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'Fast and Furious 6' races into theaters

Paul Walker, left, and Vin Diesel in

Paul Walker, left, and Vin Diesel in "Fast & Furious 6." Credit: Handout

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the gang are burning rubber again in "Fast and Furious 6," the latest in the muscle car franchise, opening May 24. This time, the group teams with U.S. agent Dwayne Johnson to take down a mercenary organization led by a criminal mastermind. Will there be high-speed thrills? Car crashes? Outrageous stunts? Bet your horsepower there will. And in all this, the "F&F" series is following in a long, much-beloved line of cinematic auto mayhem:


HIGH SIERRA (1941) -- Thief Humphrey Bogart tries to escape the law by leading them on a chase through the Sierra Nevada mountains. That's a 1938 Plymouth navigating those hairpin turns.


BULLITT (1968) -- Probably the most famous car chase scene ever, featuring Steve McQueen in a Mustang GT 390 trying to elude some killers on the streets and environs of San Francisco. Practically defines "pedal to the metal" filmmaking.


THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) -- Cop Gene Hackman is trying to chase down a hit man escaping on the B train. He races through Bensonhurst streets in a Pontiac LeMans in one of the wildest car rides ever. Watch out for that woman with the stroller!


VANISHING POINT (1971) -- Car delivery driver Barry Newman races cops from Denver to San Francisco in a Dodge Challenger. If you can imagine an existential car-chase film, this is it.


THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981) -- Hard to beat the ending of this Mel Gibson post-apocalyptic classic, what with a chase involving modified cars, dune buggies, motorcycles and trucks. Monster mayhem.


TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. (1985) -- "French Connection" director William Friedkin stages another awesome car chase, this one featuring Secret Service agent William Petersen running from some bad guys through the industrial districts of L.A.


RONIN (1998) -- Two fab European car chases happen in this Robert De Niro-Jean Reno flick, featuring a Mercedes, Audi S8, BMW and Peugeot running through mountain roads and narrow Parisian streets. High-octane all the way.


DRIVE (2011) -- That's Ryan Gosling in a super-hot Mustang, outrunning the cops and the bad guys after two robberies, one of which has gone horribly wrong.

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