The Top Car-Killing Movies!

Just about everybody knows that breaking stuff is fun.  When directors get gigantic budgets and a car chase to shoot, sometimes they go overboard.  These movies destroyed the most cars – the numbers are crazy!

  • Ronin (1998):  Yes, Ronin was a good movie.  One of the many cool parts about it?  Director John Frankenheimer was a former amateur racer.  He enlisted former French Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Jarier and 300 OTHER stunt drivers to film the insane chase through Paris.  The result?  An epic eight-minute chase sequence that deserves a spot in the car chase hall of fame.  Oh, and they destroyed a mere 80 cars.  That’s nothing compared to other movies on this list!  Watch it here:
  • Bullitt (1968):  Yes, it is riddled with some funny errors – the 1968 Dodge Charger loses five hubcaps from four wheels over the course of the chase!  However, it is still one of the greatest car chases ever produced.  People are still making their own versions of it almost fifty years later.  The iconic Highland Green big-block Mustang fastback reached speeds well over 100 mph on the hilly streets of San Francisco, sometimes even with the legendary Steve McQueen behind the wheel!  More than 80 cars were destroyed during the filming of the movie.
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (1974):  Director, producer, stunt driver, and star of the original Gone in 60 Seconds H.B. Halicki was given a tiny $150,000 budget, but the movie has now grossed more than $40 million.  He drove the original “Eleanor” – the tastefully customized 1973 Mustang (to this day, one of the best-looking Mustangs ever) throughout the chase scene.  Somebody else from the crew would drive the car throughout the rest of the movie (cameraman, actor, etc.).  Many of the bystanders were members of the public – there was no money for extras.  Some of the crashes were completely unscripted, which makes the movie that much better.  When Halicki clipped another car at 100 mph and spun into a lamppost, he ended up in the hospital.  The crash ended up in the film.  Gone in 60 Seconds destroyed 93 cars.
  • The Blues Brothers (1980 and 2000):  The 1980 version of the film held the record for the most cars violently destroyed until the 2000 remake, which smashed the record (pun intended) by a whopping ONE car!  For the 1980 film, 60 used police cars were bought for $400 apiece, fitted with reinforced frames.  Almost all of the cars were unusable by the end of filming.  The 1980 version destroyed 103 cars.  The 2000 version decimated 104 cars.  This is the 1980 version: and this is the 2000 version:
  • G.I. Joe (2009):  Yes, it is an awful film by every account.  It also happened to briefly hold the record for most cars destroyed in a movie (112 cars).  It beat The Blues Brothers (2000) by eight cars.  Maybe blowing up stuff isn’t as exciting as we all thought it was as kids.  That being said, enjoy the gratuitous automotive destruction at
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013):  Sometimes, it’s best to leave the best alone.  Some movies don’t need a sequel, let alone four.  Die Hard is one of said movies.  Sadly, 25 years after Bruce Willis “killed” Alan Rickman (the guy who played Snape in the Harry Potter movies, kids), we are talking about the fifth and worst Die Hard yet.  Willis and the cast somehow destroyed 132 cars and badly damaged an incredible 518 cars PAST their 132 dead brethren.  That being said, the car chase is good.
  • The Junkman (1982):  Have you ever heard of The Junkman?  I hadn’t either until now.  It’s the crashiest film you’ve never heard of.  Directed by H.B. Alicki, the crash-hungry director of Gone in 60 Seconds, it reportedly killed more than 150 cars.
  • Fast Five (2011):  All in all, over 1000 cars have been destroyed since the first Fast & Furious.  That’s more than one a minute in total film time.  260 cars were destroyed in Fast Five.  However, Fast & Furious 6 used about 400 cars, with few surviving.
  • Matrix Reloaded (2003):  Somehow, the folks behind Matrix Reloaded managed to kill 300 cars loaned to them by GM.
  • Transformers 3 (2011):  By definition, every one of the 532 cars destroyed were ready for the junkyard – they were all donated to director Michael Bay because of flood damage.  They needed to be scrapped by law anyways – why not destroy them violently?

Well, that’s my list!  I hope that you enjoyed it, as well as the chase scenes.  I recommend you watch this song while listening to “Rockin’ Down the Highway” by the Doobie Brothers.  It seems fitting.

The Best Way to Get Into Racing

Hi wonderful readers, I’m back!  I’ve had a wonderful vacation – I hope you have too!  I have a post planned about our rental car – you’ll get a kick!  Anyhow, here’s a good post to start the new year off with.

Autocross.  It’s easy to do.  Just find a big, empty parking lot, put down a lot of traffic cones in any configuration you want, drive around it as quickly as possible, and have a friend time you.  If you spin out, so be it.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a Ford F-550 or a Ferrari LaFerrari.  Any car can do an autocross.

I can practically guarantee you that there is at least one big parking lot in your town/city/area.  Go to the Home Depot and get $50 worth of traffic cones.  It doesn’t matter what size they are.  Even those little ones they use at soccer games work.

