Many of our favorite car movies don’t feature American muscle cars. Some are racing flicks, like Grand Prix and Le Mans that take place in Europe. Others, like the moonshine classic Thunder Road with Robert Mitchem, predate the original muscle car era, which unofficially began in 1964 with the introduction of the Pontiac GTO. Even American Graffiti, arguably the best car movie ever made, is without American muscle since it takes place in 1962.
American muscle cars, like GTOs, SS Chevelles, and Dodge Chargers R/Ts, began showing up on the big screen in a big way in the late 1960s and they’ve been popular with Hollywood ever since. Maybe more so today than ever. When we decided to make this list of the best muscle car movies it was tough to narrow down our picks to the top 11, so we prioritized films that feature more than one notable car, and gave extra points for the use of authentic machines over clones. Did your favorite make the list? Let us know what belongs in a follow up.