Quarantine Watchlist: Best 80s Movies for Car Enthusiasts

If you’re a car enthusiast who feels stuck at home now that your governor has ordered residents to shelter in place, we totally understand. It would be great to leave the kids behind for a few hours of automotive bliss. But that doesn’t mean the kids can take care of themselves.

Or even that it’s smart to leave your house unnecessarily. After all, a virus doesn’t care how much of an enthusiast you are.

Instead, we recommend getting your automotive fix by watching some classic movies. More specifically, we recommend you watch ’80s movies that celebrate how awesome cars can really be. That way you get a little nostalgia to toss into the mix, as well.

The Cannonball Run (1981)

1978 Ferrari 308 GTS

The Cannonball Run is a zany action-comedy about a contestant in an illegal cross-country auto race. It was among the most successful movies in 1981 and featured an ensemble cast including Burt Reynolds and Farrah Fawcett. Parts of the movie are laugh out funny but it’s definitely politically incorrect at times. Above anything else, there are tons of classic cars highlighted in the film.

Coolest Cars Featured:

1978 Ferrari 308 GTS 

1963 Aston Martin D85

1980 GMC C-35

Christine  (1983)

Christine, the Plymouth Fury

Based on Stephen King’s novel, Christine is a horror film who’s critical success made it a cult classic. It centers around the main character Arnie, who becomes weirdly obsessed with his car named Christine. Christine herself comes to life as a vengeful, murderous automobile after a school bully vandalizes it.

Coolest Cars Featured:

1958 Plymouth Fury

1968 Dodge Charger

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

Repo Man (1984)

1964 Ford Falcon Futura

In Repo Man, Emilio Estevez plays Otto, a rebellious punk rocker who gets fired from his job at a grocery store and finds work as a repossession agent. Otto’s adventure truly begins when he embarks on a conquest to find a $20K Chevy Malibu with the help of his love interest played by Olivia Barash.

Coolest Cars Featured:

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon

1964 Ford Falcon Futura 

Back to the Future (1985)

The Back to the Future Trilogy is a pop culture phenomenon from its curated fashion, cars, and theme music. We are first introduced to Michael J. Fox as Marty Mcfly in the 1985 film. As a highschooler, Marty is disappointed by his parents’ behavior and is in need of a suitable role model. He finds solace in Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), who makes a time travel machine from a Delorean DMC-12.

With the machine, Marty accidentally travels back in time and meets his parents and strangely captures his mom’s attention romantically. There are over 50 different cars in this movie and rumor has it that the DeLorean DMC-12 will make a comeback in 2021.

Coolest Cars Featured:

1946 Ford Super De Luxe 

1983 Ford Ranger

1984 AMC Eagle

No Man’s Land (1987)

Charlie Sheen in the 1975 Porsche 911 Turbo

If you can’t get enough of classic Porsches and love car crime stories then No Man’s Land is another film to add to your list.  It explores the influences of money and power and stars a young Charlie Sheen. The film is especially known for its climatic Porsche car chase scene. 

Coolest Cars Featured:

1975 Porsche 911 Turbo

1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 

1983 Porsche 911 SC Cabrio

Tucker: The Man and His Dreams (1988)

Preston Tucker and the Tucker 48

Tucker: The Man and His Dreams tells the story of Preston Tucker and his creation of the Tucker 48 automobile in 1948. Preston is met with incredible challenges after competing against the Big Three automakers ( Ford, GM, and Chrysler) and for being accused of stock fraud.

Coolest Cars Featured:

1948 Tucker 48

1941 Lincoln Continental 

1942 Mercury Eight

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

1949 Hudson Commodore

Driving Miss Daisy is the captivating story of a Jewish widow (Jessica Tandy) and the unlikely close friendship she develops with her chauffeur, a Black American (Morgan Freeman). The car that the main characters ride in becomes central to the story. This film received numerous accolades including the  Academy Awards’ Best Picture. It’s a great feel-good movie about surpassing prejudice and preconceived notions. 

Coolest Cars Featured:

1949 Hudson Commodore 

1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special 

1947 Chrysler Royal