Most Improved, 2005

This is a long time coming, but I’ve really been enjoying Jalopnik the past few months. When Jalopnik and Autoblog and others like it launched, I was disappointed that these new car blogs were so boring. Cars are one of the most universal of hobbies, and you’d think it’s easy to find someone nuts about it that could write. And yet, the first year of car blogs was a blur of warmed over press releases from Detroit and Japan. Yaawwwwwn.

At some point this year, Nick Denton roped in a superfreak car geek that sounds like he wrote for magazines or covered cars for a newspaper or something. His enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge deep — he loses me sometimes but for the most part it’s still accessible for the average fan of cars. Me, I’m mostly into new car design and custom tuner cars, and the site doesn’t disappoint these days. I’d go so far as to say it’s the most dramatic turnaround I’ve seen in a blog, as it went from boring to must-read almost overnight by simply getting a new writer.

Slightly related — the one thing I thought was annoying about the new author is the fixation on posting a silly car video of the day. They’re usually a 30 second shaky short of some mulleted dork (the author calls them “hoons”) trying to do a burnout. Sometimes they’re funny. More often they’re kind of boring. But sometimes they’re incredible. I’ve come around on the “hoon” posts there too.

And while this is the intellectual equivalent of “Man Getting Hit By Football (in the nuts)”, Redneck Surfing just might be the greatest hoon video ever uploaded. Watch it about twenty times like I did today to understand what I’m going on about. It’s an instant classic.