The Best Movie Car Chases

January 23rd, 2013 by

Who doesn’t love a great car chase scene in a movie? Working at a Mazda dealership, I always love seeing cars portrayed on film, especially when they get to show what they’re truly made of. It’s even better when a Mazda shows up, like in the first The Fast and the Furious where a Mazda RX-7 takes to the streets. There are too many outstanding movie car chases to mention them all, but here are a few that have stuck with me.

Bullitt (1968)

Any car chase list is almost required to include Bullitt, which has arguably influenced every single chase scene in the 50+ years that have followed. Here Steve McQueen plays a detective who winds up in a thrilling pursuit through the streets of San Francisco. The scene lasts more than 10 minutes and features a classic Mustang sometimes reaching speeds of 110 mph. It’s truly impressive considering there was no CGI at the time and the filmmakers were actually doing this in San Francisco, flying over hills and down tight city streets. McQueen also did a good portion of the driving himself.

Vanishing Point (1971)

Vanishing Point is essentially one long car chase. Barry Newman plays Kowalski, a car delivery driver who makes a bet to take a Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in little more than 12 hours. Driving at insane speeds, he outruns police across the southwest and becomes something of a hero along the way. A pulse-pounding flick from start to finish, it also does a great job of commenting on post-Woodstock America.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

I saw this movie when I was a teenager and the chase scene in it always struck me. While most car chases have turbocharged muscle cars, this movie has a dinky dirt bike trying to outrun a massive black eighteen-wheeler driven by the unstoppable T-1000. The scene takes place in a concrete flood-control channel in the San Fernando Valley, which causes some amusing problems for the massive truck.

Death Proof (2007)

As part of the double-feature Grindhouse, Quentin Tarantino here pays homage to Vanishing Point with a chase scene featuring another Dodge Challenger going head-to-head against a Dodge Charger. Nearly half of the movie is dedicated to an extended car chase, which starts with a woman playing a game called “ship’s mast” on the hood of the car and ends with a group of women chasing down Kurt Russell behind the wheel of the Charger.

While we hope our cars at Biggers Mazda aren’t necessarily going to factor into any high-speed chases in the near future (though the Mazdaspeed 3 could certainly hold its own if it needed to), we’ll be happy to take you out for an equally thrilling test drive in the model of your choice. Give us a call or stop in today!

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