As an obsessive automotive enthusiast, my Youtube history is predictably packed with car videos. With 2017 firmly in the rear-view mirror, now seems an appropriate time to look back at my favourite online automotive cinema from the last year. With outstanding videos coming from an ever-growing and international community of producers on Youtube, 2017 was a great year for car films. As someone who grew up with magazines and remembers watching as Top Gear exploded onto the internet in the early days of web video, it’s incredible to see how far the genre has come in the last decade.
So grab another cup of coffee, plug in your best headphones, and mute your notifications—here are my favourite car videos from 2017.
Camilo Pardo and His Ford GT Go Full Circle (Petrolicious)
Petrolicious is essentially the gold standard of online car videos, and the first-generation Ford GT is one of my favourite modern sports cars. Made from 2004 to 2006, the Ford GT is a gorgeous example of retro design done well, and this video functions as a sort of interview with the man responsible for that design, Camilo Pardo. Pardo designed the Ford GT and his own 2005 example is featured in this short film. The video is beautifully shot and it’s a treat to not only hear about the GT from Pardo himself but also to hear his GT roar around the canyons outside of Los Angeles.
Wolf Of The Autostrada (VirusTornado)
Featuring an eighties music soundtrack and a cast of picture perfect eighties supercars, Wolf of the Autostrada is pure fun. This tongue-in-cheek short film follows four drivers, including Lamborghini’s famed test driver Valentino Balboni, race a Ferrari Testarossa, a Lamborghini Countach, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and a Ruf CTR Yellowbird along some fantastic roads as they push to be the first to deliver a mysterious package. There’s love at first light, carjacking, burnouts, and hard driving, all set to Frankie Goes to Hollywood and George Thorogood. One can only hope they make a sequel.
New Ford GT Review – Attacking the Arctic Circle Raceway in Ford’s Supercar (EVO)
Yes, yes, another Ford GT, but this is the new one. Earlier this year, Ford released the second generation of their Le Mans–inspired supercar with a 647 horsepower V6 and a price tag of over $450,000 USD ($562,000 CAD). In this video, EVO magazine’s Steve Sutcliffe takes a yellow GT into northern Norway to visit a racetrack I have never before seen in a car review. From beautiful drone footage of the roads leading to the track to hot laps at the dramatic Arctic Circle Raceway, this video is a great example of how to review a new supercar. The cinematography is incredible and Sutcliffe does a great job of translating a truly special experience into an excellent short video.
Alfaholics GTA-R 290 – Chris Harris Drives (Top Gear)
One could essentially pick any Chris Harris review and have a contender for this list, but his Top Gear review of the Alfaholics GTA-R 290 is something special. This video gets the pick because the featured car is not one found on many other channels. Alfaholics start with a 1967 Alfa Romeo GT Giulia and then build out a high-performance track-ready spec that preserves both the iconic design and the excellent old-school driving experience. Before he was picked for the new series of the BBC’s Top Gear, these are the sorts of videos that made Harris a household name among car enthusiasts. Driving hard and loving every minute of it, Harris’ enjoyment of this hot rod Alfa is infectious and this video is a great example of how the internet has become the stage for strange and wonderful projects like the GTA-R 290.
Full Timed Shootout: Goodwood FOS 2017
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a massive, world-renowned annual car show, and its hill climb is hosted at the Goodwood House in England. The event brings out some of the rarest and most noteworthy cars in the world, many of which take part in the hill climb. Running over 50 minutes, this is the full tape of the timed sessions when a wide assortment of cars compete for the fastest run up the hill. There aren’t many other videos where you can watch the Beast of Turin battle against a Ferrari 512 BB/LM, a Euro NASCAR RC-01, and a Jaguar XRJ-12D race car, so set aside your lunch break and enjoy the wild spectacle.
1959 Maserati Tipo 61: Climb Into The Birdcage (Petrolicious)
Here’s another from Petrolicious that simply couldn’t be left out of my top seven. Marino Franchitti drives Nick Mason’s 1959 Maserati Tipo 61 a.k.a “the Birdcage” (Mason, a prolific car collector, is likely better known as Pink Floyd’s drummer). Vintage race cars are a specific fascination of mine and the story behind the Birdcage is fascinating. For those that don’t recognize the name, Franchitti is a racing driver and he does an excellent job of adding personal context and detail to the story of the Tipo 61. This is an example of Petrolicious at the top of their game and I only wish they had left in a few more minutes of Marino blasting around that track as the engine note is electric.
Greatest Roads – One last Pass in the Audi R8 Spyder (DriveTribe)
Of the hundreds of car videos I watched last year, this is my favourite. Produced by DriveTribe and hosted by the wonderful Henry Catchpole, this video is much less about a car than it is about the experience of driving on a truly great road. Catchpole is behind the wheel of a lovely Audi R8 Spyder, and is on a hunt for one final mountain pass to drive before winter closes his favourite routes in the Alps. Eventually finding the incredibly varied Hahntennjoch pass in the Austrian Alps, the video transitions into a love letter to an excellent mountain road. A detailed and delicate piece of storytelling, Catchpole’s approach is thoughtful and intellectual, and the result is a video that I’ve watched many times over the past year. The film as a whole is elevated beyond a mere car review and manages the difficult task of capturing the allure and sheer joy of a great drive on a perfect mountain road.
Never miss a story, sign up for NUVO’s weekly newsletter, here.