As a total car geek, I love seeing female characters grabbing the wheel in the car movies I love. There’s just something about seeing a woman covered in grease, holding a ratchet, and rolling out on a creeper from underneath a badass car. Women don’t have to be kept as the timid love interest to the main character that can’t drive a stick and begs the men not to drive fast; women can be the reckless drivers behind the wheel, too. If you also like to geek out about turbo whistles and the rumble of a V8 engine, here’s my list of the top ten women in car movies.
- Sally – Cars films
Any list of car chicks in incomplete without the literal car chick herself: Sally from the Pixar blockbuster: Cars. Sally is a 2002 Porche 911 Carrera voiced by Bonnie Hunt. She is an attorney in Radiator Springs and owns the Cozy Cone Motel. She is the love interest for the main character and enjoys driving fast and helping Radiator Springs become more than just a forgotten town on Route 66. It was announced in March of 2014 that Cars 3 will be starting pre-production and might be released sometime around 2018.
- Natalie – Charlie’s Angels films
Natalie, played by Cameron Diaz, is 1/3 of the all-female crime fighting team known as Charlie’s Angels. She is starry-eyed, intelligent, and goofy. She is proficient in kung fu, she’s a pilot, and she has a passion for anything with wheels. She is seen driving a variety of different machines throughout the movies including motocross, speed boats, and racecars. She drives a red Ferrari Modena. She even has her very own action figure.
- Stella – The Italian Job
Charlize Theron’s first mention on this list is for her portrayal of Stella. She is the only female part of a team of thieves who plan to steal from a former associate who double crossed them and killed Stella’s father. She is not only a professional safe and vault technician, but she’s got a mean right hook and some amazing driving skills. Who knew a Mini Cooper could be so rad?
- Marcie – The Cannonball Run
Adrienne Barbeau plays the satin and spandex-clad hottie in The Cannonball Run who uses her sexuality as manipulation throughout the movie. Marcie is half of the two-part duo of an all-female team racing to the finish line in a cross-country race. They are the only women in the group of racers and they not only end up winning the race, but they do it in a sleek, black Lamborghini Countach.
- Natasha – Redline
Natasha is the epitome of a car chick. This movie isn’t exactly critically acclaimed, but the cars making a showcase in this movie with Nadia Bjorlin, who plays Natasha, behind the steering wheel make this movie worthwhile. Among the list of cars that make an appearance are the Enzo Ferrari, Saleen S7, and the Mercedes SLR McLaren. Natasha isn’t exactly an Oscar-worthy character, but the girl can drive.
- Louise – Thelma and Louise
Played by Susan Sarandon, Louise is a confident and methodical woman. She goes on a road trip with her best friend, Thelma, which ends up tragically. This movie isn’t a car movie and Louise isn’t really a car girl, but she drives her 1966 Ford Thunderbird like a pro throughout the movie. Louise manages to evade police and even speed over a cliff at the end of the movie. This movie is still iconic and has been able to transcend time. Today, 24 years later, you can find a ton of Thelma and Louise memes, buy Thelma and Louise merchandise on Etsy, or buy a bumper sticker that says, “Graduate of the Thelma and Louise Driving Academy.”
- Imperator Furiosa – Mad Max: Fury Road
Charlize Theron’s second mention on this list is for her portrayal of Imperator Furiosa who is a warrior in a post-apocalyptic world. While attempting to save a group of women used for breeding, she forms an alliance with Max to evade the cult leader. Furiosa is a rugged survivor and is already inspiring some amazing cosplay. The vehicles in this movie are amazing and Furiosa’s ride doesn’t disappoint. She drives a Czechoslovakian Tatra and Chevy Fleetmaster fused together into a six-wheel-drive 18-wheeler powered with twin V8 engines.
- Sway – Gone in 60 Seconds
Angelina Jolie plays Sway, a mouthy, balls-to-the-wall car thief who is also the love interest for the main character. She’s a skilled thief, driver, and mechanic. She is the only woman in a garage full of men trying to steal 50 cars in 24 hours. Her personality seems to be a little jaded, thrill-seeking, and protective. She memorably drives “Gina,” also known as a 1990 Lamborghini Diablo.
- Lisa – My Cousin Vinny
My Cousin Vinny is definitely not classified as a car movie, but Lisa is for sure one of the most knowledgeable car chicks in film. Who can forget her famous courtroom speech about the correct ignition timing for a 1955 Belair Chevrolet? Lisa, played by Marisa Tomei, is an opinionated, intelligent woman who is dating the lead in the movie. She comes from a long line of mechanics and possesses an impressive amount of car knowledge. Her role as Mona Lisa Vito won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
- Letty – The Fast and the Furious films
Played by Michelle Rodriguez, Letty is a main character in the Fast and the Furious franchise. She is Dominic’s girlfriend, but is definitely one of the guys. She is a street racer, mechanic, and thief. In the movies she is seen racing, working on cars, fighting, covered in grease and going harder than a lot of the men. She has her hands on a lot of steering wheels throughout the franchise, but one notable ride was the 1973 Jensen Interceptor. At CinemaCon 2015, it was announced that there will be an eighth installment of the franchise and Letty is reportedly continuing her role as resident female badass in the movies.