Before the advent of YouTube, car videos were shared on enthusiast forums, sometimes hosted to stream on someone’s server, but more often than not, distributed via a compressed folder for you to download and watch on your own system rather than in a browser. Today, we have specialized production companies that focus specifically on internet enthusiast videos like THE/DRIVE, Chris Harris on Cars, or my personal favorites Petrolicious and eGarage, all which amount to spectacular, if not distracting, background noise for writing. What a time to be alive. Below are some of my favorites. My apologies for all the time you’re about to “waste”.
Mark Higgins at the Isle of Man
As the previous owner of a heavily modified Subaru WRX, I have spent an inordinate time watching rally videos. This video from a few years ago is a pucker inducing look at a lightning fast run on one of the most treacherous stretches of road in the world.
DC Mtn Lab 1.5 - Ken Block Subaru + Snowboards
When I was straight out of college I would watch this video on repeat, and then wonder how I might be as wealthy as Ken Block to pull all of these shenanigans off. Primus’ Jerry Was A Race Car Driver as a soundtrack makes it even more awesome.
When I sold my Subaru, I had only one thing on my mind: German V8. I grew up wanting a ‘67 Camaro and the last time it was time for my dad to swap cars, I made sure he bought a Japanese V8. I have a V8 fetish, and so does this guy…
It’s a nice feeling just to drive around, not too fast. You know of all the power in there, and knowing that you have it is a good feeling.
There’s something pretty special about the motoring scene in Australia. Home of Mad Max, wicked V8 Supercars, Mount Panorama Circuit, and Targa Tasmania. This particular video is from the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour. It is absolutely amazing seeing these huge GT3 cars battling for position around Mount Panorama.
Gymkhana Five: Urban Playground, San Francisco
By now, most of the internet has scene Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos. The concept has started to lose a bit of its appeal. But of all the Gymkhana’s besides the first, the San Francisco Urban Playground video has to be one of my favorites. Probably because it’s so close to home that it was filmed on the street where I worked at the time. The Styx track at the end doesn’t hurt.
2009 ALMS at Laguna Seca: Bergmeister vs Magnussen
Road racing doesn’t get nearly enough attention in the United States. So little that the American Le Mans Series that this video is from was folded in to Grand-Am Road Racing and is now the TUDOR USCC. This epic battle between Porsche and Corvette is one for the ages.
Zanardi’s “The Pass”
If you can’t tell, I love race footage from Laguna Seca. Love. Love.
Snow Patrol - Open Your Eyes
OK, so this one is sort of a music video… but it’s not. In 1976, a French film maker by the name of Claude Lelouch shot an early morning video of him speeding through Paris, called “Rendezvous”. The camera was mounted on to a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9, but the film was dubbed over with the sound of a Ferrari 275GTB. As a Snow Patrol fan, it was great to see them just straight up use the film as the basis of one of their songs.
San Francisco Skyline
I have always had a soft spot for vintage Japanese cars. I think the Hakosuka GT-Rs are some of the best looking cars from that time period. It’s amazing to see these things in the wild here in the Bay Area, as I have seen one of the cars in this video cruising around in Downtown SF.
Speaking of vintage Japanese cars, one of my dreams is to own a Datsun 240Z. I’d drop a Corvette V8 in it, unlike Sung Kang. One of my other dreams is to own a 911. I’d specifically like a 993, but really any air-cooled will do. This video of Sung Kang and Magnus Walker ripping through Angeles Crest is the absolute bee’s knees.