategies than me, why didn’t you give me a better strategy, I’m so badly treated ….. oh, hang on a minute, I’ve just won”.

    Yes, a certain Mr Hamilton. An amazing driver but enough with the whinging already!

  20. posaune says:

    OT — sorry. But I’m so excited that the ACLU Voter Advocacy Summer Program for HS students has been turned virtual and my 16-yo son will be able to participate! Yay.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I like how the article slips in that Rolt’s mum just bought him a Morgan three-wheeler, in which he competed while still at Eton. Effortless superiority usually gets an assist, but that was just Rolt’s ticket in the lottery. He had a good war, too, managing to get into and survive Colditz.

  21. Pete T says:

    Let’s not forget NASCAR – Darlington today racing in front of ZERO spectators though I hear rumors that armed militia zombies will protest no patrons wearing MAGA hats and waving all sorts of flags: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it68QbUWVPM

    See what I did there.

    TBF – I wrenched a few years at the Hialeah (Florida) speedway in the early 70s. An odd 1/3 mile flat (no banked corners) track for late model modifieds and demo derby’s. Long been tired into a Lowes and Target.

  22. scribe says:

    Re: Ford v. Ferrari, meh. From Iacocca’s and Andretti’s hometown paper: https://www.mcall.com/entertainment/movies/mc-ent-ford-v-ferrari-lee-iacocca-20191115-lrrnci76ijgq5ptycxexlcvif4-story.html
    Andretti was in all the testing, but when it came time to make the movie, the producers never brought him in.
    https://www.mcall.com/sports/auto-racing/mc-spt-ford-ferrari-andretti-20191114-mmb56w6qybbufbohjblz4a5huq-story.html
    BTW, his favorite racing film is “Grand Prix”.

    He’s still active in the sport, busting F1’s chops last week by suggesting Ferrari come to IndyCar if they don’t like F1’s budget caps. https://www.autoweek.com/racing/indycar/a32435033/mario-andretti-ferrari-indycar/

    As to Vettel, German media said the other day he’s considering doing something “green”. Whether that’s just tabloid spitballing, something real, or whatever that “green” thing is, it’s interesting. Maybe he could go with … Porsche (assuming they decide to come back to racing). That all-electric Taycan has some nice moves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92sXWVxRr0g

    BTW, that’s what Stuttgart looks like. No cars were harmed in the making of this commercial.

    • bmaz says:

      I….I just can’t with the Ford v. Ferrari movie. Back when I was young and spending summers in Santa Monica wrenching on cars, I had a chance to meet Shelby a couple of times, and Kenny Miles at least once. Thinking of Matt Damon and Christian Bale playing those two larger than life characters just makes me cringe. I suppose I should watch it some night I am bored and it streams for free. But not yet. I did not know about the Andretti problem as to the film, but it is not surprising. There were more than a few people in F1 that had effectively the same sour experience by my understanding.

      For what it’s worth, the movie was loosely, and apparently VERY loosely (and that is part of the disgust in F1 circles) on the fantastic book “Go Like Hell” by AJ Balme. The book is actually extremely factual and accurate, and is a great read. Highly recommended.

      • APB44 says:

        OK, I was bummed when I saw it for the myriad obvious reasons. But, all my non-gearhead friends/family loved it and were suddenly much more interested in knowing more about that world. For them I think it did convey some of the culture, suits vs racers, and feel of racing in a way that gave at least a glimmer of what compelled those of us who pursued it. One of my sisters, for instance, who knew what I did but never saw it called me and said “I get it now.” So there is that. For us the Netflix documentary “Shelby American” is more satisfying. But, if you really want to get in the weeds check out this interview with Pete Brock…https://youtu.be/UsyLyr4umnU…it’s several parts but worth it.

      • scribe says:

        It wasn’t an “Andretti problem” with the film. He did a lot of the real-life test-driving out in Kingman and elsewhere. But, when the time came to make the movie the producers wouldn’t/didn’t bring him in. IDK whether Mario had an inkling about the movie and balked, or the producers were too arrogant or whatever and blew him off or ignored him, so “fault” for not bringing in the one living guy* who could have given an accurate history will remain unattributed. Doesn’t matter. That movie came by, got lots of hype, and sank quietly under the waves once the hype-flow ceased. Apparently with reason.

