10 Car Films to Watch if You Loved ‘Fast and the Furious 6’

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While usually in the supporting role, the cars often catch the heart (and the eyes) of the viewer. Whether American Muscle with a purring roar or the classy cars of the Bond series, these characters (yes they are characters) bring more to the movies than I’m sure the directors or screen writers ever anticipated, becoming something iconic and legendary. You don’t have to love cars to understand the impact they have on the narrative, the style and the success of the film. As evident in Fast and the Furious 6:

Tej Parker: It’s all between you and the car you build – it’s a bond, it’s a commitment.

Hobbs: Sounds like a marriage.

Tej Parker: Yeah, but with cars when you trade up they don’t take half your shit.

The Fast and Furious franchise explores the car-enthusiasts and their passion for their vehicle counter-parts. Fast and the Furious 6 spends a little less time on their cars, but the relationship is still there as the vehicles become a part of the family. With plenty of car stunts and top-of-the-line enhancements, Fast and the Furious 6 explores this world yet again, with the main characters here to help the good guys, in all out vehicular warfare.

The Fast and Furious franchise became loved by the audience because of the stunts and narrative working together to create a film worthy for both car fans and cinema fans. While the storyline may not always be sophisticated or well thought out, the relationship between the family of main characters and their vehicles is something that can easily be understood. Much like the relationship between a warrior and his steed, these iron horses become the modern day equivalent as owner and car work together.

These top 10 films, while not necessarily car-focused in their narrative, all explore this relationship between the car and its owner and truly representing the car as the star.

10. The Fast and the Furious (2009) – 1970 Dodge Charger

Fast-Furious-Torettos-1970-Dodge-ChargerWhile on the topic of The Fast and the Furious franchise, this iconic car from the movie series is so intimidating that even Vin Diesel is scared to drive it in the original film. With a beautiful purr and a deep connection with its driver, the audience is often left cringing every time this beautiful girl is ready for a race, afraid she will be torn to shreds like so many cars in the series. She’s big, tough and of course, fast, making her as fierce as her driver, reinforcing her character’s strength and style.

Toretto eventually upgrades, but every car after the dodge resembles her in some way, paying homage to this beauty (Toretto obviously never forgets about her and neither does the audience). Her iconic strength is seen in the film as she is raised into the air, driving on two wheels. This becomes an iconic move for Toretto throughout the series as the vehicles he drives after the 1970 charger reflect this image identically.

9. Christine (1983) – 1958 Plymouth Fury

42292-1958_plymouth_fury_christineIt’s a Mopar, so of course it’s evil. John Carpenter’s 1983 film is rumored to have destroyed more than 20 ’58 Plymouths depicting Christine. While this character is out to get everyone in the film, the audience is often mesmerized by her beauty and stealth. Based on the novel of the same name, Christine is brought to life in this film as a Plymouth Fury, the colour of blood. If you love horror and old-school cars then this is the film for you. No one is safe from Christine and no one owns her. She is sick, stylish and out for blood.

The relationship between her and any owner is obviously non-existent as she terrorizes her owner, turning him from a mild-mannered nerd-ish boy into an evil and obsessed character in love and obsessed with Christine. This is one bad-ass car that chases anyone who pisses it off. Full of character and life, this car kills a lot of people until it is finally crushed and destroyed. Or is it?

8. The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) – 1969 Dodge Charger

aa_1969_dodge_charger_dukes_of_hazzardMore than 300 Chargers portrayed the General Lee during the series 145 episodes. Today it’s the ultimate Hollywood star car. Made famous originally in the television series, and later again in the 2005 film, this car is brave and up to no good (much like her owners). With the hint of muscle, this Dodge Charger never misses a jump and can always come from last to first place. With a more masculine personality for a car, the General Lee is the third character to Luke and Bo Duke.

Bo shares a close relationship to his car as he pushes her to her limits time and time again. With a Rebel’s flag on the roof and a racing car number on the door, this car shows that it’s ready for everything and is more than capable of keeping up with the Dukes as they drive from one adventure to the next. General Lee is a tough contender with the true Southern spirit. Yeeehaaaaw!

