In the Blues Brothers (in the remake, at least) they always parallel park by making a U-turn and skidding into the turn. (as seen in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOtQiE-HwAQ).
Is this actually possible, or did they (the movie makers) have to modify the car somehow?
I’ve seen it in some recent Firestone commercials, which I admit proves nothing, but I’ve seen it done on the US version of Top Gear and I believe that one.
Cars used in stunts in movies are generally not taken straight off the street; at the very least, they have better glue holding the tires onto the rims so they don’t get torn off as easily. That might count as modified…
It can be done but it’s nowhere near as easy as they make it look, at least not for that type of car.
Older rear wheel drive cars like what you see in the Blues Brothers will throw their back end out a lot more easily than a modern car. Being on a surface with poor traction really helps though, as does having tires with poor grip (intentional slicks or just really worn regular tires). It looks like in the movie clip that they put water or something down on the road to decrease the traction and make the car slide more easily.
On newer cars the technique is significantly different. Newer cars have ABS which makes it about impossible to stomp on the brakes and have the car slide out. You can do it easily though by yanking on the handbrake, which avoids the ABS system. I could slide around pretty easily in a 1990s era Pontiac Lemans (cheap little Honda CRX clone) that I used to have. I didn’t try to do the U-turn into a parking spot though. That takes a bit of practice and I didn’t do it often enough to get good at it.
In my experience, the little foreign cars will slide pretty easily using the handbrake with stock tires and a regular dry road. Getting an old 70’s era car to slide is possible but is significantly more difficult.
And then there’s this.
(It’s a different video, it just starts out the same)
Glue? Normal tires don’t use any glue at all. It’s just the steel “beads” held tight to the rim by air pressure inside the tire.