10 YouTube Car Shows To Binge During Quarantine
Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stay inside.
Life is on pause for a while. But perhaps the only upside to being locked down is the bonus time we all have on our hands (which you should wash) to enjoy multimedia entertainment.
However, new car reviews might be slowing down for a while as manufacturers suspend press bookings out of safety concerns. And while those channels will most likely find ways to keep churning out new content, you’ve still got a lot of extra time to fill with car-related entertainment.
So, here are some YouTube car shows worth diving into to fill said time. All of which have a hefty back-catalogue of content to binge through and which regularly publish content that doesn’t focus on new car reviews.
Donut Media’s rapid rise to the top of the automotive YouTube world would perhap not have been possible without James Pumphrey’s loud, hilarious, absurdist history lessons on all things automotive. UP TO SPEED is educational, sure. But it’s Pumphrey himself who brings an infectious energy to the series and motivates you to watch each and every one of the over 140 episodes. Inside jokes like “Mo’ Powa Babeh” and “HRSPRS” help bring viewers into the fold of the show’s cult following.
HiLow sets out to answer a very simple, yet age-old automotive question, “does more expensive mean more better?” To answer the question, the Donut crew have bought themselves two identical Nissan 350Zs, and have modified one with super-high dollar aftermarket parts and the other with very, very cheap parts. Each individual episode focuses on installing a different set of parts (i.e. coilover suspension, turbos etc.) and testing their various performance gains. Is expensive more better? Usually, yes. But the antics are hilarious and there is some excellent insight to be gained about where you can save money and where you should spend it when it comes to aftermarket parts.
David Patterson’s reviews are unique in that he mostly stays away from reviewing new cars and focuses primarily on reviewing unbelievably overpowered, highly modified late-model cars. How he convinces owners to let him drive their 800+ horsepower machines is anyone’s guess—but what “TheDudeinBlue” excels at is conveying the feeling of what it’s like to drive a car with that much power.
Why is Hoonigan so insanely popular? Is it because you get to see highly modified cars doing insane burnouts and drifts, flooding the “burn yard” with more smoke than a 420 rally? Yeah that’s part of it. But I think the other part is wish fulfilment and the relief of being able to treat cars like disposable pieces of robust machinery rather than precious jewels to be hidden away and only gently driven to Cruise Night for retirees to gawk at while the soundtrack from Happy Days plays in the back.
If you have a 700 horsepower Chevelle or Skyline, you shouldn’t worry about crashing the ass-end of it into a semi-trailer. That’s what it was built for. Just don’t hit the camera guy.
MotionautoTV oozes charm. Trevor Jameson’s hand-held, documentary style makes watching MotionautoTV feel like you’re just hanging out in the shop with some buddies, shooting the breeze and wrenching away on a cool car. Trevor seems to have no problem posting a video centering on fixing something as mundane as a headlight or sanding away at body filler. But it’s the slow burn to the big moments like firing an engine for the first time or finally hitting the dyno feel so rewarding. Arguably the two most exciting builds are Trevor’s fully restored MK4 Toyota Supra and 2JZ-powered S550 Mustang.
This new show features automotive YouTubers from a few different channels, coming together to rip-off Top Gear in every measure possible. Still, their first series, in which the hosts attempt to buy used exotic cars for less than the price of a new C8 Corvette is very amusing and makes its point incredibly well.
It’s easy to write off Roads Untraveled as just “Canadian ThatDudeInBlue”, and on the surface, there are some similarities. The recent addition to the channel of reviewing new cars has arguably made it more generic as well. However, the channel has a very unique perspective into Vancouver car culture — showcasing the west coast’s mash-up of direct JDM imports and late-model American muscle cars.
Gears and Gasoline have done a number of entertaining video series from their features on owners and their vehicles, to their own build series. However perhaps most engaging is their cross-country road trip series—one taking a modified Civic and a Miata and another taking an Evo IX and an STI-swapped Forester on the journey. The whole thing is totally charming. It feels like actually going on a roadtrip with your friends and enjoying the journey along the way. It will also remind you what the outdoors are like.
Regular Car Reviews is a dose of rationality into the world of automotive journalism. However, that rationality comes with a healthy, hilarious and extremely crude skewering of car owners and culture alike. Also you’ll learn something about philosophy. Seriously.