7. Starsky & Hutch (2004) – 1975 Ford Gran Torino

imagesThe “striped tomato” may be the world’s worst undercover cop car. Again made famous through the hit TV series and later adapted into the 2004 film, this sleek beauty is fighting for law and justice. The calmer and more sensible sister to the General Lee, her stunts are often made not for daring or bravery, but to show how gorgeous she really is. Ready to spin donuts and U-turns to catch the baddie, this car is promoted to one bad-ass undercover cop!

During the film she saves the heroes more than once by performing amazing stunts. It is not a traditional cop car, but it is essentially a loyal officer ready for duty. Not perfect for undercover work, but she somehow manages to get their man every time.

6. The Blues Brothers (1980) – 1974 Dodge Monaco

74_dodge_monaco_blues_brothers_setpicThe 13 different Dodges that portrayed the “Bluesmobile” in this 1980 film were bought from the California Highway Patrol. Obviously the stunts were amazing if it took that many cars to produce it. Where would the Blues Brothers be without their get-away car? The dodge Monaco is often found in all the wrong situations, saving the boys from serious danger. She isn’t easy to handle, but the Brothers always find their way out of trouble when she’s around.

A beast of a car, The Dodge looks menacing, but also welcoming to the friends of the Blues Brothers. As sinister looking as her owners this car doesn’t display the justice it was probably originally intended to, but reflects the freedom and care-free behavior of the Blues Brothers.

5. Mad Max (1979) – 1973 Ford XB Falcon

mad-max-interceptor-you-yangsAustralia’s greatest export is George Miller’s 1979 vision of a dystopian future, which includes the last of the V8 interceptors. Looking as mad as Max, this Ford XB Falcon is the car version of Mad Max himself. Fast, dangerous and with no fear of death, this monster patrols the highways looking for a fight. Do not piss this car off or you won’t only have Mad Max out for your blood, but the car itself will be hunting you down.

Compact like a racing car and invisible at night, she makes the perfect predator of evil and suitable companion for Mad Max. During the film Max is rarely without his car and only companion as he cruises the highways.

4. The A-Team (2010) – 1983 GMC Van

i073482Fugitive mercenaries hide in a van with a big red stripe. But on NBC between 1983 and 1987 it made perfect sense. The A-Team is another iconic show, adapted for the screen because of the GMC Van and what it has become known to represent. Not quite as agile as some of the others, The A-Team Van was known more as a practical vehicle rather than a show-off. Always kept shiny and beautiful, The GMC could always catch the bad guy and could carry Mr. T! Not a lot of vehicles could say the same.

The vehicle, similar to several on this list, was loyal and trustworthy in a fight, never letting the team down. Practical and loved by the group, this car is the A-Team.

3. Goldfinger (1964) – 1964 Aston Martin DB5

8095085625_17c8196df3_bJames Bond’s legacy of famous cars and far-out gadgets can be traced back from one car—the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 007 driven in Goldfinger and Thunderball. Even without any Bond spy modifications, the Aston Martin DB5 is a work of art. This car was as sophisticated as Bond and saved lives more than once. The long list of cool tricks included ram bumper, machine guns, ejector seat, smoke screen, oil-slick sprayer and more. Looking back on the Aston from today’s perspective, the most interesting feature may be the map screen in Bond’s car, which foreshadowed today’s navigation systems.

There were many Bond-Cars before this and there have been many since, but whenever the Aston Martin is mentioned, everyone thinks of James Bond. Another fast and beautiful car it was primarily useful for Bond when chasing or escaping. Bond will never be forgotten because of this car and owes his life many times over to the DB5 as well.

 2. Batman Begins (2005) – Tumbler

Batmobile-TumblerThe latest Batmobile is an amazing prop built for this 2005 film. Yes, it really does drive even if it doesn’t leap across buildings and rivers. Even though the original Bat Mobile was quite amazing in its own right, the recent Batman films directed by Christopher Nolan have taken a giant leap forward with the Tumbler. Practically a tank that’s fast, invisible in the night and full of extra gadgets, this car (if you can even call it that) is more bad-ass than its owner.

