Iconic Films: 8 Classic Muscle Car Movies

The question: Whatís your favorite muscle car movie? The answer: Probably tough to pick†just one. With so many iconic films to choose from, weíve boiled the list down to some of our favorites.

muscle car movies
Photo source: Smokey and the Bandit, 1977

Take a drive down memory lane while checking out these movies, arranged in order of when they premiered.

  • Bullitt (1968)

    A crime drama that focuses on a witness protection-ish scheme gone awry, Bullitt stars Steve McQueen as Lt. Frank Bullitt ñ an officer who spends the movie investigating a man who is assassinated while under his protective custody. He drives a 1968 Ford Mustang GT, and the assassins drive a 1968 Dodge Charger 500.

    Bullittís main event is an epic car chase, which still remains one of the most exciting in film history. The movie itself has always been closely connected with the Mustang, so much so that Ford made a special Bullitt-edition Mustang in 2001.

  • Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

    This cult classic stars singer James Taylor, Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates, and Laurie Bird. The premise: Taylor and Wilsonís characters go city to city and challenge locals to drag races to make a living, driving along Route 66 in a 1955 Chevrolet 150. Eventually, they meet the boastful owner of a 1970 Pontiac GTO and challenge him to a drag race across the country to DC.

    A í55 Chevy used in this film was later driven by Harrison Ford in American Graffiti. This movie was James Taylorís first and only starring role in a film, and as of 2007 he hadnít ever watched it.

  • Vanishing Point (1971)

    A car delivery driver bets that he can make his current delivery ñ a 1970†Dodge Challenger†R/T 440 Magnum ñ from Denver to San Francisco by 3 p.m. The problem? Heíd basically be starting the trip in the†early morning of that very same day on a drive that should traditionally take almost an entire day. The driver spends the movie evading police, using his experience as a car and motorcycle racer, and along the way gains support from onlookers for his cause.

    The same guy who prepared and maintained the cars for this movie also worked on Bullitt.

  • American Graffiti (1973)

    Weíve written about the cars of American Graffiti before ñ click here to read the article ñ and itís undeniable how iconic this film is.

  • Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

    The black Pontiac Trans Am in this classic is nearly as famous as the movieís stars ñ Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. After agreeing to transport 400 cases of Coors beer from Texas to Georgia in a little over a day (thatísÖ fast), this entire movie turns into a giant high-speed chase after the Bandit picks up Frog (Sally Field) and catches the attention of a local sheriff. In reality, the policeís infatuation with the Bandit lets the Snowman drive his Coors cargo to Georgia without much†attention from the law.

    One bridge and one Trans Am were demolished in this movieís stunts.

  • Mad Max (1979) † † † † ††

    Despite the oil shortage happening in the dystopic world of Mad Max, everyone in the movie manages to drive their 1973 and 1974 Ford Falcons without much concern for gas conservation. Car chases between Max and the motorcycle gang, which is wreaking havoc on the town and Maxís family, make this movie a favorite.

  • The Hollywood Knights (1980)

    When the Hollywood Knightsís favorite hangout is in danger of being demolished, these car-loving pranksters fight backÖ with ridiculous antics. Wanting to make the most of their last day at the drive-in, this crew goes on a spree of outrageousness to show the local Beverly Hills snobs whoís boss. Filled with R-rated comedy and vintage hot rods, this one is a must-see if you love cars and a bit of vulgar humor.

  • Dazed and Confused (1993)

    Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, this iconic movie follows a group of teenagers on their last day of high school in 1976. And the setting means we see Pontiac GTOs, Plymouth Dusters, í55 Chevys, 1975 GMC pickup trucks, 1975 El Caminos, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelles, 1974 Pontiac Trans AmsÖ. the list goes on and on. Amid†the beauties with four wheels on the screen, the movie itself tackles tons of high school antics, too. †

These arenít the only cars that feature muscle cars ñ there are TONS of movies that do ñ but these nine films are favorites for seeing lots of classics, car chases, or both.†

Best Cars Of The Week!: Click “Next Page” below!