Unbeaten after all these years.

Unbeaten after all these years.
We all like racing and tracks.
But there’s something about
street racing that appeals to our
childish side. We don’t do it, but it
doesn’t mean we’re not fascinated by
the idea. Sprinting through traffic,
avoiding moving obstacles, racing to
the lights, watching for gaps, it’s all
socially unacceptable, yet utterly
exhilarating. So let’s leave that to
movies, where we live
impossible lives.
For the discerning petrolhead, none
does it better than Bullit or Ronin. 
It’s all about true driving skills,
and realistic movement of the cars. 
Sure, the muscle cars wouldn’t survive
such jumps, nor the Peugeot 406 would
go over sidewalks and keep speeding
as if nothing could bother it.
But the magic is that most stunts
on both films were no product of CGI,
and aren’t sped up. 
Driving a BMW 535i at a real
100 mph through oncoming traffic
(in fact, a geek may spot an actual M5
in some frames by some details)?
The car chase 
scene in the movie Ronin
(1995) was shot in 4 hours on a Sunday
evening and required 100 stunt drivers
to drive the incoming cars. Quite some
skill and training was needed to make
that happen.
DeNiro, initially refused riding in
the 406 (faking the driving) while stunt
coordinator Jean-Claude Lagniez
drove the car from the passenger side
while going against the traffic.
He was only convinced after both
Frankheneimer and his wife did
a run themselves.

For the cool factor, there’s no doubt
a Peugeot 406 can’t rival a Dodge
Charger, with those sinister looks which
match with the “bad guys” role so well.
But when you put the sexy Mustang
against the agile and arguably gorgeous
BMW E34, things may level up for
Ronin. Yes, the coupé shape can’t be
beaten for style, and the V8 rumble is
cool enough, but doesn’t that spine
tingling straight-six owl still give you
goosebumps after all these years? 
Who but McQueen would think of
getting two muscle cars on a precise
full-send in a real city ambiance? In the
60’s, when safety measures boiled
down to locking the door (you can
actually see him doing it in the making
of) before doing jumps  that would
make Rovanperä blush. 
In Bullit, McQueen did his own
driving, as one would expect of a true
petrolhead. That includes the contact
moments with the Dodge and the
mother of all one-wheel-peels when
he reverses and then launches at
an intersection.