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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

These 8 car movies from 1971 brought hot rubber to silver screen | Hagerty Media

With the era's racing films and road movies, James Bond and , the 1960s gave us the genesis of the modern action film, but the decade that followed defined and refined it. Stunts and stunt driving were more impressive than ever, and there was a boom in road movies and car chases.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/these-8-car-movies-from-1971-brought-hot-rubber-to-silve...
94 REPLIES 94
OldRoad
Instructor

Saw Le Mans at age 10 and fell in love with it's star, Porsche 917K. The race car the GT 40 had nothing for in competing with.
Dave404
Detailer

You missed the best one of all. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. Great story, great actors and acting, awesome cars. '66 Impala, '69 Charger ( One is a '68 if you look closely), Dodge police cars with 440s. Best stunts ever, all real and unrehearsed. I don't understand why this movie is always overlooked.
Iso_Grifo
Advanced Driver

I agree about that film. However this is about movies from the year 1971 and that movie is from 1974.
Wile
Pit Crew

You are right about that
Dave404
Detailer

You're right! I didn't even think about the 1971 part.

Rider79
Instructor

And, a great helicopter chase!
Wile
Pit Crew

For sure
br427
Intermediate Driver

What's the top end in this? Unlimited!!!!!!!!!!
hunternicholas
Intermediate Driver

That was a good movie. I didn't see the ending coming. What a shocker!
MoPar-or-NoCar
New Driver

Out of the blue, this movie and some scenes just popped into my head the other day... weird. Haven't seen it in years.
ItsMint2Me
New Driver

A Man and a Woman (French: Un homme et une femme) is a 1966 French film written and directed by Claude Lelouch and starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Written by Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven , the film is about a young widow and widower who meet by chance at their children's boarding school and whose budding relationship is complicated by the memories of their deceased spouses. Why is this a car movie? The Jean-Louis character is a test driver for Ford of France! Monte Carlo Rally scenes from 1965 and every reason to buy a '65 Mustang Coupe in Wimbledon White! And the director, LeLouch, filmed Rendezvous, the Parisian street racing classic.
Zephyr
Instructor

My favorite scene: after seeing about 15 breath-taking, heart-stopping minutes of Jean-Louis test driving the film switches to a scene of the two stars driving in the rain, returning from the school where their children live. Jean-Louis asks "am I a bad driver?" and Anouk, who has no idea what he does for a living, says "no, just average." The film also has one of the greatest pieces of dialogue ever put on film. As she is leaving on a train Jean-Louis asks Anouk "Why did you tell me that your husband is dead?" and she replies "he is - but not yet for me." One of the greatest films ever made - be sure to see the French version with subtitles, not the poorly translated English version.
pfridays
Pit Crew

I was unknowingly in that movie having been at Le Mans for the race when they were filming. At the start of the race, immediately after you see Dan Gurney ready to sprint across the track, the camera pans to spectators. It pauses an instant on a goofy looking kid with his thumb on his chin and a cowboy hat (me ) and a girl next to him with binoculars (my sister). When I went to see the movie in 1967 ( I was back in the States by then) , being very surprised and shocked, I stood up in the middle of the movie theater and yelled " That's me !! ". You've never seen such an embarrassed 17 year old.
Padgett
Detailer

Wasn't the Chevvy in Two Lane Blacktop the same one in American Graffiti ?
Also re Vanishing Point: Most releases were cut but the DVD with two helicopters on the cover has the Charlotte Rampling scene & wasn't.
Don't get me started on car movies such as Toby Haliki's cavalier attitude toward copyrights.
MrMINI
Intermediate Driver

Yes it was. In the final part of American Graffiti, 3 '55 Chevys were used. Lots of good info out there about the Two Lane Blacktop '55.
br427
Intermediate Driver

There were several 55s used in the 2 movies. Built by Richard Ruth, 454 4 speeds and capable of 10 second quarters. That would make for a very fast street car for that time in history.
Tcoradeschi
Intermediate Driver

