Car Movies, Racing Movies — 1950s Style!

Car Movies, Racing Movies — 1950s Style!


Each decade has its quintessential car culture movies. The 21st century brought the far reaching popularity of The Fast & The Furious movie franchise, reaching from 2001 to 2017. And even before that, James Bond was offering a series of love letters to performance cars around the globe, reaching 21 films by 1999, each with its own sexy cool speed machine to drool over. The 80s brought out the fun and fantastical specialty cars such as in Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and Batman. But just a few years prior, the 1970s saw the iconic American Graffiti redefine and illuminate a generation separate from the 1960s sugar sweet of Elvis' Spinout and family friendly The Love Bug or the on-the-track footage focus of The Lively Set, Grand Prix, and Red Line 7000.

But it was the 1950s that would first solidify the relationship between cars and movies, and the culture they shaped and was shaped by them, from teen culture to racing culture, dating culture, counter culture, and club/gang culture, all of which continue to find there way into car (and motorcycle) movies and television shows to this day.

And if the titles don't shed enough light, we've added links to the full movies available free on YouTube. 




Teen Age Thunder (1957)

Movies Poster WOS#92




Hot Rod Gang (1958)





Hot Rod Girl (1956)





Dragstrip Riot (1958)





Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959)





Hot Rod Rumble (1957)





Hot Car Girl (1958)



If you want to see more movie poster and lobby cards from the 1940s onward, check out our online catalog. And if you want to see more about racing in pop culture, check out our display at the Collins Gallery in the Multnomah Central Library in downtown Portland, September-October, 2018.