Lights, cars, action…
When it comes to classic car movies, the lists tend to throw up the same old names: Bullitt, The Italian Job, Vanishing Point and Gone in 60 in Seconds. Well, here are a few movies that are that little bit different...
A lesser known Al Pacino film, directed by Sydney Pollack. It’s about a famous American racing driver who falls for a terminally ill woman he meets while visiting a fellow racing driver in a sanatorium. It’s not as depressing as it sounds.
Pacino drives an Alfa Romeo GTV throughout but didn’t know how to drive before this film so he had to take driving lessons. The racing footage, shot during the 1976 season, included drivers such as James Hunt, Mario Andretti and José Carlos Pace. The technical assistance was provided by Bernie Ecclestone.
Also look out for appearances by a Bentley S-Type, Citroën DS, Range Rover, Lancia Beta Monte-Carlo and loads of old school F1 cars.
Against All Odds
When gangster James Woods hires old friend and ex-football player Jeff Bridges to find his girlfriend Rachel Ward, things don’t go to plan. An 80s film that may not have stood the test of time but the Woods/Bridges road race between the Ferrari 308 QV GTSi and the Porsche 911 SC Cabrio still looks great.
Two for the Road
Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn live out their courtship and troubled ten-year marriage on one long French roadtrip of a movie. Cool and stylish with some great car appearances including: an Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Sprint, Bentley S1, Cadillac Fleetwood, Citroën 2CV, MG TD, Mercedes 230SL, VW Micro Bus and a Triumph Herald convertible.
The movie also features a fantastic wardrobe. Hepburn wanted to appeal to a new youth market so wore some great outfits by names such as Paco Rabanne and Mary Quant. Meanwhile Finney’s outfits were supplied by Savile Row tailor Hardy Amies. Pure class.
The Marseille Contract
Not one of the best 70’s spy thrillers, but with Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn and James Mason it’s pretty watchable and great for car spotting. Watch out for the Citroën DS, Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior, Rolls Royce Phantom and a great little race around some hairpins between a Porsche 911S Targa and an Alfa Romeo Montreal.
One of our favourite movie opening sequences – an Armani-clad Gere cruises through LA in his black Mercedes 450 SL to a Blondie soundtrack. Perfect.
The whole film is cool and stylish with some other great ‘blink and you might miss em’ classic car cameos – Lotus Eclat, Corvette, Jag XJ-C, Porsche 911S Targa and a Silver Shadow.
Gere is great in this role – but just imagine, Chevy Chase, Christopher Reeve and John Travolta were all offered his part in this movie.
Written by Robert ‘Chinatown’ Towne, Shampoo is a great satirical comedy played perfectly by its cast. You may never have wanted to be a hairdresser but you can’t fail to sort of want to be Warren Beatty. He gets to ride around on a super cool Triumph Daytona and women simply fall at his feet. Julie Christie is effortlessly gorgeous in her Mercedes 230SL, Jack Warden bumbles along in his Rolls Silver Cloud coupe and Goldie Hawn’s date knows how to turn up to a party in his Porsche 356.
There are some great British car cameos, too, including an E-Type, a Spitfire, a Jag Mk 2, Bentley S1 and a Jensen Interceptor.