1. The Blues Brothers: 1980
1974 Dodge Monaco
“It’s got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas”
Believe it or not this car chase was one of the last really gritty car chases made. Oddly enough, this chase was actually supposed to be a spoof of what a great car chase should be and ended up being one of the best ones ever filmed. It also destroyed over 60 used police cars and made the “Bluesmobile” a movie icon.
2. Cannonball Run: 1981
1979 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 / 1981 Pontiac Trans Am
Just listen to that Lamborghini Countach rev… OH MY GOD!! That sound to a car guy is like crack to a drug addict. The 1981 Pontiac Trans Am unfortunately wouldn’t have had a snowballs chance in hell of keeping up with the big Lambo… but who cares? It’s one of the best movie openings ever for a car guy, plus you had Adrienne Barbeau constantly showing off her “Equipment“…
3. The Road Warrior: 1981
1979 Mac Truck / 1976 Ford F-150
By the time this chase took place the much-loved V8 Interceptor had been destroyed. So, armed with his handy-dandy sawed off shot gun, Max rigged up this Mac Truck and blasted through the Australian desert in a last ditch effort to get away from the Lord Humungous… he’s awesome by the way. All in all there are probably thirty or so vehicles in this chase and every one of them, at some point, gets f*cked up. This is vehicular carnage at its best.
4. Terminator: 1984
1973 Chevrolet C-10 / 1972 International Harvester
He was big, bad and made of metal, this was the Govinator in “Terminator”, the movie that made him a star. The closing sequence in the film consisted of a chase between a ’73 Chevy step-side, a ’75 Honda CB750 motorcycle and a 1972 International Harvester tractor-trailer. Odd combination, but shot together in the right sequence and it works out just fine.
5. Against All Odds: 1984
1983 Porsche 911sc / 1982 Ferrari 308 GTS
More of a car race than a car chase, it qualifies because they were actually chasing each other. Take one part 1983 Porsche 911 and the other a Ferrari 1982 308 GTS and what you’ve got is a race to show who had the biggest winky in Los Angeles.
6. To Live and Die in LA: 1985
1981 Chevrolet Impala / 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis
One of the best ever filmed – the chase, not the movie. Most people don’t even remember this flick, but everyone who saw it certainly remembers the car chase and the fact that it was over 8 minutes long. I’ll tell ya’, those mid-‘80s Chevy’s were tough as nails…
7. Shaker Run: 1985
1980 Pontiac Trans Am / 1978 Ford Capri
The plot on this one is somewhat convoluted, but in a nutshell – there is this Dude, Cliff Roberts, whose a stunt driver and he’s been paid some moola’ to take this chick whose heisted some plutonium or some other nuclear type stuff and get it out of the country. Roberts drives a right-hand drive 1980 Pontiac Trans Am, that’s pink… yes pink, and on their way out of the country they get chased by some other Dude in a black station wagon type thingy who wants his plutonium stuff back… but that Dude crashes it… you know, the wagon thingy and steals a hopped up Ford Capri out of a showroom in the city they were in… I don’t know what city it is though. He then chases the pink the T/A through the mountains and tries to catch him.
There, that’s the plot… now press play and watch the damn video.
8. No Man’s Land: 1987
1985 Porsche 911 / 1985 IROC Camaro
Professional Porsche thief Charlie Sheen recruits undercover cop D.B. Sweeny to help him steel more Porsches to cut and sell. This chase takes place between a 1985 911 Turbo and ’85 IROC (one of my 20 BAD ASS collectible cars for under 20k). There’s also a 1978 Lincoln Mark V… but he doesn’t fair too well in the end.
9. Cobra: 1986
1950 Mercury / 1979 Ford F-150
“You’re the disease… and I’m the cure”; probably one of the cheesiest one-liners ever to appear on film. Sly Stallone is a cop whose trying to save Bridget Nielsen (when she was hot) from some bad guys. It’s a typical 80’s car chase that turns out to be quite entertaining. My favorite part is that tach at 3:14… it’s reving at like 8500 rpms!!
10. Risky Business: 1983
1976 Porsche 928 / 1976 Cadillac De Ville
Ah yes… who can forget the subway scene with Rebecca DeMornay – as a kid it didn’t get any better. That was until Joel, Becky and Booger got chased by Guido the Killer Pimp in his pimp-o-licious ’76 Cadillac DeVille. The end of this chase coined the phrase: “Porsche… there is no substitute”.