We’re going to be compiling a list of the best car flicks of all time, but first we’ll make a pit stop and start off with a list of the most influential car flicks.
These may not have made the highest gross or gotten the best ratings, but they left a special mark on the whole automotive community.
Enjoy The Best Car Flicks Of All Time: Most influential. If you don’t agree with this list, give us yours and reasons why.
Keep an eye out for our continuation of The Best Car Flicks Of All Time!
Days Of Thunder (1990) Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJfF1VApAr0
It didn’t have the best ratings but makes the list because of what it did for racing movies as a whole. The fact that it showed NASCAR in a way that nobody had ever seen before, the politics, and the racing— it was all super authentic. They even shot the racing scenes at actual races and the car you see running in a pack was actually run during the races as an entry. Long yellow flags were had during some of the races to allow for certain shots. Parts of Days of Thunder were even filmed without a finished script for some scenes, and at times were finished the day they were filmed.
You probably never knew Days Of Thunder laid the foundation for most racing movies ever since its release. The same camera techniques were used for comedies from Talladega Nights to high-octane movies like the Fast & Furious franchise, all Marvel films, Baby Driver, and Ford vs Ferrari, to name just a few. You can think of any racing movie released after and I bet you Days of Thunder has inspired its shooting in some form or fashion.
Days Of Thunder was loosely based on former driver Tim Richmond and his crew chief Harry Hyde and showcases the fast-paced world of NASCAR and a rivalry that is brewing between rookie hotshot Cole Trickle and veteran racer Rowdy Burns. Both of them are eventually seriously injured in a competition which causes the former bitter rivals to become close friends. Cole’s spirits are restored by a romance with neurosurgeon Dr. Claire Lewicki and decides to race Rowdy’s car in the Daytona 500 against underhanded newcomer Russ Wheeler.
Initial D (1998) Anime Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq3VOElmzTk
NEW Initial D!!! MF Ghost (trailer Coming 2023) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fSXarfeg3A
Before The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift showcased Japan’s Drift Scene, there was Initial D. We have good news for its followers: Initial D is making a return in 2023 and will be called MF Ghost (Link above for trailer).
If you never figured out what started the AE86 craze, Initial D definitely has something to do with it. Initial D started off as a Manga series and consists of 48 volumes with 719 chapters. It was eventually produced as an Anime and has become a global phenomenon. Some can say it singlehandedly made Drifting known worldwide.
It’s about an ordinary high school student, Takumi Fujiwara, who works as a delivery driver for his father’s Tofu Shop. He makes his daily deliveries every morning in his father’s Ae86 which passes through Mt. Akina’s hairpin track. In the process of making his deliveries, he becomes a skilled driver, and those enthusiasts that witness his skills call him the ghost of Akina because no one knows who is behind the wheel. Racers start to challenge Takumi and how he deals with each individual challenge in the process to become a legend is what Initial D is about.
Apart from the races, it’s just like what you’d expect an anime to be. The races are done in 3D and really add to the thrill. With each and every season the graphics have gotten better, stage Four being the best. What makes this Anime stand out for the car enthusiast is that it’s very technical and most of the legendary JDM cars are used throughout the series. The AE86 is the main car, but the RX-7. FC,FD, MX-5s, Altezzas, Evos, Imprezas, S2000s, Cappucianos, NSXs, GTRs are all in the series as well as other legendary cars.
The creator of Drifting rightfully named The Drift King, Keiichi Tsuchiya is also involved as a technical director for the Initial D which helps them bring technical accuracies such as the movement and behavior of the cars, drifting, and explanations on the technical side of racing. Initial D is a must-watch if you’re an enthusiast, even if you’re not an anime freak. For us English only speaking people like me it has also been dubbed in English so you won’t be forced into reading subtitles.
Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift (2006) Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8HQ2JLlc4E
Fast and Furious is the biggest automotive-inspired movie franchise of all time, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that it makes the list of the most influential automotive movies of all time. The original Fast and Furious can be debated on this list because that is what started it all, but as a car enthusiast, out of all The Fast And The Furious, Tokyo Drift is the apex of the series and what it should have been about all along.
This was the first car film that truly represented a community and showcased a new art of driving. It was about how people from all ethnicities and backgrounds can come together for the passion for cars.
The Fast And The Furious follows a troubled teen, Sean, who lives with his mother. Sean’s poor behavior causes them to move around multiple times before the story sets us in Arizona. After school one day, Sean is confronted by an athlete named Clay over flirting with Clay’s girlfriend. They end up racing to settle the dispute and they are arrested after. To get off lightly from his punishment, a deal is made that Sean is sent to live in Japan with his father, a U.S. Navy officer stationed in Tokyo, in order to avoid juvenile detention or jail.
On his first day in school, Sean befriends Twinkie, a military brat who introduces him to the world of drift racing in Japan. After driving to an underground car show, Sean decides to race against Takashi in a Nissan Silvia S15 Spec-S loaned by a racer named Han. He not only loses the race to Takashi but due to his unfamiliarity with drifting, he destroys the Silvia in the process. To repay his debt for the car he destroyed, Sean agrees to work for Han if he agrees to teach him how to drift. From then on it’s one of the greatest high-budget films that showcaseing the car culture.