        As to the comment downthread about what Mario’s favorite movie was/is, if the commenter had read the article linked he would have seen the article in which Mario was asked his favorite movie showed him saying “Grand Prix”. It is true he was/is enamored of “To Please a Lady” but that’s really the movie that finished setting the hook of racing into a pre-teen kid living in a DP camp, when that kid and his twin brother had been obsessed with cars and going fast since they could walk. 6 or 8 years later, he was stateside working in his uncle’s gas station (still there, under different management) putting gas into and checking the oil and tires of my dad’s car. And trying like crazy to get as far into racing as he could.

        *Iacocca passed recently, at an advanced age, but who knows whether he was with it enough to be of any use in accurate story-telling, too gaga to bother with, or ignored/blown off by the producers. We surely don’t and won’t know.

  23. John Langston says:

    I must admit I am a MotoGP and Indycar fan. I’ll watch any racing but F1 and NASCAR are down the list. I’ve attended all of these series in person.

    But finally, we’re getting some racing with NASCAR. I am little surprised it took this long since the TV contract would should provide adequate revenue. Unfortunately MotoGP teams and riders are largely based in Spain and Italy, hopefully we’ll see them on abbreviated NBS Sports. Indycar will be running in Ft Worth, I’ll watch it on TV but won’t risk getting the virus by attending.

    My favorite racing movie (and Mario’s) is “To Please a Lady”. It’s the most sexually charged movie prior to the 60s, campy and with great racer cars of the era.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9a/68/f1/9a68f1f86a799aceb91edf6808063162.jpg

  24. quebecois says:

    No one has mentioned Bullitt with its worthy car chase. I love when the bad guy snaps his seatbelt. The Charger passenger had the toughest job… Read that they topped 110 miles an hour during that chase. Also that the charger was so much more powerful than the Mustang, Bill Hickman had to lift off the gas.

      • Chetnolian says:

        Good to have a post I understand, unlike the heavy music stuff of the past weeks, even if it is written by Tifosi but I know they can’t help it.

        As long as it is well covered by TV, F1 is one of the few sports which need not be totally spoiled by no supporters, exp specially at Silverstone where, unless, you pay a vast amount, all you see if you are there is a quick “whoosh” as they go by.

        As to movies about cars, what about the Mini chase in the original “Italian Job”, which I enjoy every time I see it even if it is a bit miserable to my beloved Alfas. Incidentally the famous sewer sequence was actually filmed in the half-built new main sewer in Coventry, England.

        And on an oblique note, what about “Gran Torino” which is remarkably thoughtful film, worth watching because of its nuanced understanding of intolerance – and it is a splendidly preserved Gran Torino.

        • quebecois says:

          The 69 film was a joy to watch. Three Mini coopers 1275 with double Webber carburators. Which turned out to be my first car in 76.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Great power-to-weight ratio in the original Mini, when well-tuned. You have to wonder how many Minis they needed to film all those shots, and how many suspensions and undercarriages bit the dust.

        • bmaz says:

          Listen Mr. Chetnolian, I mentioned the original Italian Job somewhere here!

          I ….may…..resemble the Tifosi allegation. Also, too, Gran Torino is a great movie, though not sure it is a car movie as much as a great movie framed around a car. But you are right about the multi-racial dynamics it laid bare, and in a beautiful way.

          • Adams says:

            Not as impressed with the “multi-racial dynamics.” Crotchety old white guy faces down bad guy minorities with threats and guns, saves virtuous minorities. Gives car to “the kid.” “Blind Side?”

            Nice car though.

  25. Scorpio Jones, III says:

    What’s the consensus on “Rush”….lots of good young actors….just put it on my Prime watch list.

    • John Langston says:

      I’d say “Rush” is perhaps the best contemporary racing movie. The plot, acting and dialog are realistic and entertaining. Many of the cars were the real thing.

    • bmaz says:

      Rush is very good. And it gets the dynamic between Lauda and Hunt a lot better that popular lore and the press did for a very long time. Very much worth a watch.

  26. BobCon says:

    Switching to books, The Reckoning by David Halberstam is outstanding. It’s focused on Ford and Nissan’s overall histories, but there is lots of good stuff on Iaccoca and the Mustang and Datsun’s early move into the sports car market.

