Home Car Culture 10 under the radar car movies to stream while social distancing

10 under the radar car movies to stream while social distancing

As we follow pandemic protocol and social distance, here are some movies you may not heard about that should rev up your isolation


We know you’ve already watched Ford v Ferrari and episodes of Formula 1 Drive to Survive about a dozen times by now so we thought it was appropriate to share with you 10 of our favorite ‘hidden gem’ car films now streaming on Netflix. By no means is this an endorsement of, or promotion for, Netflix; we thought it best to limit our recommendations to the largest, most accessed streaming site. Several of these titles are available on other steaming sites. In no particular order, here goes:

A Life of Speed: Fangio

The first official documentary about the life of the five-time Formula 1 World Champion. Already a legend in his native Argentina, Fangio arrived in Europe at 40 years old. In his subsequent eight-year Grand Prix career Fangio started 51 races, won 24, collected 35 podiums, set 29 poles and 23 fastest laps. This remarkable new documentary offers new insights into the man’s genius.


Focusing on the career and family of its legendary founder Sir Frank Williams, the British documentary tells the extraordinary story of the Williams Formula 1 team, from its inception to its glory days to the struggles of the present day.

Apex: The Story of the Hyper car

This documentary follows Swedish entrepreneur Christian von Koenigsegg, a lifelong sports car enthusiast on a personal quest to build a singular sports car whose golden ratio defies all expectations for a hypercar’s velocity and power, while competing against the biggest names in motorsports for space on the world stage.

Initial D

This 2005 film takes us back to the roots and Drifting, raising this clandestine pastime into a global phenomenon. The fictional film follows Takumi Fujiwara as he focuses his attention on the still-unknown sport of drifting, skills he has unknowingly perfected while delivering tofu in his father’s Toyota AE86.


Willy T Ribbs shattered the color-barrier in motorsports. Often referred to as “uppity” behind his back by mechanics and other racers, he overcame death-threats, unwarranted suspensions and engine sabotage to pursue his dream. Ultimately, Willy T beat the haters and became the first driver of color to win a Trans-Am race, test a Formula One car and race in the Indianapolis 500.


Suspended rally driver Zhang Chi dreams of his former career while tending to his fried rice stall. He overcomes a series of obstacles to return to rallying and wins the big rally of the year. While the plot may sound trite, it’s well told with fantastic cinematography and animation along with a surprise ending.

Shelby American

A documentary on the life of the Texas chicken farmer who won Le Mans in 1959 only to retire from driving shortly thereafter due to a heart condition. He reinvented himself an as entrepreneur creating his own V-8 powered sports car and twice winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ford Motor Company. But his story didn’t stop there.

The Gentleman Driver

The Gentleman Driver gives an inside look into the lives of four extraordinary businessmen who moonlight as race car drivers in international sports car racing. The film follows these men through both their business and racing lives, comparing and contrasting the two.

Go Karts

Newly-released Go Karts is a family film about a boy who must overcome tremendous odds and his own recklessness to achieve his dream of winning the Australian National Go Kart Championship. One to watch with the kids, especially those who have karting aspirations.

The 24 Hour War

We all know the story of how Henry Ford II took on Enzo Ferrari on the battlefield of Le Mans. This epic battle saw drivers lose their lives, family dynasties nearly collapse and the development of a new race car that changed racing. The story retold, 2016-style, with new insights and interviews.

Art Michalik
Art has been a fixture in the automotive industry his entire career, starting out as an editor for On Track and Sports Car Graphics magazines. He then moved to the corporate side, finding the money better. He was employed in marketing roles at Firestone, Bridgestone and Yokohama tire companies, as well as ran client services for a boutique aftermarket agency serving Toyota Racing Development, Flowmaster exhaust, and Brembo brakes. There was even a stint at eBay Motors. Most recently, Art served as Director of Marketing and Communications at Laguna Seca Raceway. As a writer, his works have appeared in print and online publications in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and Italy.


    • One of my favorites, Vincent — on Blu-Ray. Not on Netflix. All the movies on this list are currently playing on the subscription service.


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