To have a classic car chase, you need an amazing urban obstacle course to speed, drift, and crash through. Jalopnik readers have scoured the world to find the ten best chase locations imaginable.
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A perfect car chase has a formula, a recipe. You don't just need good cars and a good motive, you need a great location. Sprawling backgrounds, foreign locales, famous monuments all make car chases look way cooler.
You definitely want a mix of wide and narrow roads. You want to be able to get a car way up to speed, but also to elude the authorities behind you in back alleyways. This is why cities are so much better for car chases than the countryside, no matter how pretty.
You want the location to be dramatic. Crowded city centers are great because you get to howl through the streets with buildings whirring by inches from your window. Ideally you lose both your side mirrors.
We only have room for ten cities on this list. Which ones are we missing, and what rules of a great car chase are we forgetting? Let us know in Kinja below.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros./Bullitt
If there is one classic European city for a cinematic chase, it's Paris, site of the greatest streetracing film ever made. If you haven't seen C'etait un Rendezvous, stop what you're doing and watch it now.
9.) Pripyat, Ukraine
Reclaimed by nature, it is the symbol of the collapsed Soviet East. You know it as Chernobyl. How cool would it be to have a car chase in its irradiated ruins?
Havana gets you a big, bright Caribbean capitol, endless narrow alleyways to escape into, and innumerable classic ‘50s iron trundling through the streets. Perfect car chase location.
If you're going to have a car chase, you might as well have it in the sweeping mountain roads of the Alps. Where better to start your chase than in Salzburg, where the narrow, tricky city center remains just as it was in the Middle Ages?
6.) Centralia, PA
This town was abandoned 50 years ago when the coal mine caught fire. The underground mine hasn't stopped burning. There are only four roads and two buildings left, with steam pouring right out of the dirt.
Still, we can't help but imagine chunks of the roadway collapsing into a fiery chasm, or bursts of explosions blowing up chasing baddies.
5.) Nova Cidade de Kilamba
Ghost towns, as you've gathered, make for awesome places to have huge, sweeping car chases. This massive 750-building complex built by Chinese developers in Angola, is one of the more bizarre deserted cities we've seen. It was built to house 500,000 people, and only 220 apartments have been sold. The only people seen on the streets are Chinese construction workers.
We know that there is much, much more to Detroit than its post-industrial wreckage. If we just wanted ruin porn, we could go to Pittsburgh. No, the Motor City is just right for a car chase, and you could go from posh waterfront estates, through Ford and GM proving grounds, and finally end up tearing around the old Packard or Fisher Body plants.
3.) Neft Dashlari
The most surreal ghost city of all is "Stalin's Atlantis," the crumbling collection of oil platforms built on the Caspian Sea by the Soviets. The whole thing is falling apart and nobody knows which old bridges are still stable. It's such a badass location, they already used its likeness for a Bond film.
Macau has pretty much everything you want in a car chase city. There are perilously narrow East Asian streets, huge Las Vegas-style casinos, old Chinese architecture, and even all of those things at the same time, like on the famous Macau Grand Prix circuit. Be careful, this city is deadly.
1.) San Francisco
We've said it before and we've said it again. Because jumps.