    And the broader story it tells about the American and Japanese auto industry is fantastic. Despite being 35 years old and predating the rise of China and the fall of the Soviets, it’s one of the best books about the current state of the world you can read.

    • Tom says:

      I read “The Reckoning” decades ago, and the one thing that sticks in my mind is the story of the Japanese auto executive who was so enamored of the musical “My Fair Lady” that he wanted to call one of his company’s car designs “The Fair Lady” only to be told that no car with such a name would ever sell in the States.

      • BobCon says:

        That was the Datsun 240Z. The US-based exec who droped the name was Yukata Katayama, who had been sent to work in the US and fell in love with American driving culture.

        Halberstam described at length how Datsun for a long time knew they didn’t have the ability to compete with US companies on comfort or standard styling, nor did they have the ability to produce big engines, so they focused on smaller niche vehicles in the US market like small pickups and then sports cars.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/business/yutaka-katayama-father-of-the-datsun-z-dies-at-105.html

        • bmaz says:

          Good grief, we are gonna have to have a Z talk one of these days I guess. I had both a 240Z and a 280Z, both Datsuns. Not that it made any difference, it was always Nissan. The 240 I only had because I intended to turn it into a Scarab hot rod. I built the modified LT 1 four bolt motor as part of, and this is stupid but true, an upper level engineering class on internal combustion engines (Hey, it was 300 level engineering credit, and I had space on my class schedule).

          But my family insurance company laughed and said no. So I put it in a Z-28. But later bought the 280Z. What an incredible car. And, stupidly enough, with common all weather tires, an incredible snow car. I did not die in Boulder, or back and forth to Mary Jane etc. because that car was so incredible.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Quite a few specialist Z car rebuilders around. (Pronounced correctly, sounds like an early John Thaw series.) You could get another one, although the insurance companies might not be any more receptive to the motor you would spec for it.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A powerful message. This short clip shows an avenue of Belgian doctors and nurses as they turn their backs on the arriving Belgian prime minister. The rejection moves like a wave through a stadium crowd. Belgium has the highest Covid-19 death rate in the world. https://twitter.com/Dr2NisreenAlwan/status/1261933702931779584

    Similar treatment should be meted out to Trump. He would respond with bottomless rage. But a few of his supporters would feel the hair on their necks stand up, out of fear for what will happen to them at the polls. It’s what the White House press corps should do at the first lie from Trump or his SpokesBarbie. All the press should do it, given how many Americans are dying thanks to Trump’s sociopathic incompetence. Americans should do it now and at the polls in November.

    • Peterr says:

      When Trump went full racist on the CBS reporter, and the next reporter called upon said (in essence) “I’d like you to answer her question,” Trump got huffy and ended the press conference. I’d love to see the press corps do this more often.

      Similarly, Mike Pompeo ought to get this kind of reception every time he heads abroad.

      • P J Evans says:

        I think most of the cabinet secretaries deserve this response. And Trmp, too, in his motorcades: turn your back and give him two one-fingered salutes.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump surrogate son defames Joe Biden by calling him…the kind of criminal who would be the first to get a shiv in any prison. With not a shred of evidence.

      False claims of drug trafficking, child sex, and money crimes are standard allegations used by dictators and western intelligence agencies against their most feared critics. They are designed to discredit the accused and to encourage vigilante attacks against them. They are designed to fatigue the audience and diminish the truth, so that when Trump’s conduct and crimes are revealed, few will believe them. (“It’s too crazy to be true, it’s just politics.”)

      I hope Joe Biden realizes that this is still the honeymoon phase. It will get worse. Ignoring this shit will encourage it, not make it go away. Same goes for the press. It has to be much smarter in how it describes these false claims.

      Repeating the magic words from Trump’s propaganda campaigns, for example, is a win for Trump. The more they are repeated, the more unhinged from reality and restraint becomes the electorate, and the worse its choices will be at the ballot box.

      Keeping readers tethered to the truth is the press’s job, not the candidate’s. When Trump says he likes and wants to be Putin or Duterte, the press should believe him the first time.

