Car movie of the day: ‘Easy Rider’

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Editor’s note: Car guys, and even car girls, can take only so much of those Hallmark holiday movies that fill the airwaves and cable systems this time of year. As an automotive alternative, we’re offering our own suggestions of our favorite car movies for your viewing pleasure. Check out more of our favorite car movies here.


“Git your motor runnin’ … Head out on the highway…”  That Steppenwolf song will be forever associated with the opening sequences of the 1969 film Easy Rider. The tale of Harley-riding hippies on a two-wheeled tour of America, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper — plus a seminal role for Jack Nicholson — the acclaimed movie served as one of the closing acts for the tumultuous 1960s.

Actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as the hippie bikers on the road in Easy Rider. | Columbia Pictures
Actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as the hippie bikers on the road in Easy Rider. | Columbia Pictures

The bikes were Harley choppers, with the red-white-and-blue Captain America ridden by Fonda becoming one of the most iconic motorcycles of all time — the “hero” bike from the film sold at auction a few years back for well over $1 million.

Aside from being among the greatest motorcycle movies, Easy Rider also provides a stunning glimpse of the counterculture views that fueled that era.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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