After yesterday's top ten silver screen police car chases, we're continuing our week-long Amerigasm with the top ten real police car chases. Because whether you're rooting for the baddies to make a clean getaway, or for the long arm to catch 'em, there's nothing quite like a good ol' real-life American police chase. While other countries may think they can, we know we can do 'em better than anyone else, so to prove it, click "more" for our list of the top ten best cop car chases — and then vote for the one you think is the best.
10 - Corvette Carnage
Let's start off with a classic, this clip of a C4 Corvette streaking through the desert. Television host John Bunnell says the car is speeding down the road at 165 MPH, but we're not so sure the black 'vette was actually going that fast. Either way, it was fast enough for the driver to lose control while changing lanes, as the Corvette smashed into the back of a truck. The car spun out of control into the desert as it shattered to pieces, but somehow the driver came out unhurt. So, negative points to the television producers for the exaggerated speed, but kudos to the driver for smashing a Corvette and living.
9 - Off-Roadin' Ranger
It doesn't get much more American than a couple of guys runnin' from the law in a stolen pickup with a stolen air compressor rollin' around in the bed. Sure, they lose points for only using a little Ford Ranger, but that's outweighed by the kudos we give 'em for taking the truck off-road. The passenger is especially crazy, even jumping out at one point, running besides the truck, jumping in the bed, then climbing back into the cab all while the truck was in motion. And while we're more interested in the automotive chase, the passenger was pretty good at jumping fences too.
8 - Crazed Naked Woman
Sometimes the cops need a little extra help to chase down a fleeing suspect, as was the case here. But even with an off-duty officer driving his personal pickup truck, the evading SUV was proving hard to catch. An enthusiastic civilian joins the chase trying to help out the cops. We give the good Samaritan kudos for not being afraid to dent up his truck, but he ends up just getting in the way when he tries an improvised roadblock. After going through the dirt, on and off the highway, the SUV is finally caught. But if all that wasn't crazy enough, it turns out the driver being chased was a naked woman. We're not sure if that's hot or not.
7 - Backwards Limo
You'd assume a big stretch limo wouldn't be agile enough to evade the police, but this chauffeur was ready to prove otherwise. This stretched STS was pretty impressive, handling turns and blazing down the expressway. But major kudos go to the driver for slamming the limo into reverse gear after the transmission starts erupting smoke. He then leads the boys in blue on an impressive backwards chase, only coming to an end when the turning radius of the limo is miscalculated going around a sharp turn. Still, that's some serious Cadillac style.
6 - Tweaked Trucker
Anyone that's ever seen Steven Spielberg's film Duel has been rightfully intimidated by free-roaming big rigs. But you really get a new sense of respect for the trucks after watching this one plow through traffic at will. Even spike strips proved ineffective, so the cops had to pull out their guns and shoot out the tires the old fashioned way. Well, at least we learn that truck driving and meth don't mix so well.
5 - Raw Pursuit
This chase is an interesting look at raw, unedited footage from a police car's dashboard-mounted camera. There's no sound effects, no voice over, nothing but the original video. But what the video lacks in hype, it makes up for in uncertainty. You're not sure what's going to happen next as the cops haphazardly chase a stolen police car though night streets and around blind corners.
4 - M3 Gets Away
This E30 M3 running from the cops is an awesome chase on its own right, with an allegedly 15 year-old driver out-maneuvering the pursuing police. But what we find additionally interesting is the production of the footage for television. First off, the stats referenced for the BMW seem off, and are probably for a later model E36 M3. But what we really can't get over is that the clip used towards the end when the BMW is "breaking down" is merely footage from earlier on in the chase that's been slowed down. Either this was a creative editing to make up for a lack of footage of it happening, or maybe the kid in the BMW actually got away. Combine this with a liberal use of added action movie sound effects, and you've got a quintessential made-for-cable tv car chase.
3 - SoCal Close Calls
Following the classic formula for a So-Cal police chase, this SUV weaves its way through traffic with multiple close calls, from highways to local roads. We'd have given kudos to the driver for quickly threading the needle between cars, but then he screws it all up with a lame finish by hitting a small tree at low speed and being tracked down on foot. But then, it looks to be a Toyota Highlander that he was driving, so what can you expect?
2 - Taurus Shootout
This wouldn't be American-style law enforcement without a wild west shootout, and that's exactly what we've got here. Kudos to the cops for continuing the pursuit even after having the entire back side of a Ford Taurus shoved onto the hood of a police car, and then being shot at. We're not sure it was necessary to ram the vehicle at full speed afterwards, but it we give bonus points for the gun flying through the air at the end.
1 - PIT-Proof Mustang
This last chase is perhaps one of the most hoontastic displays of driving ever recorded — with the exception of Killdozer, of course — which unfortunately isn't much of a chase since cops could walk after it (Honorable Mention, nonetheless). No, the driver of this Mustang is hit with a PIT maneuver by the cops twice, each time performing a perfectly controlled 360-degree spin. Even when the cops pin him against the wall, the Mustang finds a way to spin off the highway onto the grass and regain control on a side road. But perhaps the best part of the video is listening to the disbelief of the news reporter as voices in the background laugh and cheer for spinning Mustang. Innocent until proven guilty, right?