Go to that big parking lot with some friends, a stopwatch (or an iPhone), some food and cold drinks, and have a fun afternoon/morning.  Take your friend’s car out for a spin, and vice versa.  Have fun.  You’ll be surprised at how well your car can handle.  Go as fast as you are comfortable with, and work up from their.  Even professional race car drivers sometimes have trouble finding a car’s limits.  You won’t – probably.

When you get bored with the course, redo it.  There are infinite possibilities for autocross courses.

Also, look online at local car clubs to see where they will be doing an autocross.  They will do cones and white chalk lines.  Go and watch.  It will be professionally done, you will meet great people, have fun, likely join the club, and learn what parts to put on your car.  If you’re interested in doing it with them, join the club.  It will probably be in your price range, and if not, they will find a way for you to be a member.

Here are good cars to use.  You can use your daily driver by simply putting on summer tires, better shocks, and other stuff.  Use the internet to find parts.  Somebody will have made an autocross warrior out one similar to yours.

  • Honda CRX:  OK, this one is going to generate a lot of controversy, but I’m prepared to take it.  It’s popular in the modified car world, which means that Honda fans don’t like it much.  It can be difficult to find an unmolested example, but there are some out there.  It’s worth the effort to track one down.  It’s light and agile – it tips the scales at about 1,800 pounds.  It came with a multitude of engines, the best of which was a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine sending 150 horsepower to the front wheels.  Yes, the infamous VTEC system helped.  The combination of a light body and decently-powered engine make it a perfect beginners car for the autocross.
  • Toyota MR2:  This was the last Toyota sports car until the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 trio came out a couple of years ago.  When you look at it, it becomes immediately clear that this car is an autocross weapon waiting to happen.  It weighs 2,195 pounds, has an all-aluminum engine making 138 horsepower, has a limited-slip differential, and has a low center of gravity.  It’s a college kid’s version of the Porsche Boxster.  They aren’t very well loved by the general public, but autocrossers love them.
  • Mazda Miata:  Ever since it debuted in 1990, this cute little roadster that took what we love about classic British roadsters, and added reliability.  It’s been a smash hit ever since.  Each generation weighs about 2,100 pounds, and with anywhere between 89-167 horsepower available, they are a true rocket on racetracks and autocross courses alike.  It’s got perfect weight distribution, RWD, a limitless amount of aftermarket parts, and thousands of cars up for sale on eBay, classified ads, you name it.
  • Ford Focus SVT:  This is the car that started the performance Focus craze.  It’s got a 2.0-liter Cosworth-tuned 4-cylinder engine making a respectable 170 horsepower.  It’s also got the same bulletproof six-speed manual found in the Mini Cooper S of the same era.
  • Subaru Impreza WRX/STi:  Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last ten years, you’ve heard of the Subaru Impreza WRX/STi.  They have an impressive history in WRC rallycross, so it only seems natural that a car that requires so much finesse on dirt and gravel would be at home on asphalt.  It is.  The 2015 STi has been described as a “305 horsepower merry go round.”  The earlier models (2003-2007) are best suited for autocross duty.  They have permanent AWD mated to a burbling 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and a tricky 5-speed manual.  The STi models are faster, but more expensive.  Stick with the WRX for better bang for the buck.
  • BMW E30 3-Series:  This car is truly legendary in every arena of motorsports.  Rally, stock car racing in Europe, IMSA, DTM, WTCC, BTCC, you get the idea.  It came with a lot of engines, all of which are good.  The four-cylinder may be down on power compared to the inline six, but it gives a far better weight distribution.
  • Mitsubishi 3000GT:  It’s certainly fair to say that it’s one of the most underrated sports cars of the past 25 years.  You get AWD, active four-wheel steering, active aerodynamics with self-adjusting front AND rear spoilers, and electronically-controlled suspension.  It was the first real electronic sports car.  So, why aren’t people buying these?  Well, the electronic systems, which help make it a great drivers car, often fail.  They aren’t cheap to replace or fix.  Become an automotive electrician if you buy one.  If you’re willing to take the reliability risk into hand, you’re going to find yourself behind the wheel of an immensely capable car that will absolutely dominate an autocross course.
  • Chevrolet C10:  This is a wild card, but hear me out.  There are many pro-touring shops and companies out there who will build you a killer truck for about $20,000.  You can haul all of your spare tires, parts, etc. to the track.  You can even haul your other toys out to the track and dominate at the autocross.  Using a Chevrolet small-block V-8 will mean that you can squeeze a lot of power out of it for a few thousand dollars, give you reasonable fuel economy, and will be simple to work on no matter what you put on it.

Overall, autocross is a cheap, simple way to have a lot of fun with your friends on the weekend.  Taking an EVOC course through your local Sheriff’s office will help your driving skills enormously, and you will have fun doing it.  Most of the instructors autocross, so ask them which club is best.  Also, join a big sanctioning body like SCCA or NASA for autocross.  Once you start autocrossing, you’ll get hooked.