NO MOTORING WEBSITE would be complete without a ‘greatest car chases’ list. So, with that in mind, here’s our top 10.
10. Quantum of Solace
The car chase was the opening scene in Quantum of Solace and was also probably the best thing in the whole film. It’s a good chase; mountain roads, Bond in an Aston, baddies in black Alfa 159s, lots of engine noise and plenty of oversteer. What’s not to like? Well you could argue that there are too many guns, and none of the cars involved finish unscathed.
9. The Bourne Ultimatum
Another action-packed “smash ’em up” car chase which sees Jason Bourne in a police car and an assassin in a VW Toureg go toe-to-toe in New York. It’s exciting, thrilling and there’s some great driving and clever manoeuvres from Bourne and an almighty accident at the end. There’ll be more from Bourne later.
8. Tomorrow Never Dies
The second and final appearance for James Bond on this list. At the time, controlling a car with a touch-pad mobile phone seemed crazy, but in the age of the iPhone it now seems entirely plausible. There’s also something heroic about a gadget-laden BMW 7-Series tearing around a multi-story car park, blowing up bad guys.
7. The Bourne Supremacy
Another unlikely hero car courtesy of Jason Bourne, a Russian Lada taxi. Once again Bourne finds himself up against a baddie in a 4×4, this time a Mercedes G-Wagen. It’s another brutal chase as the pair tear chunks out of each others cars, Bourne using his car very cleverly at times and again, there’s a big ending.
6. The French Connection
Car vs train. You may have more recently seen the Top Gear boys take on this challenge but it was the plot of a tense car chase in the 1971 film, The French Connection. It sees Doyle in a Pontiac Le Mans chase down a hitman on an elevated train in Brooklyn. There’s speed, close calls, somewhat less close calls and drama galore.
5. The Bourne Identity
The final appearance for Jason Bourne in this list, and it takes us back to the beginning. Still struggling to come to terms with who he thinks he is, he hires Marie to drive him to Paris. Once there he comes to the police’s attention and makes good his escape in Marie’s Mini. The chase is as thrilling as it is realistic and plausible; and that earns it big points.
Another favourite with real car fans thanks to its realism. Again, the setting is Paris, but this time it’s one-on-one as the ‘bad guys’ BMW 5-Series is chased down by the ‘good guys’ Peugeot 406. Turning ordinary cars into ‘hero’ cars is a big plus, as is the incredible driving. The only minus point is a slightly unnecessary fire. Other than that, top notch.
3. The Italian Job
The quintessential caper film, The Italian Job cemented the Mini’s place as an icon (if it wasn’t there already). Charlie Croker pulls off a massive gold heist in the centre of Turin and must escape through a monumental traffic jam of his own creation. The most inventive chase ever sees the gang use shopping centres, rooftops, sewers and much more. — The chase is split up into clips, so watch them in this order: 9, 2, 6 —
Widely considered the greatest but pipped to the post in this list. Bullitt has pretty much everything; tension, suspense, action, realism, the two greatest American muscle cars, an awesome soundtrack and of course, Steve McQueen. The only things letting it down are a dissappointing ending and that green Beetle. Still, second place is pretty good going.
1. Gone in 60 Seconds
No, not the one with Nicolas Cage. The 1974 original. So why is it the number one? One word: length. It combines many of the great things about the other chases in this list; crashes, stunts, action, thrills, high-speed, a sense of humour, but adds an incredible length of around 40 minutes. How could it not win? Look out for the epic jump too.
— Again this chase is uploaded in parts, but they’re labelled 1, 2, 3 etc. —