  28. Crack of Don says:

    Back in simpler times the movie Gumball Rally was a movie about a particular car race across the United States but the movie was hardly a race movie. It was a fun movie with innocent plot that was set around a car race. That rally was a real thing once upon a time. I can’t wait to see a Mercedes engine get hauled around the track on a McClaren frame

    • scribe says:

      Some guy just set a new record on the Cannonball, something like 26 hours and change from NYC to the Pacific, taking advantage of corona-emptied roads, a spotter plane for speed traps and a trunk-sized gas tank in a plain-Jane Audi A8. (FWIW, there have been some extreme speeding tickets earned since corona came to town and cleared the interstates. But that’s another, different story.)

      There was something a bit more romantic from the old, pre-movie days, about guys doing it (and winning) in a Dodge van.

      • P J Evans says:

        The one permanent mod my father made to his Toyota Hi-Lux was a second gas tank – he hated having to stop for anything but food and sleep. (He did a temporary one, replacing the bench seat with bucket seats, but the bench seat went back in when it was sold after he died.)
        I understand that after his mother’s funeral (on a Tuesday) he and two of his brothers drove from west Texas to L.A. in 24 hours, because they had to sign papers at the cemetery before the burial on Friday. Three drivers, taking turns. (I think they might have stopped for rests.)

      • Crack of Don says:

        Wow, that is too fast and what fun that setup would be (with the spotter plane and all). If I’m ever given the news that I only have ‘days’ to live I think I’ll spend it trying to best my own time in my little Dodge Ram 50 2.0 liter four-banger pickup

  29. John Langston says:

    Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention Anthony Hopkin’s Burt Munro, “The World’s Fastest Indian”

    The best of all the movies listed here. Get the DVD and you can compare with the original documentary about Burt. Here’s a guy that built his own world record bike in his garage in New Zealand and took it to Bonneville. Many levels of entertainment, quite funny and heartwarming and portrayals of other legend racers of the time like Goggin’s Marty Dickerson and Lucking’s Rolle Free.

    Hopkin’s has said this is his favorite role. I’ll rate this #1 of all.

  30. Chetnolian says:

    Higher up the thread someone said there was no New Zealand road movie. Goodbye Pork Pie, of 1981, featuring a yellow Mini ( a proper one, not one of these ersazt German ones) starts up north and finishes in Dunedin, so covers most of both Islands.

    And while we are in the Antipodes, a shout for the racing sequence, featuring Fred Astaire, in Stanley Kramer’s apocalyptic 1959 movie On the Beach

  31. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Here’s my one cool car story, for what it’s worth…

    Back in the late 90’s, I went to Laney College in Oakland (I live in the East Bay), taking classes in acting and directing for television and theater improv. I went regularly for about 2 years and enjoyed it very much, especially theater improv.

    And while I was in those classes, another of my teachers got the job of film coordinator for the City of Oakland. We were pretty good friends so occasionally I’d get to ride around w/ her when she made the rounds of shoots happening in Oakland.

    Clint Eastwood, who is originally from Oakland, was shooting True Crime in town during this period and had rented a hangar on the old Alameda Naval Air Station to build sets in, and we stopped by the hangar one day to see how production was going.

    While on the base, i noticed this unusual little silver car zipping around and when it stopped near by, I walked over to ask the driver what the heck it was? Turns out it was one of the original GM EV-1s and because the person in possession of it was trying to develop his own prototype electric car, GM had placed one w/ him for feedback.

    I got to drive the car that day, and back then, it was like riding around in a little space shuttle… quiet… it had a wrap around strip of lights where the dashboard would have been that told you how the car was doing, and it had terrific acceleration… it was FAST from a cold start.

    I even got to drive it around for an afternoon one time.

    Here’s the cool part of the story… Eastwood had also noticed the EV-1 zipping around the base and Clint wanted to drive it. The person (whose name I do not remember) in possession of it let him and Clint loved it…

    He liked it so much he ended up drag racing w/ the Alameda PD on the old runways right outside the hangar and blew them away in that little silver bullet… or so I was told…

    • bmaz says:

      I drove an EV-1. It was a piece of dogshit. When they made that movie “Who Killed The Electric Car”, give a prize to whoever killed that rolling pile of junk.

      • scribe says:

        I was almost run down by an electric vehicle, but it was a 918, not an EV-1.
        Can’t hear the darn things coming when they’re running on electrons, and that’s a real hazard to peds.

        • bmaz says:

          Seriously. That is a problem, and not a joke at all. Not just for humans, but for dogs out walking too. They do not understand the quiet.

