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Michael Bay Has Wrecked More Cars Than Any Other Director

Car wrecks are one of the great traditions of the cinema. On the silver screen, imagery of automobiles destructing in grand and inventive ways becomes an adrenaline rush for action moviegoers. By removing the audience from the danger associated with the real-life version of what's being simulated, we are instead able to become voyeurs who can marvel at footage of cars being shot with rocket launchers, dropping from cliffs, or being tossed around by giant robots who happen to be cars themselves.

However, too many car destructions in a movie can feel overindulgent, which is why it makes perfect sense that Michael Bay holds the record for most cars destroyed across his filmography. Indulgence is Bay's calling card, and he has developed a well-earned reputation for loading his films to their breaking point with needless destruction. From "Bad Boys" to "Transformers," the visionary auteur has crashed, smashed, and firebombed more than any other director. Here's how the numbers shake out.

Bay tops Fast and Furious director Justin Lin for most onscreen auto wrecks

Michael Bay holds the record for more onscreen car wrecks of any director, and it's not even close. Across his filmography, Bay has totaled 354 vehicles according to calculations by Scrap Car Comparison. Coming in at a distant second is "Fast and Furious" franchise director Justin Lin, whose body shop count is a comparatively restrained 135 vehicles. John Landis of "Blues Brothers" fame takes the bronze, having destroyed 120 cars.

Bay's appetite for destruction is well known, and the term "Bayhem" was even coined to describe moments when he layers so much extravagant pyrotechnics into a frame that it becomes almost incomprehensible. Still, when Bay is at the height of his talents, he is to car-wrecks what Beethoven is to symphonies. In the opening scene of "6 Underground," Bay bends trucks and motorcycles across the ancient pillories of an Italian piazza with the panache of a brass section. In the excellent "Ambulance," he sends a drone camera zipping under the carriage of a car with the dexterity of a violinist as it collides with a pile of concrete bricks. If anyone plans to smash up as many vehicles as Bay has, they should take notes from the maestro of scorched chrome.

No matter how you calculate it, Bay hangs onto the record for car-nage. He's written off the most vehicles as well, having spent studio money on 279 cars next to Lin's second place of 100 cars. And if we look at cars that were simply damaged rather than totally destroyed, Bay counts 75 trips to the body shop against Christopher Nolan in the number two spot with 44. If anyone wants to catch up, they're going to need a Transformer-sized budget.