Best Car Movies of All Time

A list of the best movies and tv series from a petrolhead point of view, in chronological order. The "suspense" is killing me!

For a movie to be on this list, a simple car chase is not enough, the car has to be the protagonist and some sort of racing must happen on the scene. "Good" is in the eye of the beholder. Indeed, many of these movies have a thin, if not outright ludicrous plot. However, they should be judged on the one thing in common. The rest is just side dish to the senses.

If it wouldn't be in chronological order, the list would start like this:
1. The Driver
2. Vanishing Point
3. The Italian Job (Original)
Anyone who grew up watching the editing-obsessed movies of the recent era, should at least give them a try.
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1.
Thunder Road (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison. (92 mins.)
Director: Arthur Ripley
 
2.
Goldfinger (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve. (110 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
 
3.
The Great Race (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A grand adventurous race takes place between the heroic Leslie and the despicable Professor Fate across three continents. (160 mins.)
Director: Blake Edwards
 
4.
Grand Prix (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
American Grand Prix driver Pete Aron is fired by his Jordan-BRM racing team after a crash at Monaco that injures his British teammate... (176 mins.)
 
5.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, robbing cars and banks. (111 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
 
6.
Bullitt (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection. (114 mins.)
Director: Peter Yates
 
7.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land. (144 mins.)
Director: Ken Hughes
 
8.
The Love Bug (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A race car driver becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. (108 mins.)
 
9.
The Italian Job (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam. (99 mins.)
Director: Peter Collinson
 
10.
Vanishing Point (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops. (99 mins.)
 
11.
The French Connection (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. (104 mins.)
 
12.
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A story of two men drag-racing across the U.S. in a primer grey '55 Chevy. Dennis Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver. (102 mins.)
Director: Monte Hellman
 
13.
Duel (1971 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer. (90 mins.)
 
14.
Le Mans (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the... (106 mins.)
Director: Lee H. Katzin
 
15.
American Graffiti (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college. (110 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
 
16.
Herbie Rides Again (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
The living Volkswagen Beetle helps an old lady protect her home from a corrupt developer. (88 mins.)
 
17.
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers is mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best... (93 mins.)
Director: John Hough
 
18.
Death Race 2000 (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
In a dystopian future, a cross country automobile race requires contestants to run down innocent pedestrians to gain points that are tallied based on each kill's brutality. (80 mins.)
Director: Paul Bartel
 
19.
The Gumball Rally (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A disparate group of drivers take part in a secret and illegal cross country road race. (105 mins.)
Director: Chuck Bail
 
20.
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor trailer full of beer over county lines in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff. (96 mins.)
Director: Hal Needham
 
21.
The Driver (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
"The Driver" is a specialist in a rare business: he drives getaway cars in robberies. His exceptional talent prevented him from being caught yet... (91 mins.)
Director: Walter Hill
 
22.
Corvette Summer (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A high school grad and a hooker-in-training try to track down his stolen Corvette. (105 mins.)
Director: Matthew Robbins
 
23.
Mad Max (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang. (88 mins.)
Director: George Miller
 
24.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised. (133 mins.)
Director: John Landis
 
25.
The Hollywood Knights (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Led by their comedic and pranking leader, Newbomb Turk, the Hollywood Knights car gang raise hell throughout Beverly Hills on Halloween Night... (91 mins.)
Director: Floyd Mutrux
 
26.
The Road Warrior (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits. (95 mins.)
Director: George Miller
 
27.
The Cannonball Run (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks. (95 mins.)
Director: Hal Needham
 
28.
Knight Rider (1982 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A lone crimefighter battles the forces of evil with the help of an indestructible and artificially intelligent supercar. (46 mins.)
 
29.
Christine (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it. (110 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
30.
Against All Odds (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A gangster hires an ex-football player to find his girlfriend. When he finds her, they fall in love, and the twists start to appear. (128 mins.)
Director: Taylor Hackford
 
31.
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner. (116 mins.)
 
32.
The Wraith (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A mysterious figure suddenly appears to challenge a gang of motorhead thugs. (93 mins.)
Director: Mike Marvin
 
33.
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept. (110 mins.)
 
34.
Days of Thunder (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level. (107 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
 
35.
Speed (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph. (116 mins.)
Director: Jan de Bont
 
36.
Ronin (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A freelancing former U.S. intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians. (122 mins.)
 
37.
Taxi (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
To work off his tarnished driving record, a hip taxi driver must chauffeur a loser police inspector on the trail of German bank robbers. (86 mins.)
Director: Gérard Pirès
 
38.
Blue Streak (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A former convict poses as a cop to retrieve a diamond he stole years ago. (93 mins.)
Director: Les Mayfield
 
39.
Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A retired master car thief must come back to the industry and steal 50 cars with his crew in one night to save his brother's life. (118 mins.)
Director: Dominic Sena
 
40.
The Fast and the Furious (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Los Angeles police officer Brian O'Connor must decide where his loyalty really lies when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy. (106 mins.)
Director: Rob Cohen, Mel City
 
41.
The Transporter (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Frank is hired to "transport" packages for unknown clients and has made a very good living doing so. But when asked to move a package that begins moving, complications arise. (92 mins.)
 
42.
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Former cop Brian O'Conner is called upon to bust a dangerous criminal and he recruits the help of a former childhood friend and street racer who has a chance to redeem himself. (107 mins.)
Director: John Singleton
 
43.
The Italian Job (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally. (111 mins.)
Director: F. Gary Gray
 
44.
Cars (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family. (117 mins.)
 
45.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A teenager becomes a major competitor in the world of drift racing after moving in with his father in Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence in America. (104 mins.)
Director: Justin Lin
 
46.
Gumball 3000 (2009 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
 
47.
Death Proof (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans. (113 mins.)
 
48.
Death Race (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory. (105 mins.)
 
49.
Fast Five (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Dominic Toretto and his crew of street racers plan a massive heist to buy their freedom while in the sights of a powerful Brazilian drug lord and a dangerous federal agent. (131 mins.)
Director: Justin Lin
 
50.
Hit and Run (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Former getaway driver Charlie Bronson jeopardizes his Witness Protection Plan identity in order to help his girlfriend get to Los Angeles. The feds and Charlie's former gang chase them on the road. (100 mins.)