          • scribe says:

            Yup. But if you have to be run down, might as well have it done by a Serious car, whose owner would have Serious insurance.

          • rosalind says:

            yup. when i got my prius i had problem with coming up on pedestrian in the middle of my narrow hill street who couldn’t hear me. the horn was way too loud for the situation, so i finally bought a bicycle bell and rolled down my window and rang it so they’d know i was there.

          • BobCon says:

            I have a neighbor with a Tesla and I don’t have a problem picking up the sound of the tires coming down the street, although I can see how people might miss it.

            I’m not sure why they don’t have the electronic version of a baseball card in the spokes to give people a little more notice. They could even make it configurable, so people have the choice of Harley rumble, Model T, draft horse clip clop, or some other novelty sound.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Gee… at the time, it seemed like a decent little car…

        But your statement is so… so… definitive…

        Take care!

        • bmaz says:

          Just my take. But I had a chance to plant my butt in one. It was garbage. The Chevy Volt, now that was really something, and a very under appreciated piece of fantastic equipment.

          • John Langston says:

            A test drove the new Bolt and found it a pretty nice ride. My first ev drive. I’d consider one for my next vehicle if I live past the virus and need another car.

  32. What Constitution? says:

    The Rock. I mean, really. Nicolas Cage in a yellow Ferrari chasing Sean Connery in a Hummer through the very same San Francisco streets that Steve McQueen flew over in Bullitt, directed by the Master of the Disaster, Michael Bay? I must admit to having a soft spot in my heart for Bullitt, but I’m willing to attribute that to the fact that my very first car was a used, blue 1968 Dodge Charger that was a dead ringer (on the outside, not under the hood) for the vehicle of choice for the Very Bad Men in Bullitt. The Rock’s version was lacking only a rolling “dollars of damage incurred” ticker in the lower right corner. Oh, and I guess the fact that essentially everything in the entire scene was CGI might somehow dampen any suggestion that there was actually great driving involved — though quite a few of the scenes mentioned in here might have that going for them, too. Suspend that disbelief, though, and The Rock is some fun driving theater.
    https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/crossing-the-line-the-rock/

  33. CroFandango says:

    Another vote for “Senna” 2010, as by far the best car movie ever. You can see him develop as a driver as the movie is chronological Excellent footage.

    Not a NASCAR fan, but that’s it right now. I hate the rear bumping, look at the end of this year’s Daytona to see why, and fequent yellow flags giving hard earned leads away. Once I realized the subtext of the format is to keep sponsor names out there as long as possible, competivetive or not, it was easier. So I watched Daytona (for two days) and was bored witless, but Sunday’s race at Darlington was good, I thought. It helps to understand the many effects of the air when they race closely. They are moving a lot more air than F1. One thing I learned was that when one car comes near another, but 3/4 back, the spew from the front of that car messes up the rear downforce of the forward car, and that can help a pass.
    “Senna”, though.

    • John Langston says:

      Another NASCAR snoozer. I suppose there was some drama with JJ crashing trying to pass a lapper. It’s a great track & tradition but racing has turned to into some many cookie cutter cars. NASCAR has to throw some crashes in. I think MotoGP is the only motorsport that still has innovation, excitement and real personalities. I can only hope he can get some American riders.

      So far as Senna, I’d like to see the doc. Not a real fan, great talent, awful sportsman. But let’s face it, most race drivers aren’t really the nicest guys.

      • CroFandango says:

        “I suppose there was some drama with JJ crashing trying to pass a lapper.”
        Yeah, JJ embarssed himself, drifting up into that guy. The Good ole Boy anouncer, Mike Joy, imediately translated that into the other guy didn’t get out of the spot in time for the vaunted JJ. Buescher’s car was on the wall already, you can see by how quickly his aft end bounced back and hit JJ.’s front. The color guy, ex driver, Jim Gordon is pretty good.
        Absolutely the chassis and body is cookie cutter, that brings development prices way down, still their own motors, though. Crashes could be diminised if they were reff’ed differently, but that’s not what the fans want. Same for Hockey.
        No doubt MotoGP guys are the top of the heap, no margin for error there.

    • dude says:

      I am not a car guy, so I nominate “Tucker: A Man and His Dreams” with Jeff Bridges who seldom fails on screen.

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