Watching a gifted driver manipulate a true performance car is like watching art being made. It's like Yo Yo Ma playing cello, only louder and typically outdoors. Here's what you consider the ten most amazing driving videos.
This is Answers of the Day - a feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
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10.) Hans Stuck At The 'Ring
Suggested By: ttyymmnn
Why It's Awesome: First he gobbles up one Porsche, and then another, finally a third, and that's before Mr. Stuck is even out of the new section of the 'Ring. The almost violent beatdown he lays on in this video is mesmerizing. From the quick shifts and precise movements at every corner to the evil banshee wail of his M3 GTR, this is one seriously impressive video. But, like all amazing drivers, Hans himself looks like he's just out for a trip to the grocery store, reminding us that he's the man, and we're not.
9.) Ken Block's Gymkhana 1
Suggested By: Duncan Elliot
Why It's Awesome: I remember the first time I watched Ken Block's Gymkhana clip. I was unimpressed initially. Alright, so some guy is throwing his Subaru sideways and around a couple of tires. Whatever. It took until he started circling that pylon for me to sit up and take notice, and by the time he'd gone off the runway and around that house? Sold. And of course, it just gets better from there.
8.) Fangio Monaco
Suggested By: tiag0
Why It's Awesome: There are few things in the world cooler than this video. The Master, driving a D50 through the streets of Monaco early in the morning, apparently not during F1 season there, (note the lack of armco and cars parked on the streets) is a lovely thing. The fact that he appears not to be out there just phoning it in either is doubly impressive. Tire squeals, a missed shift, tails hanging out and gratuitous use of slow motion, all combine to make this a truly special clip.
7.) Ari Vatanen Stage 16 Isle Of Man TT
Suggested By: BingleyJoe
Why It's Awesome: I've always wondered what would happen if the driver in a rally car was going so fast that the navigator just couldn't spit out the pace notes fast enough. This guy gets close, but doesn't throw down his notebook in frustration. Ari Vatanen once again shows how he does what he does and we don't here at the Isle of Man. I'm not going to lie to you, I sat up extra straight and there may have been some clenching as Mr. Vatanen throws his steed into those tight passes. I was sure he was going to lose at least a mirror.
6.) Bullitt Chase Scene
Suggested By: AcidDiver
Why It's Awesome: Some cable channel was doing a "Weekend of Steve McQueen" a couple of weeks back, and I sat up watching Bullitt late one night, (I was hoping to see Le Mans up next- alas, it was not to be) because I'd forgotten how awesome the chase scene is. It never disappoints. It's like a snowball rolling downhill, starting off innocently enough, the two parties involved playing cat-and-mouse, feeling each other out. Then the bad guys buckle up, and it's off to the races! Big smokey burnouts, (in reverse!) jumps, sawed-off shotguns- there's a reason this is considered one of the best chase scenes of all time. And with a stuntman playing the bad guy, this isn't just cinema magic. This is real driving.
5.) Walter Rohrl Group B
Suggested By: Feketalazio
Why It's Awesome: This one would be great if it was just three minutes of footage through the windshield of crazed rally fans running out of the way of an angry Group B Audi. Luckily for us, we get the added bonus of cutaways to Walter's feet doing insane things with pedals, hands doing things that are illegal in some states to the wheel and gear lever, and a great 80's soundtrack of cool grooves. (Kidding. We got lucky with the Ari Vatanen video up there, don't get used to it.) Jokes about questionable soundtrack decisions aside, this is a great showcase of Walter Rohrl doing his thing.
4.) Ruf CTR Yellowbird Laps The 'Ring
Suggested By: Troy
Why It's Awesome: Sure, it takes a couple of minutes to get going, and the welder smiling at the camera is goofy-looking, but there's nothing silly about the Yellowbird tearing up the Nordschleife. It's a good thing the guys at Ruf had time to play with their car, because this is one impressive film. 'Sideways' Stefan certainly has his hands full, as there's a number of occasions when he very nearly stuffs it into the armco.
3.) Senna's Perfect Lap
Suggested By: Snap_Understeer_FTW
Why It's Awesome: In the rain, Ayrton Senna was king. Here in Donnington in 1993, he takes care of all four drivers ahead of him in the space of about half a lap to take the lead. Driving like the track was covered in fly paper, you'd never know there were inches of water there if not for the rooster tail coming off Senna's McLaren. It's a truly awe-inspiring performance.
2.) Climb Dance
Suggested By: ThatManicalFinn
Why It's Awesome: Behold the majesty of the Climb Dance. Ari Vatanen's back, this time at the wheel of a ridiculous Peugeot 405, and on Colorado's Pikes Peak. Climb Dance won a number of awards in its day, but even if it hadn't it would still be regarded as one of the best examples of edge-of-your-seat (and edge-of-the-road) film making. Keep your eyes peeled at around 3:25 in, when Ari throws a hand up to block the sun pouring in on his eyes, and yet doesn't miss a beat or slow down at all.
1.) C'etait un Rendezvous
Suggested By: Tuckr589
Why It's Awesome: Many guessed this would be the top pick. Many were right. Director Claude Lelouch made this film with the use of a camera, a car, and a beautiful city. The background was the streets of Paris, the driver was Lelouch himself, but the car remained a mystery for years. Your ears are hearing a Ferrari 275 GTB, but your eyes are seeing what the front bumper of a Mercedes Benz 6.3 sedan saw. Many were disappointed when they found out that the star isn't really one of Maranello's finest, but consider this: the heavy camera equipment might have tipped the Prancing Horse over. The extra weight of the big Merc makes the film possible, and besides, how cool must it have been to drive that huge thing so fast through Paris early in the morning?