With the ever-increasing offer of digital media, the written word is certainly challenged today. We’re therefore grateful that you still read this blog and if you do, chances that you follow a few car-focused Youtube channels is obviously quite high. Today I want to bring you my top 5 in this large universe – some you may be familiar with, but perhaps some can bring new inspiration. The list is by no means exhaustive and there’s certainly a lot of other good stuff out there – your suggestions are more than welcome!
The listing below goes in some kind of fame-based order and I’ve chosen to focus on non-professional car enthusiasts who have developed their channel from scratch, built a following and today in some cases made it something they can live off. If you’re toying with the idea, be aware though it takes a lot of work, time, patience and luck. An additional difficulty is of course that a car vlogger (without his own car collection like Shmee) will only win followers if he drives exciting cars, but he’ll only get access to those cars if he has a large following… Let’s just say I will keep my daytime job for now and stick to writing this blog! So here we go (clicking the title will take you to the Youtube channel):
Shmee150 – Tim Burton
Having made good money selling an electronics web store, the London-based Tim aka Shmee we all love to hate started vlogging ten years ago and has over the last decade in parallel built himself an impressive car collection. Updates around these are at the center of his films and Shmee also has a great network of friends especially in Germany, who also have highly interesting garages. The focus is clearly on super cars which he sometimes also takes to the Nürburgring and other exciting places. Yes, it is definitely irritating that this school boy looking guy with the high pitch voice has more money than you, but a lot of people have learnt to live with it and Shmee today has over 2 million followers.
Everyone knows Doug and no one is indifferent to him. This California-based, ex-Porsche mechanic writes columns for various car sites and started filming car tests in 2016 which are today followed by more than 3.5 million people. No one can compete with Doug’s focus on a car’s ”quirks and features”, partially making you forget that the actual driving in his 25-minute videos is down to a few minutes and doesn’t give much away in terms of the actual driving experience. Doug has also developed an index, ranking cars in various weekend and practicality categories. His preference is certainly for super cars but these have become quite diluted with a bit of everything – not all of it exciting.
The Straight Pipes – Yuri & Jakub
Two Canadian guys who put the focus on driving mostly on roads in Ontario, including their favourite cliché corner that filters well-behaved cars from less well-behaved ones. Jakub is a big fan of launch controls, Yuri is the interior entertainment specialist. Unlike Doug de Muro who went into the Covid lockdown with a large reserve of videos, Yuri and Jakub had to resort to virtual tests for a few months. They are however back for real now and enjoy around a million followers. The guys test a bit of everything, from family to sports cars, typically in the top versions.
Throttle House – Thomas & James
Canadian Thomas started the channel in 2016 that English-born James, today living in Canada, later joined. Throttle House today has around 700.000 followers with focus on exciting sports cars where driving both on roads and tracks is at the center of the films. There are a bit too many bad jokes based on English-Canadian language differences, but it’s nice with a blog with a pure driving focus.
Jayemm On Cars – James
Lotus-loving Englishman James is a car-loving photographer who is a member of the Clarkson & Co Drive Tribe. He started making films 5-6 years ago but has struggled with the challenge mentioned initially, access to attractive cars needed to get a nice following. Today he’s reached 100.000 followers, making it a bit easy, and his driver-based videos filmed on the English countryside are entertaining, since he knows his stuff. The focus is on sports rather than supercars, including gems from the 80’s and 90’s.
I hope you’ll enjoy some of the above-mentioned, and do please post your suggestions in the comments!