Probably quick cars for sure, but almost certainly not running 10s back in the day. The power was possibly there, but traction, not so much. Look at what NHRA Stock classes were running in the early 70's. Heck, Pro Stock was barely in the 9's, Top Fuel was in the 6's. We've come a long way...
davy442
Pit Crew

Well, I own a 1965 Coronet super stock, with 426 cross ram race hemi, and they were running 11 seconds back in the 60's, running a minimum weight of 3400 lbs. . I also own the two lane blacktop car, and it's pretty light with fiberglass front end, doors, trunk lid, gutted interior, light weight front suspension, and although I have not weighed it, I'm thinking it's lighter than the '65 super stock. It is fast. I would think , set up right, it would be capable of 10 sec 1/4's back in '71, with slicks.
MickHannickle
Intermediate Driver

Saw a YouTube video of your Two-Lane Chevy recently Davy. Would love to see a more detailed and longer video showing the engine, interior, and chassis, and of course a driving video! I ran some numbers through a quarter mile calculator, with estimates of power and weight of 550 HP and 3200 lb respectively. The result was a high ten-second 1/4, which could happen with a sticky track and slicks, as you point out.
davy442
Pit Crew

Hello Mick.  Hopefully by this summer, I'll get a longer , more detailed video of all aspects of the car, it's history, description, etc.  I think the '65 Coronet SS's were running in the ? 11.20's ?  On the street, the '55 Chevy just breaks the tires loose so easily, as there is no weight in the back.  The car is deceiving, it looks heavy, but it isn't.  When I first saw American Graffiti, I thought it was funny that that smaller Milner coupe was beaten by the '55.  Now that I own the '55, or sister car to the AG '55 Chevy, I understand why.  The Milner coupe was specifically built for the AG movie, more as a show car than an actual drag car.  The Two Lane Blacktop ( and AG )  '55 Chevy's were built as true drag cars.  They are mean !!

MickHannickle
Intermediate Driver

That'd be great Davy! Appreciate your reply, and agree with your AG comment about the '32 Ford. Seemed weird when Falfa left the '32 in the dust. I just found this clip from CNBC's Jay Leno's Garage from 2018: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/05/21/movie-cars.html.
Watch it starting at 28:00 - he reintroduces the '55 to James Taylor, and James takes it for a drive! In the video Leno says the engine is stroked to 496 cubic inches and makes 600 HP.

 

Edit: The link to the clip is for other readers to follow, as I believe you've been the car owner since 2015 Davy, and obviously would have been part of the Leno-Taylor meeting. 

knucklebusted
Intermediate Driver

I've seen most of these but need to track down "The Last Run" to complete the list.
Padgett
Detailer

Make sure you get the right one, were a few other versions.

 

Hardest one for me to find was "A Man and a Woman" on DVD.

bookish
Pit Crew

Perhaps it's no coincidence that '71 was peak car, too (before today's magnificent revival).

'72 started net horsepower ratings, which foreshadowed '73's nonsensical bumper regulations and the contradictory emissions and fuel-economy mandates that plunged the world into the malaise era.
bookish
Pit Crew

Kowalski...
MoparMan
Advanced Driver

I remember being mesmerized by "Duel", thrilled by the wild chase in "The French Connection", and absorbed by "Vanishing Point!" I celebrated the Valiant's toughness displayed in egging the Peterbilt on to its destruction. I always wondered how the owner of the LeMans would get recompensed for their car being destroyed by "Popeye", and for years I argued (rightly) that a 67 Camaro was substituted for Kowlaski's Challenger ramming into the bulldozers! 🙂
OldRoad
Instructor

Don't forget about The 7 Ups' Pontiac Ventura's windshield collision into a tractor-trailer.
smtguy
Intermediate Driver

It wasn't quite the '70s, but Grand Prix in 1966 was and is one of the all time great car movies.
sclin10
Detailer

I LOVED 'Duel', a thriller that never got the recognition it deserved. (and Dennis Weaver the only star...other than the Valiant.)
Iso_Grifo
Advanced Driver

Never knew anything about The Last Run. I will track it down and watch it now!

