It’s a classic! Our top-rated car movies to tune into this winter

We are coming into winter, and unfortunately for us in the UK, the car season for 2023 has pretty much concluded. However, as the coldest time of the year sets in, it gives good reason to stay indoors on the weekend, curl up with a blanket with some snacks on hand and enjoy some classic films. In our patient wait for the 2024 automotive year, here at Marc Brunel Recruitment we have compiled a list of seven all-time classic car films to enjoy through the winter hibernation.

Starting off with Ford v Ferrari [Le Mans ’66], this film takes audiences back to what some would argue was the pinnacle of automotive racing, and more specifically to when Henry Ford experienced a failed business deal with Ferrari and decided to beat Ferrari at its own game. Based on a true story, the film revolves around the knowledge and expertise of Carroll Shelby (winner of Le Mans 1959), and Shelby’s friend Ken Miles (hot-headed British racer and mechanical engineer). Ford v Ferrari [Le Mans ’66] brings the rivalry and glamour of the 1960s back to life for modern-day audiences to experience, with an in-depth timeline to the perfecting of the now legendary Ford GT40. Furthermore, Matt Damon and Christian Bale deliver an honourable portrayal of these racing legends, giving audiences a closer perspective on the character qualities of these automotive heroes.

This next film should be recognisable to all gearheads, action film seekers and Michael Bay fans – although perhaps not traditionally seen as a typical car-focused flick. Transformers opened with car brands like Bugatti, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, and Pontiac at the forefront of this cartoon-turned-summer blockbuster. This film may very well be a period piece for the sports cars of the 2000s and it certainly put the Chevrolet Camaro into the centre spotlight as the start of the film features a second-generation 1977 model – the first live-action incarnation of the Transformers character, ‘Bumblebee.’ For a film with all-around car variety and plenty of Michael Bay-style action, Transformers is a great film for car lovers and family movie nights.

For a different kind of car variation to fan over, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift is an excellent introduction to the world of JDMs (Japanese Domestic Cars) to wider audiences. The third film in the Fast and Furious franchise, Tokyo Drift is a standalone sequel, and as such, does not contain the cast from the first two films as it dives into the drift scene, giving JDM lovers a universe of their own. Featuring JDM car-rich scenes (you can spot a 1997 Mazda RX-7, 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and a 2003 Nissan Silvia S15 making an appearance), and drift races along Takeshita Street, Tokyo Drift is a notable film in the franchise worth watching for an adrenaline packed, underdog story. This is our favourite movie out of the eleven films in the series, but if you’ve got time this can be a movie marathon day filled with action and speed.

Another action-packed, much-loved film is Gone in 60 Seconds. The question of which Nicolas Cage film is the best will always be in debate, but if that question is asked to petrolheads, the answer almost certainly lies with Gone in 60 Seconds. The film contains several reputable cars such as a 1995 Cadillac Eldorado, a Ford Shelby GT500, and a Porsche series 911 (996) at the start of the film. Gone in 60 Seconds is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name, but this remake did not disappoint audiences, raking in an impressive box office total of over $200 million – who doesn’t love a Nicholas Cage classic?!

It would be remiss of us to list car-focused films without mentioning the late, great Steve McQueen, and so throwing the list back to classic car films of the late ’60s, Bullitt remains a timeless classic as does its beloved star, who graced the silver screen with action-packed scenes and a thrilling car chase with hugely impressive jumps along the backdrop of San Francisco. The 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback is now forever honoured, not only for its fame as part of the film but also as Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bullitt’s release with a 2019 Mustang Bullitt inspired by the original from the film.

Our next movie is an all-time favourite for any fans of the dystopic future genre. Mad Max stunned audiences back in 1979 with its dark portrayal of societal collapse, but in terms of box office performance, Mad Max raked in millions worldwide and solidified leading star Mel Gibson as an ‘A-lister’ in Hollywood. The cars in Mad Max contributed to the apocalyptic tone of the film with the titular character’s iconic V8 Interceptor being the most notable of all. Driven in three out of the four films in the franchise, the ‘Pursuit Special’ is essentially a 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe. The film was so popular, it is now on its fourth instalment (Mad Max: Fury Road [2015]), and famously starred Hollywood greats Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, ultimately proving this franchise is as popular today as it ever has been.

The next film is one for the kids. Pixar’s Cars graced the screens in the summer of 2006, and the main character Lightning McQueen and his loveable tow truck sidekick Mater, took cinemas by storm. A story of a hotshot rookie racer who gets lost while travelling to participate in the Piston Cup, Lightning McQueen learns that there is more to racing than just winning. This film is always a family favourite and cannot be missed.

Saving the best for last (in our opinion), The Italian Job (no, not the Mark Wahlberg one) is now legendary in anyone’s book and frankly, needs no further introduction. With an opening scene of a beautiful, scenic drive through the Alps and an exhilarating car chase with the backdrop in Italy, this film is still remembered today with various pop culture references, and a modern remake in 2003 (yes, the Mark Wahlberg one). Michael Caine’s comedic performance, the epic gold heist and classic Mini Coopers will always be synonymous thanks to The Italian Job.

On that note, we hope you’ve enjoyed our top picks for car films, and we here at Marc Brunel Recruitment can’t wait for the 2024 car season ahead. Whether you’re interested in learning more about automobiles, or keen to join the automotive industry, contact us today, and we can help you take the next step in your automotive career. Email us at info@marcbrunel.com or click on the Candidates page for more options, as we have positions available in the UK, USA and UAE.

– Akash Cheeda

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