As the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting all of lives, we here at American Collectors Insurance are looking for ways to keep our spirits up and to give you some great ideas and classic car movies / videos to get your classic car fix during these times. Although the spring car shows, club meetings, and social events have been cancelled in response to the pandemic, we can still fuel our passion for classic cars safely from home.
Here are some cool, classic car-related activities you can either enjoy alone (or while brain-washing your kids into becoming the next generation of car collectors). Hopefully, these activities can sustain you until the car show season resumes!
Have we’ve missed a great idea? Contact us and we’ll add it to the list.
1. Watch Historical Car Car Movies / Videos (Biography)
Download, rent or buy from Apple TV or Amazon any of the classic car videos / movies from our recommended list of Hollywood biographies to brush up on your important car history facts with entertaining biographies based on true stories.
- Ford vs Ferrari (2019): American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
- Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988): In this classic car movie, Preston Tucker is a grandiose schemer with a new dream. He obtains funding and begins to build his factory to produce the best cars ever made.
- Rush (2013): In the golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s, the film tells the story of a sporting rivalry between English playboy James Hunt(Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Bruhl)
- World’s Fastest Indian (2005): Burt Munro spens years rebuilding a 1920 Indian motorcycle, which helped him set the land speed world record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967
- Le Mans (1971): Depicts the duel between the German Stahler in Ferrari 512LM and the American Delaney in Gulf Team Porsche 917 during the 70s on the world’s hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France.
- The Dale Earnhardt Story (2004): Barry Pepper portrays legendary race car driver Dale Earnhardt, who died in 2001 during the last lap of the Daytona 500.
2. Watch Classic Car Movies / Videos featuring unforgettable Classic Cars
This will undoubtedly be a controversial list, but here’s a curated list of what we feel are the Best Classic Car movies / videos from Hollywood. These movies were released over four decades; not only do they have great storylines, they also feature some truly unforgettable classic cars.
- Bullitt (1968): An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop (Steve McQueen) becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection in his 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback.
- Smokey and the Bandit (1977): The Bandit (Burt Reynolds) driving his classic 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is hired on to run a tractor trailer full of beer over state lines, in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff.
- Italian Job (1969): Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment driving their 4-cylinder, 75 hp Mini Coopers around the streets of Turin.
- Fast and Furious (2001): In this classic car movie, Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Conner must decide where his loyalty really lies when he becomes enamored with Dom’s 1970 Dodge Charger and the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.
- Gran Torino (2008): Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) sets out to reform his neighbor, Thao Lor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski’s prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.
- Cannonball Run (1981): A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, eccentric entrants (including Burt Reynolds driving a 1969 Porsche 911) will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.
- Gone in 60 Seconds (2000): A retired master car thief (Nicolas Cage driving “Eleanor” a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500) must come back to the industry and steal fifty cars with his crew in one night to save his brother’s life.
- American Graffiti (1973): High school grads in this classic car movie spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies in classic cars like a yellow ‘32 Ford Coupe, white ’58 Chevrolet Impala, black ’55 Chevy 2-door sedan, white ’56 Ford Thunderbird, and candy-apple red ’51 Mercury Coupe before they go off to college
3. Visit Virtual Car Museums across the globe
Although you may not be able to physically go out and attend a car show right now, thanks to Google maps, you can be digitally transported so you can visit incredible car collections and museums from around the globe with just a click of your mouse. Attached is a list of 16 of our favorite self-guided, virtual auto museums on Google maps that have unique, historical and collectible cars for you to pinch, zoom or simply gawk at.
Museums in the US
- National Corvette Museum (Bowling Green, Kentucky)
- Petersen Automotive Museum (Los Angeles, California)
- Panoz Race Car Museum (Hoschton, Georgia)
- Lane Motor Museum (Kentucky)
- BMW Zentrum (Spartanburg, South Carolina)
Museums in Europe
- Mercedes Benz Museum (Stuttgart, Germany)
- Porsche Museum (Stuttgart, Germany)
- Mclaren Technology Center (Woking, UK)
- Museo Lamborghini (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy)
- Museo Ferarri (Maranello, Italy)
- Museo Horacio Pagani (San Cesario sul Panaro, Italy)
- Volvo Museum (Gothenburg, Sweden)
- Skoda Museum (Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic)
Museums in Asia
- Honda Collection Hall (Motegi, Japan)
- Mazda Museum (Hiroshima, Japan)
- Toyota Automobile Museum (Nagakute, Japan)
4. Binge watch Classic Car Movies / Videos on YouTube and Motor Trend TV
- Petrolicious has an great YouTube channel that has quality, original videos for classic car enthusiasts which celebrates the inventions, personalities, and aesthetics that ignite our collective lust for great machines.
- MyClassicCarTV takes viewers on YouTube to local car shows, amazing collections, and prestigious automotive events.
- Motor Trend TV has created a video library of great car collector programming, including my personal favorites: Wheeler Dealers, Bitchin’ Rides, Overhaulin’, Fantom Works, Fast N’ Loud and Chasing Classic Cars. Best of all, the Motor Trend TV link currently has a free 14-day trial subscription offer, which should last through most of the currently published social distancing duration recommendations.
5. Start building a Classic or Collector Car Lego Set
Lego sets have certainly come a long way since I was a kid. Lego has some amazing kits that are designed spark the interest in a younger generation of car collectors. Hopefully, your kids will get interested as they help the old guys (i.e., us) to build these incredible collector car models.
- Fiat 500
- Dom’s Dodge Charger (Fast and the Furious)
- James Bond™ Aston Martin DB5
- Bugatti Chiron
- Land Rover Defender
- Volkswagen T1 Camper Van
- Ford Mustang
- Porsche 911 RSR
6. Build a Wooden Car Model (advanced model build)
UGears has an amazing inventory of laser-cut wooden car models that are fully operational, including 3 classic cars and one motorcycle. The UGears Dream Cabriolet model (pictured below) is not for the faint of heart however, comprised of 739 tiny parts, and is estimated to take about 13 hours to assemble. See their classic car videos about what a completed model looks like.
7. Color on with your kids
You’re not the only one that has been cooped up, your family has too. Some companies have created resources for car enthusiasts to share your passion with your family to keep your children entertained and stimulated during this extended period of self-quarantine.
- Callum: Ian Callum, founder of the design firm Callum after leaving JLR, has released some coloring pages for the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 that you download >> CLICK HERE <<. Feel free to color them and post on social media using the hashtag #colourwithcallum to be eligible to win prizes.
- finaltenth.com: Talented illustrator Dan Coverdale has released some of his drawings as a complementary coloring book to help fuel kids’ imaginations. >> CLICK HERE << to download a PDF of 11 designs.
- MotorSport Vision: MSV has created an activity pack featuring a quiz, word search, coloring book, dot-to-dot and other activities to help entertain budding, motorsport fans. Although these were created with children in mind, it’ll be our little secret if you enjoy them, too…