My other comment is: Le Mans is a terrible film except for the opening 911s sequence and the racing footage. An edited version with just that it in it would be a great thing.
RagtopJunkie
Pit Crew

On the Beach, 1959, has amazing cars depicted in the race footage, much of which was taken from actual race archives. Many early 50's Porsches, Jaguars, Ferraris and others. Powerful film, too.

jsfury
Intermediate Driver

Don't forget the Seven Ups. That was a good movie too. Very good.
Bigtoyz
New Driver

My absolute favorite was The California Kid, just a few years later in 1974. Dont really remember the acting quality, but that car is the Godfather of all hot rods. I still have my copy.
br427
Intermediate Driver

Yes, that was a fantastic car movie. The acting wasn't so bad either with Martin Sheen, Nick Nolte and Vic Morrow. Another fantastic car movie, that's very often overlooked, is King of the Mountain about racing Mullholland Drive.
Dbc1dc
Pit Crew

Vanishing Point had a bit of influence in my life. My 70 Challenger I've had for 41 years now.
Tinkerah
Technician

I already know I'm an outlier here so go easy on me - but I thought Duel was silly when I saw it decades ago; even a Valiant should easily outmaneuver and outrun a tractor trailer. Now that I'm older and a rat rod aficionado I'm loving the truck in the stills. I'm sure I'll end up rooting for it if I see the movie again.
Kewina50
Intermediate Driver

Hi! I agree that the Valiant shoulda and probably coulda outrun and be more agile than a tractor trailer...but that's the point! the viewer is supposed to be kept wondering "how the hell does that Pete keep coming!?" Sort of like a grown adult trying to kick a pesky ankle-biter dog off your pants cuff! And to your point: the Ratty Big Rig was a rat rod before the term was coined! Cool and Nasty now, Cool and nasty then! Happy Motoring!
DT
Advanced Driver

Many Semi tractor's will run well over 100MPH. Take a trip across Nevada or Utah sometime if you don't believe me 🙂
67KaiserJ
New Driver

Not on hills and curves.
Stroker69
New Driver

Monte Hellman of Two Lane Blacktop lived in Laurel Canyon for many years. Above his kitchen table he had a huge original movie poster from Two Lane. He knew about the whereabouts of the 55 Chevy at the time but I asked him if he knew where the GTO is. He said no and as far as he knew no one does. He commented that he drove the GTO around LA for a few months and he didn't know where it went. He didn't say it belonged to the studio then but I think that's correct.
It is a great movie, Monte's best I think.
davy442
Pit Crew

i[m thinking the GTO's were on loan from pontiac.
Al
Intermediate Driver

I had Vanishing Point on VHS for years until my kids lost it. I refuse to watch the remake
MoPar-or-NoCar
New Driver

Hope you put them in time-out for that! 🙂
Merkin2021
Pit Crew

Yes, the remake of Vanishing Point is on the coveted list of “Ten Worst Remakes of All Time.”

Is everyone aware that Bruce Dern was considered, then turned down for the part of Kowalski in the original? He was especially incensed when he found out the role had gone to Barry Newman, who Dern considered to be a complete hack. Watching Newman’s stony-faced depiction of his character, I am coming around to Dern’s point of view.
Alwaysgreener
Pit Crew

And not a single one of the 10 available for viewing on Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime. Time to break open the wallet.
Wile
Pit Crew

Sad but true time for DVD’s
Mr917k
New Driver

So where did these Cars end up...obviously some were damaged...but now, one would think they are movie car museum candidates...



Jshoejoanne000
New Driver

Many cars used in movies have found a home at the Peterson Automotive Musem in Los Angeles. When they re-open after covid... it’s worth a visit. In the meantime check out their YouTube channel. Great tours online!
GT350Jack
New Driver

Please don't forget the "original" version of "Gone in 60 Seconds "!
It came out in 1974 and, IMHO, it was better than the remake.
And car chases, how about "Blues Brothers"?