link - warning, the clip is almost eleven minutes long
The very best car chase scene ever is from Bullitt, the probably otherwise lackluster crime drama starring Steve McQueen (Ronin, The French Connection, Smokey and the Bandit, Vanishing Point, Gone in 60 Seconds - all great but not as good). McQueen was reportedly "difficult," because he wanted to control his characters in specific ways. So what. He was cool in an era with so many other cool actors (who could also drive quite well) - Paul Newman, James Dean and James Garner come to mind. He was into realizing his "vision," and brooked no impediments.
At any rate, what brought this on was discovering another blog - The Selvidge Yard. There is an excellent article there about the cars, drivers and other minutiae involved in the famous car chase scenes. Apparently the 'Stangs used for the movie had to be extensively modified to take the abuse, as did the Chargers, but in the end:
“The Charger ran rings around the Mustang. We trimmed the tires down (on the Charger), we practically made them down to bicycle tires to try and handicap Hickman, and Bill just run them.”Sorry, Ford fans.
Plus, there is an excellent post about Steve McQueen, too. Great read. Actually, the whole site is a fascinating time sucker - it's what I've been doing instead of other, probably far more important things. Oh well.