Visiting Favorite Car Movie Scenes
Being based in Southern California, we couldn't pass through Driving Line's Movie Week without trying to locate some of the places we've seen in our favorite car movies.
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
Unlike the 2000 version, the original Gone in 60 Seconds was written, directed, starred in, and produced by H.B. Halicki - a man who owned a junkyard business among other things. Based largely in Long Beach, we dropped in to a few of the scenes... It all begins when the crew seeks to pull of a 48-car heist in just as many hours. With an epic line-up of cars including Big Oly and a Manta, it's "Eleanor", a 1973 Mustang (however, it was actually a '71) which proves the hardest catch. She was stolen in the parking garage of International Tower Apartments (700 E. Ocean Blvd @ Shoreline). The building is still the same, however the parking area has been moved from the front to the side... with grass covering where the original shot would have been. Approximately 4 minutes into the chase scene, Eleanor is seemingly boxed in at a park full of people. The movie noted it was Lincoln Park, which stood, and still stands, at the corner of Pacific and Broadway - albeit a little bit shrunken from it's original size. If the chase scene stopped there it still would have been good, but Eleanor escapes and the epic chase continues on for another 36 minutes! Tons of other scenes, many of which were filmed on Sundays without permits, from the Vincent Thomas Bridge to a cameo by Parnelli Jones at his offices, are all in the nearby areas. We love that this sort of do-it-yourself movie making produced such a cult classic. Even bigger props to H.B. Halicki, who did his own stunts driving Eleanor. Although there were two "Eleanors" it was mostly just a single Mustang that survived the entire filming, including the epic 128-foot jump at the end.
Back to the Future (1985)
Though you might largely think of Hill Valley when it comes to any of the BTTF movies, a great portion of the scenes were either filmed on Universal's backlot or various parts of Southern California. The Burger King at the beginning of the film is easily found in Burbank off Victory Blvd, Twin Pines/Lone Pine Mall is actually Puente Hills Mall and Doc Brown's 1955 house is the Gamble House in Pasadena, right up above the Rose Bowl off Orange Grove and 210 freeway. Another random tidbit of info: Hill Valley High School is actually Whittier High School. While we could have driven around like car movie fanboys and girls for at least an entire week, snapping pics from various car movie scenes (this is LA after all!)... we'll leave that to you guys!