Top 10 Must-Watch Car Documentaries: A Guide for Auto Aficionados

Dec. 6, 2023


The relationship between humans and cars transcends mere transportation; it's about passion, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of speed and efficiency. This article gears up to explore five riveting documentaries that delve into the world of automobiles. From the roar of sports cars on racetracks to the silent hum of electric vehicles, from groundbreaking automotive technology to the deep-rooted love affair we have with these machines, these documentaries offer a front-row seat to the exhilarating world of cars.


Cars have shaped cultures, economies, and lifestyles globally. These documentaries explore various facets of automobiles – the evolution of car technology, the environmental impact and subsequent rise of electric vehicles, the adrenaline-pumping world of car sports, and the psychological aspects of why these machines captivate us so deeply. They offer a comprehensive view of the automotive world, blending history, technology, sports, and environmental concerns.


The documentaries listed here are not just for car enthusiasts but for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, culture, and environmental sustainability. They challenge us to think about the future of transportation and our planet, while also indulging in the sheer thrill that cars have provided for over a century. These films are a testament to human ingenuity and our ongoing quest for progress and speed.


Ten Documentaries on Cars and Automotive Technology:



On The Way Home

a man inside the cab of a truck

In this poignant documentary, the life of long-distance truck driver AleksEy, who has been traversing major Russian cities for two decades, is intimately captured as he faces a terminal illness that threatens to end his career. Meanwhile, his wife Valya, managing their home and accompanied by a loyal guard dog, grapples with the looming reality of her husband's condition. Their relationship, mostly sustained through phone calls due to AleksEy's extended absences, is a testament to their enduring bond. The film skillfully portrays this challenging phase in their lives, marked by impending loss, with a poetic finesse, delving deep into themes of humanity, sacrifice, and the essence of love, presenting a narrative that resonates with profound truth.


The Caracas

a red car in a race

This film provides enthralling documentation of the "TC Grand Prix of South America", also known as "La Buenos Aires-Caracas", a legendary 10,000-kilometer motor racing race that took place in 1948. It featured the crème de la crème of Argentine drivers, showcasing their skill and endurance in what is often hailed as the greatest Road Tourism race ever. Beyond the thrilling speeds and fierce competition, the film delves into the broader context of this epic event, reflecting on the social, political, and cultural landscape of South America during that tumultuous year. This cinematic portrayal not only captures the essence of the race but also serves as a vivid snapshot of a significant era in the continent's history.


Racing Through The Forest

a car race through the forest

In this captivating documentary, the thrilling world of the Pebble Beach Road Races, held from 1950 to 1956, is vividly brought to life through interviews with the era's legendary American road racers. Icons like Bill Pollack, Mick Marston, and Fred Knoop share exclusive anecdotes, offering a rare glimpse into the early days of motorsports in the United States. The film's most remarkable achievement lies in its extensive collection of vintage race footage, both in color and black and white, which authentically captures the essence of the era. These historical snippets, rich in detail and nostalgia, effectively transport viewers back in time, making the roar of the engines almost tangible.


31st Haul

a man gets out of a truck

This gripping documentary offers an insightful exploration into a lesser-seen aspect of rural Russia. The film follows Yura and Vitalik, drivers who navigate challenging terrain including swamps, bugs, and daunting mountain ranges in an old tank assembled from spare parts. Their mission is to deliver supplies to remote villagers. At the other end of this arduous journey is Yura’s wife Sveta, a dominant and outspoken figure who manages their delivery business with a tough hand. The film vividly captures their grueling work, which fuels a lifestyle marked by intense cursing, heavy drinking, rampant sexism, and the transportation of massive quantities of food. Klebleev's beautifully composed shots uncover a rugged romanticism in this tough way of life, offering a unique perspective on the passionate lives of those who embrace it. "31st Haul" stands out as an original portrayal of human relationships, set against the backdrop of a harsh, yet deeply human, rural existence.


The great intox: Electric Cars Investigated

aerial view of a street and many cars

This thought-provoking documentary follows the journey of an individual deeply concerned about environmental issues, particularly exploring the significant question: What choices should we make to truly respect the planet? It delves into the complexities and debates surrounding one of the most pressing dilemmas of our time – whether opting for an electric car is a dangerous and selfish act or a step towards saving the planet. The film captures the citizen's quest for truth and coherence in a world where environmental decisions are often fraught with controversy and conflicting information. Through this personal exploration, the documentary sheds light on the broader challenges and ethical considerations in making choices that align with environmental stewardship.


The Age of the Electric Car

an electric car

This interesting documentary takes viewers on a journey through the development of electric cars. It explores the early days of electric vehicles, their decline, and the recent resurgence due to environmental concerns. Interviews with industry leaders, including engineers from Tesla and other major car manufacturers, provide insight into the innovations driving the future of electric vehicles. The film also addresses the challenges facing the widespread adoption of electric cars, including battery technology and infrastructure development.


Speed Demons: Racing's Finest

a group of people dressed in black pose next to an orange racing car

This gripping documentary dives into the high-octane world of car racing, exploring what draws drivers and fans alike to this dangerous yet exhilarating sport. Featuring exclusive interviews with renowned racers and behind-the-scenes footage, the documentary captures the intensity and drama of racing. It also examines the technological advancements that continue to push the limits of speed and safety in the sport.


Revolution: The History of Auto Innovation

a red car, the wheel and a map in the ring

This inspiring documentary chronicles the technological evolution of automobiles from the first gasoline engine to the latest self-driving cars. It's a celebration of human ingenuity and creativity, showcasing how car technology has evolved over the years. The film includes interviews with historians, engineers, and designers who have witnessed and contributed to key developments in the automotive industry.


Born to Drive: The Human-Car Connection

a white car in the night

This captivating documentary delves into the psychological and cultural aspects of our love affair with cars. It explores how automobiles have come to symbolize freedom, status, and identity. The documentary features a range of perspectives, from classic car collectors to everyday commuters, offering a comprehensive look at how cars have influenced our lifestyles and choices.


Electrify: The Future of Autos

an aerial view of a highway at night

This forward-looking documentary focuses on the future of the automotive industry, especially in light of climate change and technological advancements. It highlights the latest trends in electric and hybrid vehicles, autonomous driving technology, and alternative fuels. Interviews with industry experts and futurists provide insights into what the roads of the future might look like.


In the words of racing legend Mario Andretti, "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." Cars represent more than transportation; they symbolize innovation, freedom, and our inherent desire to push boundaries. These documentaries offer a glimpse into the past, present, and future of cars, reminding us of their significant impact on our world and their potential to drive us toward a more sustainable and thrilling future.


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