We Americans have been obsessed with cars since the first one rolled off the assembly line. We love the look, the feel, the curves of the body, even the glitter of the hubcaps. So it only makes sense that Hollywood occasionally even makes a car the main character, theme or centerpiece of a movie. Here are the top 20 Car Movies of all time :
1 - Christine (1983), the ultimate car in the movies. Directed by John Carpenter and based on Stephen King's novel, Christine could burn rubber, get revenge, drive and even repair herself. The cherry red '57 Plymouth Fury was nearly indestructible. Haunted, yes, but a cool car nonetheless.
2 - Herbie The Love Bug (1968) the '63 Volkswagen Beetle was the first living car in film. Herbie had a mind of its own.
3 - Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005) the modern remake of The Love Bug, starring Michael Keaton, Justin Long and Lindsay Lohan.
4 - Taxi (1998) A Gérard Pirè film, later remade by Luc Besson. Some of the best car chase scenes on film.
5 - The Hearse (1980) the precursor to Christine. This haunted funeral hearse could drive itself and run down or haunt its intended victims.
6 - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) Dick van Dyke invented an eccentric car that flies.
8 - Cars (2006) Pixar Animation
9 - Cannonball Run (1981) Comedy about a cross-country race, starring a famous cast with Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, and more.
10 - Car Wash (1976) comedy featuring the immortal theme song by Rose Royce.
11 - Knight Rider (1982) KITT was a sarcastic super-car that solved crimes.
12 - The Gumball Rally (1976) A coast to coast race in a '67 Cobra, among other cars.
13 - Rat Race (2001) A loose remake of the Gumball Rally. A cross-country race starring a huge cast: John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Lovitz, more. The scene where Lovitz steals Hitler's car from the Barbie Museum is indelibly funny.
14 - Speedracer (2008) Directed by the Wachowski brothers, starring Emil Hirsch and Bi Rain
15 - Maximum Overdrive (1986), a film based on Trucks, another "automobile come to life" story written by Stephen King.
16 - Smokey and the Bandit (1977) Burt Reynold is the bandit driving a Pontiac Trans Am in a race to bootleg 400 cases of beer.
17 - Vanishing Point (1971)
18 - Days of Thunder (1990) Tom Cruise
19 - Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) Directed by Juston Lin. A great Hong Kong film that was a precursor to the "The Fast and the Furious" (a series of 6 very boring car crime movies in the US).
20 - Death Race 2000 (1975) An annual car race is held in the future, a race to the death. A B-movie with some A-list cars.
See Also: The Top 20 Motored Songs: Tunes About Cars
Cool cars in non-car movies: The Ghost Busters-mobile, the Munsters '65 Drag-u-la, Batman's batmobile, the time-tripping DeLorean in Back to the Future, and the Bluesmobile (Blues Brothers).
The best car movies and films didn't always find an audience, but they were fun to watch.