Motoring Bagafilmstarcar BY HENRY BIGGS A step ahead: the Mini car chase along the narrow streets, stairs and sewers of Turin in The Italian Job (1969) is still the best T HIS summer The Italian Job celebrates its 40th anniver- sary, raising two big ques- tions: how did they get the gold out, and is its car chase through the narrow streets of Turin the greatest ever filmed? The car chase as a movie staple goes back all the way to the Keystone Kops antics a century ago. There were no special effects or professional stunt drivers in the silent days. The Italian Job by contrast used the services of French stunt co-ordinator extraordinaire Remy Julienne, prob- ably the greatest trick driver of all time. It also proved the cars used bear no relation to the quality of the action. Having Ferraris couldnt have made it any more exciting. In fact the cheeky Minis add a great deal of charm. You can pick up your very own clas- sic Mini, starting from just a couple of thousand pounds. Youll find a good choice at carandclassic.co.uk. The Italian Jobs car chase is our favourite, thanks to its patriotic use of British Minis, the rooftops, the stairs, the sewers; plus the number of badly quoted one-liners the film spawned, its very literal cliffhanger ending... and the fact that it is celebrating its birthday. As for the other contenders, we wont rank them except in order of age. You can make the case for your favourite down the pub. And if you fancy living out your favourite movie moment, we tell you where you can pick up a model of your own. Bullitt (1968) Cars: Ford Mustang GT, Dodge Charger R/T Stars: Steve McQueen, Bill Hickman Director: Peter Yates. STEVE McQUEEN in a Mustang, two hitmen in a sinister black Dodge Charger, the steep streets of San Francisco and Lalo Schifrin; is there any better recipe for a car chase? Petrolhead McQueen, playing cop Frank Bullitt, was in his element and did as much of the driving as he was allowed. Often cited as the best chase sequence ever, it contains too many continuity errors for us -- the cars lose more hubcaps than they have wheels, the same green VW Beetle gets overtaken several times and the Charger is visible after it is supposed to have exploded. For sale: Ford Mustang GT (1967) -- 59,000 at classiccarsforsale.co. uk. Dodge Charger R/T (1968) -- 50,500 at classicarsforsale.co.uk Vanishing Point(1971) Cars: Dodge Challenger R/T Stars: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little Director: Richard Sarafian. A SEMINAL slice of counterculture, Vanishing Point stars Australian actor Barry Newman as Kowalski, a former racing driver and ex-cop, now down on his luck and working as a delivery driver. Taking charge of a Dodge Challenger R/T he accepts a bet to drive the 1,300 miles from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours. After he accidentally runs a motorbike cop off the road, his former colleagues are soon in hot pursuit. Along the way Kowalski is helped out by blind DJ Super Soul, races a hippy in an E-Type, meets a desert prospector, a cult leader and a naked girl on a motorbike. Primal Scream liked the film so much they wrote an album about it. For sale: Dodge Challenger R/T (1970) -- 216,049 at classiccars- forsale.co.uk (Canadian seller) Two-LaneBlacktop(1971) Cars: Chevrolet 150 Hot Rod, Pontiac GTO Stars: Dennis Wilson, James Taylor, Warren Oates Director: Monte Hellman. THIS little- known film pretty much defines the term cult classic. Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and singer James Taylor play a couple of hot-rodders, known only as Driver and Mechanic, crossing the country in a heavily modified 1955 Chevrolet 150, racing other drivers for cash. Along the way they meet a fellow racer, played by Warren Oates, in a Pontiac GTO, one of the most powerful muscle cars ever made, who challenges them to a cross-country race to Washington DC. With little dialogue, the cars and action speak for themselves. American racer Brock Yates says it inspired him to create the real-life Cannonball Run. For sale: Pontiac GTO (1967) -- 18,457 at classiccarsforsale.co.uk (US seller) The Man With The GoldenGun(1974) Cars: AMC Matador, AMC Hornet Stars: Roger Moore, Christopher Lee Director: Guy Hamilton. THE list wouldnt be complete without a Bond film. We chose this one for the stunt everyone believes is faked. When dastardly three-nippled assassin Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) kidnaps 007s current squeeze, Goodnight, Roger Moores Bond steals an AMC Hornet and sets off in pursuit. Despite Bonds corkscrewing leap over a river -- the stunt was done for real -- the villain cheats to escape: Scaramangas AMC Matador turns into a plane and he takes to the air. For sale: AMC Hornet (1974) -- 6,500 at carandclassic.co.uk (US seller) 33,000 miles SmokeyAnd The Bandit (1977) Cars: Pontiac Trans-Am Stars: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed Director: Hal Needham. THERE arent many men who, when presented with a walkie-talkie, havent uttered the words: Breaker-breaker 10-4, this is the Bandit. Accepting a bet to run a load of bootleg beer from Texas to Georgia, Burt Reynolds as the Bandit ropes in his buddy the Snowman and his Kenilworth truck. Running through interference for the big-rig, he also picks up runaway bride Sally Field in his souped-up black Trans-Am. And was there ever a cop with a better name than Buford T. Justice? For sale: Pontiac Trans-Am (1978) -- 14,000 at carandclassic.co.uk Ronin(1998) Cars: BMW 5-Series, Peugeot 406 Stars: Jean Reno, Robert De Niro, Natascha McElhone Director: John Frankenheimer. PROOF again that action makes the chase, not the cars. Using a BMW 5 Series and a Peugeot 406, director John Frankenheimer shot sequences that have you flinching as the cars tear through Parisian tunnels against oncoming traffic. Check out the fear on the faces of actors Robert De Niro and Jean Reno -- they were sitting in front of dummy steering wheels while the stunt guys did the driving from the back seats. For sale: BMW 5 Series (1999) -- 6,950 at carmony.co.uk (76,434 miles). Peugeot 406 (1998) -- 1,195 at exchange andmart.co.uk (144,000 miles) own.yourof Bullitt (1968) Cars: Mustang GT, Dodge Charger R/T Stars: Steve McQueen, Bill Hickman gets overtaken several times and the tobetaacceptsheR/TChallenger toDenverfrommiles1,300thedrive heAfterhours.15inFranciscoSan offcopmotorbikearunsaccidentally arecolleaguesformerhisroad,the arecolleaguesformerhisroad,the hotinsoon pursuit. JamessingerandWilsonDennisBoy hot-rodders,ofcoupleaplayTaylor Mechanic,andDriverasonlyknown heavilyaincountrythecrossing racing150,Chevrolet1955edmodifi waytheAlongcash.fordriversother byplayedracer,fellowameetthey arecolleaguesformerhisroad,the hotinsoon pursuit. Pontiac GTO Stars: Wilson, James Taylor, Warren Oates Director: Monte Hellman. T lmfiknown muchpretty TheWithManThe Lee) kidnaps 007s current squeeze, Goodnight, andHornet seller) 33,000 miles AndSmokey BanditThe (1977) Cars: Trans-Am Stars: Reynolds, Sally Field, (1998)Ronin Frankenheimer. aruntobet asReynoldsBurt 1,195 at exchange andmart.co.uk (144,000 miles) London Lite Friday, 7 August 2009 31 Driveaclassic fromcinemas greatchases index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html