Welcome to my top ten list of shows on Netflix that you can watch right now, designed to excite the car enthusiast in you. Yes, some of them are movies, and some of them are documentaries, BUT they all have one thing in common, the motor car. Whether it's the star of the show, or just features prominently - it's in here.
Small disclaimer, it's in the title - this list is limited to what's on Netflix South Africa right now so If you're looking for the Top Gears and Fast and Furiouses of this world you're out of luck. That means no Ronin, Gone in 60 Seconds or Bullitt either. Let's jump into it.
Enter the Wheelman, first on our list and a bit of a hidden gem. It stars getaway driver Frank Grillo at the helm of a four-door E46 BMW. It's not even an M3. You'd expect a classic muscle car in a flick like this, but Frank manages to make the compact Bavarian saloon look cool as all hell. I don't want to give any plot away here, so all I'll say is, enjoy the chases.
2 Formula One: Drive to Survive
I'm calling it the only Formula One docu-series you need to watch thanks to a compelling enough storyline to get aficionados and newcomers alike absolutely enthralled. Production values are high, and the content is top shelf. Enjoy.
3 Initial D
I am a massive, massive fan of the Initial D anime series (so is Wheels24 editor Janine Van der Post), and this live-action retelling is well, just okay. So why's it on my list? Because it is still a helluva great experience seeing my favourite JDM whips, from Hachi Rokus to R32 Skyline GTRs, Mazda RX-7s, plural, and Civic Type Rs. I'm sold. It's also a really easy way to learn your Fujiwaras from your Takahashis. Oh, and in case you needed reminding, subs not dubs!
4 Baby Driver
From the director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the World's End. And Scott Pilgrim. Comes an old school heist flick with a talented driver at the wheel of an assortment of cars, most notably a red Subaru WRX sedan. The difference is the driver is a kid with a hearing condition. Also worth mentioning, almost the entire movie has been set to the beat of the soundtrack, impressive.
5 Italian Job
No, not the original Michael Caine movie, instead the remake with Marky Mark and Charlize Theron. It's not particularly smart, but it's a heist movie, features a bunch of modified Mini Coopers, explosions, oh and Jason Statham. So it's the closest thing to a Fast and Furious film here.
This is the definitive if ill-fated story of Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest and most iconic Formula One racing drivers of all time. It follows his illustrious career right up until the moment he passed. It's been brilliantly cobbled together from interviews, old footage, and unaired content, pieced into the most riveting and emotional narrative you could hope for.
Image:Photo by JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU / AFP
7 we have Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Look, I love cars, I love coffee, and I love to laugh. This show has all of that. I'm not even a big Jerry Seinfeld fan, but the exotic metal and the hilarious cast of guests keep me watching. It's like going for a drive with your friends. Only they're really funny. You can almost smell the cappuccino.
8 It's 6 Underground
In the absence of Ronin - I give you this, a flashy Ryan Reynolds vehicle featuring heists, double-crosses, massive explosions and an array of wicked machinery such as a Ferrari 488 to feast your eyes on. Even more famously, a green Alfa Giulia which stars in an extended car chase scene. It's a Michael Bay movie - thankfully reminiscent of his Bad Boys era, and not the retina-searing Transformer movies.
9 Smokey and the Bandit
Burt Reynolds. Pontiac Firebird Transam. Name a more iconic duo. I'll wait! But seriously, living in that wonderful space between Cannonball Run and The Dukes of Hazzard lives the Bandit and his run-in with the law. This is one of Burt Reynolds best movies and is still great entertainment some 43 years later. What do you mean who is Burt Reynolds? Its Ryan Reynolds' dad. Nah, I'm kidding.
10 Ferris Bueller
Oh yeah. This is the ultimate John Hughes movie, and I'm glad he had the good sense to put a car at its centre. The story is meant to revolve around a mischievous teenager and his friends as they bunk school, but the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder stole the show. We won't go into detail about how that ends. And if you haven't seen this classic yet, what are you waiting for? It's basically the inspiration for Deadpool.
That's it, the end of my list of movies or shows that feature cars as prominent characters. How did I do? Think you could make a better list - drop us an email here. But first, I have three honourable mentions: Apex, the story of the Supercar, A Life of Speed - the story of Juan Fangio, hailed as the greatest F1 driver of all time, and lastly there's Cobra starring Sylvester Stallone. I dare you to watch that one.