This is a list and short review of some movies I think gearheads would like but they are not big budget movies so you might not have heard of them (except one). Let’s be honest, we’re not all always motivated to go to the garage, but watching some of these movies should spark your motivation. Check the links in the titles to watch the trailers on Youtube.
Yank Tanks – This is a documentary about cars in Cuba. In 1962 a United States embargo against Cuba was introduced, effectively cutting trade between the two countries. Approximately 60,000 American cars from the 1950’s and early 60’s are still being regularly used there.The guys who maintain these cars are mechanical geniuses! Building their own windshields. Rebuilding chrome, just generally keeping the cars running with nothing but what they can make with their own hands. The passion they have for their rides might make some of you think you’re not quite the gearhead you should be.
Boys of Bonneville – Is this the original Batmobile? I don’t think so, but it’s still incredible! This is a story of Ab Jenkin’s. A Mormon man obsessed with speed in the 1930’s. The car was powered by a V12 Duesenberg engine originally and later a Curtiss Conqueror V12 airplane engine making 750 HP. Ab went faster in the 1930’s than most of us have gone yet today (150+). What drives a man to that obsession? Find out by watching Boys of Bonneville.
American Graffiti – A car movie made in 1973 featuring Han Solo? Not quite but Harrison Ford is in the movie, pre Star Wars, and George Lucas, of Star Wars fame, did direct the movie. That enough should be reason to watch this classic cult car movie. Unfortunately I think a lot of current generation car enthusiasts have not been exposed to this gem of a movie! It’s a great story of teenagers spending their last night before heading off to college. There are also a lot of great cars that can only be described as Iconic. Check it out for the street racing scenes and the historical perspective of the Hot Rod culture.
Born 2 Race (Born to Race) – Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, sorry I mean Born 2 Race, is one of those rare low budget movies that, while it has a plot somewhat reminiscent of a major movie (teenage boy gets in trouble street racing and is sent to live with his dad and falls in love with the local “bad dude’s GF” (Tokyo Drift anyone?),(and it has a confusing title using the 2, it’s the first and only in it’s series) is still a good movie in it’s own right. The fact that the “bad guy” is another kid from across town makes the movie a bit more believable than a high schooler taking on a Yakuza. Also the technical jargon parts of the movie are basically accurate, which is always a plus for a movie. The cars the actors drive are also not over the top something you’ve likely never seen on the street, they are pretty believable street cars, but they are modified in a real and relatable way, something you’d build in your garage. Watch this movie.
Rush – This is a huge box office movie compared to the rest on the list, with a budget of $26 million, and even though it’s made $90 million, I still think it’s probably under appreciated. It’s the story of Nikki Lauda and James Hunt and their battle for the 1976 F1 racing championship. It’s a great movie even if you don’t love racing.
Let me know if you enjoyed these movies. Have you watched any other small time car movies lately that you enjoyed? Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook