On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris. The film was limited for technical reasons to 10 minutes; the course was from Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre, to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit. The driver completed the course in about 9 minutes, reaching nearly 140 MPH in some stretches. The footage reveals him running real red lights, nearly hitting real pedestrians, and driving the wrong way up real one-way streets.
The film has been remastered and released on DVD. You can watch the whole thing here. (Big download: about 34MB.) Bump it up to full screen mode or twice the normal size to get the full effect. The middle third of the film, when he’s right in the middle of Paris, is just unbelievable, as he runs six or seven red lights, screams around garbage trucks and narrowly misses several pedestrians as he flies down narrow, cobbled streets. Apparently there are all kinds of stories about the film, including whether the director did the driving himself in his own car. Having just watched it, I’d happily insinuate I could drive like that, too.