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The best and worst vintage racing movies of the 20th century
Back when car enthusiasts' attention was focused on Ford v Ferrari, rather than a microscopic nasty made of lipids and RNA, I started to do a deep dive into racing movies. That investigation led me down a rabbit hole that tunneled back into the silent film era. With so many people holed up in their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this seems like a good time to present the results of my research. Here's a trove of the best, the worst, and the most innovative racing movies from the 20th century, plus some tidbits of history that I hope you'll find fascinating.
"The Great Race," while tongue-in-cheek family entertainment with a pie fight and a cheesy indoor studio set of the two rival's cars floating on styrofoam, er, "ice" chunks across the Bering Straight, I adored the film and all-star cast as a kid and still do. Loosely historic, too! Stars Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk, and Keenan Wynn.
WIKI: The 1908 New York to Paris Race was an automobile competition consisting of drivers attempting to travel from New York to Paris. This was a considerable challenge given the state of automobile technology and road infrastructure at the time. Only three of six contestants completed the course. The winner was George Schuester with the American team, driving a 1907 Thomas Flyer.