YouTube has a ton of awesome content. I’m going to try to review a few channels for y’all every week or so because, well, because.
Look, I #consume a lot of #media, and at some point of watching that much #digitalcontent, you’ve got to start answering some difficult questions about what you’re doing with your life. However, if you say that you’re watching it to “review” it, well then, this life-draining hobby that prevents you from actually driving or fixing the vacuum leak that has haunted your Miata for the last 6 months suddenly becomes socially acceptable. So here it goes.
Before we delve right into it, I think you and I need to make a distinction. Being a Texan, this is our line in the sand at the Alamo. The automotive hobby draws all types, and it isn’t a real brain buster as to see why. You’re on Oppositelock reading this right now, so, you know, you probably get it. But for our purposes, I want you to imagine in your head that there is a spectrum of automotive enthusiasm.
All the way to the left, we’ve got our most cursory, “Cars are super-duper!” group of folks who will pick up a Motor Trend at the dentist’s office or won’t immediately shy away from supercar news at the water cooler. Maybe they’re not old enough to drive, maybe they’re in their 50s and think that technology certainly has come a long way since the CueCat and rotary telephones. Moving further to the right, we find the hobby getting a bit deeper, murkier, whispers of Miatas start to become more raucous and enthusiastic. As you continue down this line and pass the midway point, you find yourself in a wasteland scattered with subcultures and chrome. You’ll meet the walking dead and damned who will - *will* - fight you over your opinions on water- vs. air-cooled Porsches. Folks who actually participate with their money that they earned from their jobs doing non-car things to sacrifice to the pit of fire that is their chosen stallion, one that might not even enjoy the security blanket CarMax warranty.
For today, let’s divide this group into two.
Folks on the left of the spectrum who simply enjoy cars are a simple bunch to understand. They like things that are loud or shiny or engaging to the eye in an artistic way. Some of them enjoy the culture that embraces it. These are folks who, when their ADD comes on and they left their medication out of arms reach, will peruse Jalopnik for the ever-present top ten lists, comment on Nurburgring track times, and enjoy watching Chris Harris slide whatever collection of carbon kevlar and horsepower some OEM has just lent him of their own free damn will around some half-wet track that’s just drenched in flawless scenery. These folks are good people. They, or their parents, pay their taxes on time. They like to visit Reddit and bench race and argue about P1s and LaFerraris at the bar.
They are *not* /Drive+’s audience.
And so we arrive at that depraved group of dead-eyed automotive zombies who will, without provocation, begin any conversation about Nissans or BMWs with 20 year old chassis and engine codes and assume that you, the innocent victim of their raging hobby, know exactly what the difference between an S14 and an S14 is. These folks - this is what /Drive+ will appeal to. If you’re not someone who actively seeks out automotive content and aren’t at least workably fluent in the language of automotive culture, /Drive+ is probably not up your alley. However, if you are someone who self-identifies as a car nerd, and let me qualify this as a personal opinion:
/Drive+ produces, without question or shadow of doubt, the best and most varied car content on the internet today.
Let’s go ahead and tackle some of the things that you’ll write angry comments about head-on.
1. You have to pay for /Drive+. You probably bitched about it on the internet at some point, even if you never had heard of the channel. It’s $4/month, or $48/year. Content of this caliber takes money to produce. People actually work at /Drive. It’s a job, and you have to pay for things like cameras and plane tickets and gas and whatever product Spinelli uses to tame the creature that lives on his head. Going to a pay model was the only way they could survive. Now, if you’re used to using YouTube as a way to waste time, this entire pay-for-content concept will escape you. But you will be missing out on a very inexpensive way to enjoy the best video content that exists. And you’re supporting a group of car nerds that live all the way on the
2. Chris Harris is doing his own thing now. He has a separate channel. He still does work for /Drive on NBC Sports. He slides cars around a track and does all kinds of things all over Europe that make you think he has the best job ever. He probably does. However, his videos are not the all-inclusive, lifting the veil of the car industry and introducing you to the players, engineering, and builds. He drifts and races cars and he is on a different channel now. I’ll do a review on him later.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, if you find yourself in the /Drive audience (and I’ll remind you that you’re reading this on Oppositelock, so you very well might be), you might want to try a month of their content. Generally, their full-length pieces consist of 3 or 4 segments and are between 20 and 40 minutes long. You’ll find Matt Farah covering some absurd Porsche that is the latest in an arms race of horsepower and light weight designed specifically to kill him, Mike Musto covering some segment of the muscle car world that you never knew existed with one-off and unique builds that will 100% without fail make you open a second window to see what’s available on Craigslist, a technical piece that will cover a segment of automotive engineering (whether it be exhaust or wheel design, chassis or suspension setups) with folks that work for engineering groups that you know and love with fascinating detail for those who want to know how the car actually works. And then there’s generally a story of some sort.
The stories that /Drive produces are what makes it such a special project. They’ll cover anything from a guy who has restored his father’s Pagoda-roof SL to a Fiat designed to run the Mille Miglia to the most grassroots sports car manufacturer in the world, to a Ferrari shop in England with a man who might actually have a better job than Chris Harris. They’re all spectacularly filmed as well, with that romantic imagery from all over the wold making you lust for whatever equipment they’re pouring over.
I don’t think I can say enough about the channel. I’ve personally been waiting for this sort of content since Speed Channel was still Speedvision. These are the stories and the coverage of cars that defines out hobby and frames it in a way that’s just spectacular in both production value and presentation. Finally, you have car content on the internet for a very low price that doesn’t attempt to turn every video into quick cuts of drifting and bikinis and mansplaining to you how more horsepower is better horsepower. Automotive enthusiasts, rejoice.