In Case You Missed It

September 23, 2010

In Case You Missed It

A shortlist of great documentaries and classic automotive movies you have probably never heard of.

Every historic vehicle enthusiast knows that special feeling that comes with finding something special that the rest of the world as overlooked. Great movies are like that, too. You have to do a little virtual digging at places like Amazon, Movies Unlimited, and Netflix. But if great automotive documentaries are your thing, start with these films the next time you're looking to add to your DVD library or simply update your Netflix queue.

Horatio's Drive(2003)
A Ken Burns/PBS documentary celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first transcontinental road trip, one undertaken for the flimsiest of reasons: a $50 wager. In 1903, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson started up his Winton in San Francisco; sixty-three days later, he arrived in New York City. Burns captures Jackson's pioneering spirit using photos, letters and footage from a road trip he and his crew take to retrace Jackson's journey

America's Classics: Custom Car Show (2006)
"A behind-the-scenes look at America's mesmerizing custom car scene exploring the mystique of the classic automobile. Meet the owners, builders and admirers of some of the world's most intriguing customized vehicles at the nation's premier indoor car expo, spotlighting rare gems like the "Blue Ice" 1939 Chevy and the "Panic Parrot" 1950 Studebaker."

Great Cars: American Classics:Chrysler, Avanti, Kaiser (2009)
Put yourself in the driver's seat on a journey into classic automotive history with this documentary that traces the trials and triumphs of the remarkable brands of Chrysler, Avanti and Kaiser. Car fanatics will learn stories about a 1956 Chrysler making it to the summit of Pikes Peak, Studebaker's last gasp and medical maven Henry Kaiser's valiant attempt at taking on the Big Three automakers.

Automotive Museums: Classic Dreams (2004)
They are classic dreams -- beautiful cars of bygone eras. Tour two amazing automobile collections at California's Nethercutt Museum and Automobile Driving Museum, with meticulously restored vehicles from as early as the 1880s. At the Nethercutt you'll see a treasured 1933 "Twenty Grand" Duesenberg, a 1905 Buick and more. Then, check out the Driving Museum's 1930s Stuz, Brewster Plymouth and other classic vehicles.

Hog Heaven: The Story of the Harley-Davidson Empire (1998)
Before Harley-Davidson was a multimillion-dollar corporation, it was just a modest shack in Detroit. Follow its trail of success as this documentary takes a wistful look at the growth of an American icon through archival footage, photos and interviews with motorcycle historians and Harley-enthusiast celebrities such as Jay Leno and Peter Fonda.

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