As Darren so eloquently described the other week, 200mph is unarguably “the worst car move of all time”. Judging by the oh-so-shit visual effects, it looks as though zero cars were irreparably destroyed or damaged during filming, however. And as we know, destruction on a grand scale sells. With that in mind, here are the 9 movies for which the greatest number of cars were sacrificed. Because you know, it’s fun destroying stuff.
80 cars destroyed.
Director John Frankenheimer, himself a former amateur racing driver, enlisted the help of former Formula One driver Jean-Pierre Jarier and an additional 300 stunt drivers to film Ronin’s pivotal car chase through the streets of Paris. The result was an epic eight-minute sequence that deserves its spot in the car chase hall of fame.
“More than” 80 cars destroyed.
Riddled with continuity errors though it may be – the bad guy’s Charger loses five wheel caps over the course of the chase – Bullitt’s car chase is widely considered to be among the very best ever produced. The iconic Mustang reached speeds of over 100mph during filming, sometimes even with Steve McQueen himself behind the wheel.
7. Gone In 60 Seconds (1974)
93 cars destroyed.
With a tiny $150,000 budget, the original Gone In 60 Seconds has since grossed more than $40million worldwide. H.B Halicki produced, starred in and directed the film, and it was he who drove “Eleanor” (the ’73 Mustang) throughout the chase scene. Many of the bystanders were members of the public, and some of the crashes were completely unscripted. When Halicki clipped a car at 100mph (10:50 in the above video) he ended up in hospital after colliding with a lamp post. The shot was left in the film.
6. & 5. The Blues Brothers
103 cars destroyed in the 1980 film, 104 cars destroyed in Blues Brothers 2000.
Blues Brothers held the record for the most cars smashed until its own sequel deliberately destroyed just one more. For the 1980 film’s main chase, 60 police cars were bought for $400 a piece, and outfitted with reinforced chassis. Most of the cars were unsalvageable by the time filming was over.
112 cars destroyed.
An awful film by all accounts, yet G.I.Joe once held the record for the most cars destroyed making a movie, beating Blues Brothers 2000 by eight cars. Maybe blowing stuff up isn’t as exciting as we once thought…
3. A Good Day To Die Hard
132 cars destroyed.
If ever there was a movie that didn’t need a sequel, let alone four, it was Die Hard. Alas, 25 years after John McClane first entered the Nakatomi Plaza, we find ourselves talking about the fifth, and worst, Die Hard movie to date. Man, does he have some bad luck. 132 vehicles were destroyed in the making of this film, and a further 518 were badly damaged. The bill? £7.2m.
2. Fast And Furious
260 cars destroyed in Fast Five.
All told, more than 900 cars have been destroyed since the very first Fast and Furious film, The Fast and The Furious. Over 554 minutes of film, that’s one car destroyed every 37 seconds. 260 of those cars were destroyed in the latest film, Fast Five. We already know that 400 cars were used in the making of Fast and Furious 6, but just how many survived remains a mystery. Rumour has it, over 100 cars met a sticky end in just one sequence.
1. Transformers 3
532 cars destroyed in Transformers 3.
Technically, every one of the 532 cars “destroyed” in the making of Transformers 3 was already fit for the scrapheap. The cars had been donated to director Michael Bay because they were flood damaged, and therefore needed to be scrapped by law anyway.
Update: A couple of eagle-eyed Redditors have brought an additional two films to our attention. We must’ve missed them while we were watching that clip from Ronin for the eighth time… Anywho, the men and women behind Matrix Reloaded managed to write-off a massive 300 cars loaned to them by General Motors. Some say this is why the carmaker went bankrupt…
The Junkman is the crashiest film you’ve never heard of. We hadn’t, until about 10 minutes ago. Keen to eclipse the record he set with Gone in 60 Seconds, H.B Halicki reportedly killed more than 150 vehicles making Junkman.
The addition of these two films to our list ups the total number of cars destroyed to 1,946!