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The automotive community has a robust presence on YouTube, and there is no shortage of awesome car-related video content to be found. There are hundreds of popular channels to sample that do everything — reviews, news, first drives, project builds, motorsports, and storytelling. Whether you’re into quirky personalities or slow-motion glide cam shots of drool-worthy machinery, there’s definitely something out there to tickle your fancy.
A lot of the big auto magazines have been pumping out top-notch stuff for a long time. Gearheads will be very familiar with superstar channels like Motor Trend, EVO, Top Gear, Car Throttle, /Drive, and Jay Leno’s Garage. But there is so much out there, that I thought I’d compile some of our known and lesser-known favorites to give you a good taster of the variety of channels available.
Full disclosure: I spend way too much time on YouTube with my eyes glazed over staring at beautiful cars going fast, going sideways, or going nowhere at all as guys stand around and talk about them (RIP FastLaneDaily). You could say it’s a form of therapy. If you too are in need of some oily, tire-screeching therapy, here are some excellent YouTube channels that will get the job done.
Our friend Doug runs one of the best-known review channels out there. He takes interesting cars of all shapes and sizes and thoroughly explains the quirks and driving experiences. You won’t find Hollywood production quality here, but Doug’s a goofy and loveable guy (also a Jalopnik alumnus) and it’s always fun to have him talk you through a cool car from his perspective. I interviewed him some months back and his enthusiasm is infectious. His go-to Mario Kart character is Yoshi.
The Smoking Tire
Matt Farah’s The Smoking Tire is one of the best places to see reviews, discussions, and adventures of all kinds on four wheels. Matt has been doing the car journalism thing for a long time and it shows in the writing and production of his videos. His super popular series “One Takes” features Matt driving people’s awesome cars and giggling madly as he rips through the canyons around LA. Think Seth Rogen with a bald head and a Ford Focus RS. His specialty is tuner cars and badass restomods, as displayed when he hosted /TUNED for /Drive.
Larry Kosilla is obsessed with cleaning cars, almost to the point of neurosis, and he’s probably the best in the business. He certainly provides the best detailing videos on YouTube — they’re beautifully shot, extremely thorough, and clearly presented. Like Matt, Larry is a veteran of /Drive, having hosted the /DRIVE CLEAN series for a time. Our good detailer friend Bob Phillips knows Larry and reckons he’s a huge figure in the detailing world.
Freddy Hernandez, AKA “Tavarish” is another friend of ours whose channel is quickly becoming a hit. Freddy’s driveway in Florida is full of project cars that he talks about and tinkers with constantly. He’s a Jalopnik alum who owns everything from a ‘91 Toyota MR2 to Doug DeMuro’s old Aston Martin Vantage. He is the patron saint of the gearhead who constantly and irrationally buys cars and spare parts and does unnecessary but awesome modifications. So, just about all of us.
The beautiful tributes on Petrolicious will stir your soul and fill you with lust and awe. This is a channel full of elegantly shot celebrations of classic cars, their owners, and their stories. If you seek stunning vintage machines and jaw-dropping cinematography, look no further than Petrolicious.
More Skids chronicles a group of friends modding their import sports cars, drifting crazily, and generally fooling around. Here you can find 1JZ engine swaps, semi-janky drift builds, and turbos with 20 pounds of boost. These kids are a lot of fun to live vicariously through because their cars are insane and most people in their right mind wouldn’t do they things they do. Which is what makes it so awesome.
On Vin Wiki, it’s storytelling time. This channel features fantastically entertaining stories from car owners about the shenanigans they got up to with their cars. You can hear from all sorts of owners and their best tales of triumph, joy, struggle, and strangeness. Gearheads can be a weird bunch and there’s no telling what might happen when some of these people really go after their passions.
The craziest street cars live on 1320. This channel mostly features ridiculous drag races with cars that have exceptionally inadvisable horsepower figures. We’re talking quarter mile matchups with 4,000 horses between the two cars. 1320 is easily the best place for impressive and mind-boggling straight-line hooniganism.
Donut Media is relatively new on the scene but has become one of the most popular automotive channels on YouTube. Their bread and butter might be Up To Speed, which takes you through the history of landmark cars in an entertaining and really quite informative way. They touch on everything from supercars to motorsports to goofy pop culture references. If you haven’t yet stumbled onto Donut Media, this is one you should subscribe to right now.
Krispy Media has the delicious and unlikely combination of entrancing cinematography and absurd show cars with slammed suspension. Krispy’s edits of car shows and Stance Nation meets play like long music videos of the people and cars found in “2 Fast 2 Furious.” The shots are mesmerizing, the editing is on point, and the cars have more stance than I can handle. Krispy Media’s videos are extremely high quality and offer a wonderful look into the modding and street racing world, so you should check it out.
Charles is the Humble Mechanic with a magnificent beard and many years of wrenching experience in the garage. He teaches about working on cars, gives project tutorials, and provides advice for the DIY mechanic. He’s one of the go-to project build guys on YouTube and is an effective teacher of manly car stuff. If you’re just getting into wrenching at home, start with the Humble Mechanic.
Supercars, hypercars, and other things that go fast. Mr JWW is a lifestyle vlogger who consistently drives the most exotic and delectable machines out there and I envy him very much. His life looks like a video game, and not just because of the ludicrous cars he gets to drive. His production is great, he’s got a British accent, and oh yeah he drives hypercars on the regular.
Goodwood Road & Racing
All gearheads know the Goodwood name. This is their YouTube channel. They post daily videos with everything from Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb runs to reviews to road tests. There’s a lot here, but the best stuff is all the inside looks at the Goodwood events. If you’re into British motorsports heritage, classic cars, or racing, try this one out.