Hooniverse Asks: What’s the best driving stunt ever performed?

Show me some car stunts!

I’m talking stunts for movies. Stunts for commercials. I’ll take stunts for the hell of it. I want to see the greatest vehicular stunts of all time. I almost led with the shot of Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits atop a pair of Volvo trucks, but I’ll let you decide if that’s on the list. There are certainly so many greats to choose from. I suspect we will see the James Bond barrel roll (no ailerons so it can’t be called that, right?). Maybe some of the Hot Wheels stunts fit the mold? What is your favorite?

Share GIFs, videos, and pictures. We’ll take it all.

22 Comments

  1. Might as well get the low-hanging fruit.

    Technically, this is a series of stunts, not a single event. What’s so incredible is that it was shot at speed, on actual San Francisco streets, and there were no reports of anyone stepping in human excrement.

  2. Levi Lavallee’s DOUBLE backflip on a snowmobile. Two-fold the weight of a dirt bike yet he still spun it over not once, but twice. He’d have fully stuck the landing too, but his giant testicles got in the way

  3. Levi Lavallee’s DOUBLE backflip on a snowmobile. Two-fold the weight of a dirt bike yet he still spun it over not once, but twice. He’d have fully stuck the landing too, but his giant testicles got in the way

      1. The stunt was developed in the Buffalo area, where I grew up. I actually saw the Astro Spiral live at the 1975 Erie County Fair. That’s another reason why it gets my vote: it wasn’t a one-time movie stunt on a closed set; it was performed flawlessly over 70 times, in front of packed stadiums. Added to that, it was the first computer-modeled stunt (programmed in FORTRAN on punch cards!) and was the first real-world validation of the very same modeling algorithms that would go on to be used for all sorts of vehicle dymamics research in the 1970s and ’80s, enhancing all aspects of automotive safety, from crashworthiness to highway design.

        1. Yeah, CALSPAN did the dynamics simulation for this one. They’re better known for aircraft flight control computers.

      2. It is an awesome stunt, but ruined in the film by the awful sound effects. What were they thinking?

      1. I totally forgot about the “Saab Suite” until I saw the cars dancing with the music. Enjoy!

  4. If we are including unplanned stunts, my all-time favorite is Craig Breedlove’s World Record Run at Bonneville in 1964, driving the jet-engined Spirit Of America. He was the first man in the world to drive a wheeled-vehicle faster than 500 miles an hour. To set a official record at Bonneville you must make two runs within one hour with the second run in the in opposite direction of the first, and the average of the two is recorded as the record. His first run was 513 MPH; and they quickly turned the car around for the second run. In that run, he really nailed the throttle, accelerated for about four miles, and hit 539 MPH…. But: after he passed the lights for the measured mile, he cut the throttle and popped his drogue parachute…and it exploded into tatters. He opened the second parachute… and it just came off. The Spirit Of America did have “brakes” but not the kind of brakes that can slow a land speed car down from somewhere over 400 miles an hour, so the car just flew, er, rolled on. And on. And on. After about two miles Breedlove ran out of room, and out of luck…. the car hit a telephone pole and shattered it… and kept going. It flew over an embankment, sailed into the air and landed nose down in a salt water pond with just the tail fin of the car sticking out of the water. His crew, and an ambulance raced down the track to reach the car, and amazingly, when the got there, Breedlove was out of the car, and sitting up on the embankment looking at the wreckage and laughing hysterically. When the crew came up, he said,

    “For my next act, I set myself on fire!”

    As he crashed after the completion of his second run he was officially given the Land-Speed Record at an average of 526 MPH

  5. If we are including unplanned stunts, my all-time favorite is Craig Breedlove’s World Record Run at Bonneville in 1964, driving the jet-engined Spirit Of America. He was the first man in the world to drive a wheeled-vehicle faster than 500 miles an hour. To set a official record at Bonneville you must make two runs within one hour with the second run in the in opposite direction of the first, and the average of the two is recorded as the record. His first run was 513 MPH; and they quickly turned the car around for the second run. In that run, he really nailed the throttle, accelerated for about four miles, and hit 539 MPH…. But: after he passed the lights for the measured mile, he cut the throttle and popped his drogue parachute…and it exploded into tatters. He opened the second parachute… and it just came off. The Spirit Of America did have “brakes” but not the kind of brakes that can slow a land speed car down from somewhere over 400 miles an hour, so the car just flew, er, rolled on. And on. And on. After about two miles Breedlove ran out of room, and out of luck…. the car hit a telephone pole and shattered it… and kept going. It flew over an embankment, sailed into the air and landed nose down in a salt water pond with just the tail fin of the car sticking out of the water. His crew, and an ambulance raced down the track to reach the car, and amazingly, when the got there, Breedlove was out of the car, and sitting up on the embankment looking at the wreckage and laughing hysterically. When the crew came up, he said,

    “For my next act, I set myself on fire!”

    As he crashed after the completion of his second run he was officially given the Land-Speed Record at an average of 526 MPH

    1. This is the 3rd time in a week I’m thinking you should write more prose. Great story and that video is fantastic. Musicless original audio until they added a bit of dramatic orchestrals halfway through.

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