She has taken missiles to the face and survived and offers Batman multiple escape options. Batman may not show a blatant love for his vehicle, but it’s pretty obvious that she’s hard not to love.

1. Back to the Future (1985) – 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

i002059Doc Brown: “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”. It may have been a few years now, but this car is still something to fall in love with. A little more edgy with the gull-wing doors, this car, to put it simply, can travel back to the future! You can’t really deny that.

Often a sight for sore eyes in the films, this car has saved the heroes and changed history as we know it. While often under appreciated and breaking down at the exact wrong moments, the DeLorean is tougher than it looks and is an important part of Marty’s future (literally).

These and other great car films not only generate action and stunts, but also develop relationships between the audience and the car. These films, each in their own way, touch on this relationship between a car and its owner. The car is connected to the narrative in a very important way and often takes the audience on a fast paced journey full of literal twists and turns. The Fast and Furious franchise has explored this relationship for six films now, all focusing on the beauty and skill of owning a car. The films above touch on the relationship of these co-stars in various ways, but they all serve the same purpose: They are characters in themselves. Without these cars, the main characters would be diminished. The next time you are watching the Fast and Furious films or any other films with a car central character and plot, take a closer look at these important co-stars and be amazed at the connection and power of these vehicles and the complex development of their characters.

Note: A special mention to go out to Supernatural’s 1967 Chevy Impala. A beautiful car, she represents the spirit and life of the Winchester Brothers. Unfortunately a movie has not been made of Supernatural yet, but if there ever were, this car would be on the top of the list.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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I have been a student at UQ for 4 years now studying a Bachelor of Communications and Arts. I love everything film, television, comics and anime!

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14 Comments

  1. Austin Bender

    Great article. Loved the mentioning of Supernatural, as well as all the movies and cars on this list.

    • Kelsey Clark

      Once I started the article, all I could think about was the 1967 Chevy Impala. I was very sad it couldn’t be on the list.

  2. Where is Eleanor?! From Gone in 60 seconds? Really cool list Kelsey.

    • Kelsey Clark

      I know! My partner said that too! But ’11 car movies you should watch if you loved “Fast and Furious 6″‘ didn’t quite flow as nicely.

  3. Claire Macallister

    Great list! Very happy to see Back To The Future as no. 1.

  4. Sam Walker

    Great list, very happy to see Christine there- love that Plymouth Fury! Honourable mention to the legendary Bullitt Mustang and the that chase too perhaps?

  5. Great article. All of these cars represent strength and power in ways that prove just how important and cool the films’ characters are. The tumbler, for example, displays Bruce Wayne/Batman toughness and brutality when facing Gotham’s most elite criminals. Cars like these illuminate the most masculine characters and why they are so tough.

  6. Taylor Ramsey

    I would like to see a list of car films that have a huge car moment but were otherwise not great car-centric films. The French Connection springs to mind with its amazing chase scene.
    This was a fun list.

  7. Nick Santoro

    Great list! Would have loved to see Elanor from Gone in 60 Seconds though.

  8. Michelle Webb

    I’m in love with your number one choice, perfect! A great list and enjoyable read. I’m not into the Fast & The Furious movies or any movie along those lines for that matter.. now I’m compelled to make a start on (or revisit) the movies that made the cut!

    • Kelsey Clark

      Yeah Fast and Furious is a bit different to a few of these other films as there is a higher emphasis on the actual car culture, as opposed to the car being an actual character. I do love Torreto’s car though as it does seem to have this intense presence on screen.

  9. I know the main characters drive multiple cars, but Grand Prix with James Garner (RIP) and directed by John Frankenheimer is definitely worth watching. Sure, Garner’s character drives a lot of different racing cars, but you’ll come away with a different outlook on motor racing.

  10. This was a good list, but I believe that there should be different articles for different movies as that the fast and furious cars all had something special with their owners and all have a small story to tell. I also believe that there should be a poll on what cars should be on here. Anyways great article!

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