Jalopnik's commenters and tipsters are incredibly important to us. Don't believe it? Here are some of the biggest stories we've ever had... all brought to us by tipsters (send us one now). As a thank you, and to show you guys how important you really are, here's a year-by-year account of how tipsters hooked us up. Memories.

UPDATE: Now includes our top tipster-generated stories from the Jalopnik nation so far for 2011. See if yours made the cut below!

Enzo crash on Pacific Coast Highway!
The original story tip came from reader "Manuel," but when
tipster "Paul" sent us shots of a demolished Ferrari Enzo he'd taken on PCH near Decker Canyon in Malibu, we had no idea it was just one chapter in a convoluted tale of a stolen Ferrari, the world of high-tech gadgetry a mysterious passenger named "Dietrich," and the Swedish mafia. And after it was all over, and the perp walked, someone built a model of the original incident.

Tipsters gave us a buffet of big pop-culture stories in 2007, including an early shot of the Shelby GT500KR that would star in NBC's ill-fated Knight Rider rehash. They also gave us early warning of the Saleen Mustang that would play the Decepticon Barricade in the first Transformers movie. And then Ray found out that Optimus Prime had lips, and that changed everything. Kind of.

This was the year tipsters helped Jalopnik make 2008 The Year Of The Guy Who Built a Lamborghini In His Basement, Then Tore A Wall Down To Get It Out. That guy was Ken Imhoff, and his Ford-powered Lambo-look sports car made Jalopnik commenters doff their beer hats, and we called him a grease monkey superhero, with no irony whatsoever.

Remember the guy who crashed his Bugatti Veyron into a Texas lake trying to avoid a low-flying pelican? And then there it was — on video, shot by a couple of eyewitnesses, actually crashing into the lake?. Yeah, and then that same guy wound up with the Ferrari Enzo that Eddie Griffin crashed? You cannot make this stuff up. But you can tip us off.

Then, in 2010, in the depths of the recessionocalypse, you sent us the heartwarming story of a kid who traded a used cell phone for a Porsche Boxster in 14 Craigslist swaps. And if that wasn't enough, we heard from a guy whose fianceé dumped him, so he sold everything, bought an Lamborghini Gallardo — literally, on Independence Day — and hit the open road, where he amassed a lifetime of adventures and a drawer full of speeding tickets, and once was mistaken for Moby at a strip club. You just know a book deal will pay off the hundreds of thousands in debt he's racked up.

We're only into the second month of 2011 and we've already had some great commenter-generated and reader-tipped stories. In fact, here's a slew of them so far:

The JFK Ambulance Is A Fake

Bill Ford confirms turbo stang

Owner shows off BMW on forum before deadly crash

How much does a McLaren MP4-12C cost?

Detroit mayor shoots down idea for Robocop statue

The Amazing Carbon Fiber Loom Toyota Didn't Want You To See

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