History books will remember 2016 as the year of a tumultuous election, the passing of many well-loved celebrities and Michal Phelps’ final visit to the Olympic Games. It doesn’t quite have the makings of a feel-good flick, but 2016 was in fact a great year for internet car videos and possibly even car movies, depending on your feelings about “Furious 7.”
With consumer video equipment getting better and cheaper all the time, anyone with some conviction can now put their own work online to share with the world. You might lament the number of new “hear my custom-fabbed ’84 Toyota Cressida exhaust” videos, but in the end there’s no harm done, and sometimes we get great new videos like these:
Cheater Range Rover
There’s nothing discreet about the words “cheater” and “hope she was worth it” written across your Range Rover in bright red paint. The folks at R-Tec auto design figured it was the perfect technique to get their new Revere Range Rover Vogue noticed, and they were right. Get a behind-the-scenes look at this clever PR stunt and decide for yourself whether it’s classless or genius.
Jay Leno and Bob Riggle Roll the Hemi Under Glass
Jay Leno’s love affair with cars is well documented, but one car he’s never acquired is the famous Hemi Under Glass, a Hemi ‘Cuda car capable of wheelies. It performs at car races and drag strips around the nation and has done so for decades. Unfortunately for the Hemi, Leno and famed driver Bob Riggle share a bonding experience most of us hope never to have when the car does an unplanned barrel roll on the tarmac.
Ken Block’s Gymkhana 9
Before Ken Block was the guy from the Gymkhana videos, he was racing in World Rally Cross and running DC Shoes. It seems all the attention partner Rob Dyrdek got from MTV success gave Block an idea. At nine videos and counting, Ken’s work is still earning tens of millions of views. For the ninth installment, Block unleashes hell on a Fallout-style industrial wasteland in a souped-up version of Ford’s hottest hatch, the Focus RS.
Skater Smashes McLaren Windshield
If you haven’t seen this video of a skater dude getting his revenge on an impatient McLaren driver, you may have been living under a rock in 2016. Today it’s got more than 10 million views, but that number becomes more impressive when you consider 7 million of those came the same week the video was uploaded. Was it real, though? Let’s hope not. That kind of break in the glass isn’t one that can be fixed, and can cost about $5,000.
The Grand Tour Begins
BBC’s “Top Gear” series was the magnum opus of car shows, one of the highest-rated on TV and the creator of arguably more “petrosexual” catch phrases and tropes than any other single publication. Then it was gone. In 2016, the show’s infamous trio brought back the magic of old with the launch of Amazon’s “The Grand Tour.” See, it wasn’t such a bad year after all.
There’s a polar vortex outside. It’s probably not safe to venture out, so why not throw some popcorn on the stove and settle into the couch for some quality car videos? Jeremy Clarkson would approve, and we all know what a saint he is.