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With the coronavirus pandemic keeping most of us at home, here is a list of petrolhead friendly movies to pass your time with
Bored? Nothing to do? In quarantine and can’t get out of the house? Yes we are in the same boat, but it isn’t all that bad. You can use the free time to work on your project car, learn how to heel-and-toe downshift or if you’re the lazy kind — sit back, relax and watch some car themed movies! Below is a list of some of our favourites, let us know yours!
If you’re a fan of motorsport and you haven't heard the name Ayrton Senna, chances are that you have been living under a rock. No problem though, you have plenty of time on your hands now to get to grips with who Senna was. The documentary follows the story of a racing driver like no other, for whom the limit did not exist, who was more competitive than any other driver before him and yet had immense compassion for his peers. Senna is one of the best documentaries you can watch as a petrolhead, even winning the BAFTA award for the best documentary in 2012.
Crime, intense action scenes and an iconic car chase, what more can you ask for? Bullitt revolves around a policeman trying to bring down a mob boss who killed a witness that was under his protection. Starring Steve McQueen and a ‘68 Ford Mustang GT, Bullitt has one of THE most iconic car chases of any movie, ever.
Well, this one does not need an introduction. Yes, the series has strayed away from cars and street racing in recent times but it would be rude not to include it in this list. The classics are still worth a watch or two, or 300. My personal favourite is Tokyo Drift which shows off the massive car culture in Japan and places an unfamiliar American right in the middle of it.
A dramatised documentary, Rush puts the rivalry of legendary Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the 70’s on the big screen. Brilliantly cinematic, gripping and not even slightly overdone, Rush places the viewer in the middle of two perspectives — the wise and logical Niki Lauda, and the audacious and wild James Hunt. It is one of the great rivalries in Formula 1, captured perfectly in the modern day.
Speed Racer is a borderline sci-fi racing movie that essentially tries to capture the political side of motorsport. The aptly named protagonist, Speed Racer, races for his humble family run team before a big mogul tries to buy him out. Speed declines and faces the consequences, and tries to overcome the politics by sheer skill. Speed Racer is an underrated classic.
A favourite for young petrolheads like myself, I secretly watch it once a week, Cars animates our beloved machines and is centered around a Nascar racer, Lightning McQueen. The latest one is Cars 3 and shows how McQueen who was once a hotshot is now being overshadowed by cars with newer technology and how he trains to fight back. Young or old, Cars is a must watch.
Ford v Ferrari is a true story about multiple verticals — how the rivalry of Ford and Ferrari came to be, Ford’s journey to Le Mans, Caroll Shelby’s emergence but it is centered around the raw talent of racing driver Ken Miles. Ken was tough to work with, never politically correct and a genuine nut but he could drive faster than anyone else on track. Ford v Ferrari is an immensely gripping, emotional and inspirational movie. It may not be out on any streaming platforms yet, but it is a must watch.
Another classic, and one that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Herbie: Fully Loaded is a story of a car and it’s owner’s bond. The movie gives emotions and character to a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle and involves a rollercoaster of events leading to Herbie being raced in Nascar. Herbie Fully Loaded is a funny, light hearted movie that can be watched over and over again.
Fast cars, action and Angelina Jolie, I could probably end there and you will still go watch this movie. Nevertheless, Gone in 60 Seconds is about a car thief who has to steal 50 cars in three days in order to free his brother from a mob boss. The car cast is sport on, including a Ferrari 275 GTB/4, a De Tomaso Pantera and a car as iconic as the movie itself — a ‘67 Shelby Mustang GT500 a.k.a. Eleanor. Mind you, this is a remake of a 1974 film with a very similar storyline and you might want to give that a watch too!
Transporter, the movies not the series, is an action packed movie involving protagonist Frank Martin who drives for money. Okay yes, that is simplifying it a little too much. Frank can be your getaway driver, he can transport your ‘precious goods’ and he can be your worst enemy if you break his rules. Yes, he has rules and very strict ones. The cars he drives during the three movies are long black luxury German sedans and it makes the whole thing a lot classier.
Similar to the Transporter movie in the sense that the driver does not partake in any of the crimes himself, but simple drives. Baby Driver involves fast paced driving, slick stunts and killer soundtracks. The protagonist, Baby, is not a criminal and does not want to be one but soon finds himself in too deep to leave. He must drive as fast as he can, or else it’s game over.
Enjoy these movies in your free time, let us know which ones you liked, and which ones you didn’t. And remember, keep washing your hands, stay at home and reduce the spread!