The Most-Read Jalopnik Posts of 2018

We all know that Jalopnik is not good for your health, or ours. But for reasons that are utterly beyond us, you people will not stop reading it. These are the most-read Jalopnik posts for all of 2018.

Based on our analytics team’s internal metrics, here are the posts that generated the most traffic—or “clicks, as you people say in the comments —from Jan. 1 to today.

And somehow, just like last year, there’s good news and bad news in this one. The good news is that your excellent taste is once again well-reflected. The bad news is, well, Elon Musk called a random guy a pedophile.

But once again, we can’t choose the news. We also can’t make Chevrolet design not-ugly cars.

10.) Elon Musk is Doubling Down on the Whole ‘Pedo’ Thing

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Photo: AP

In case you were asleep earlier this year (in which case God has blessed you), this one is a little complicated. First, there was a team of soccer Youths in Thailand. Their coach led them into a cave on a bit of a fun team-building exercise, as one does, as it’s a big touristy cave. There was a sign saying not to enter the cave, but only during the rainy season, and when the team entered the cave it was NOT officially the rainy season. But then the rain started anyway. The cave started to flood, so they went further into the cave, only for it to be flooded even more.

The team was trapped in huge cave, like two miles in.

So an international rescue effort was launched. There were miners and divers and spelunkers and people specialized in tricky rescue situations and also.... Tesla CEO Elon Musk?????? What on Earth was he doing there? This was an extremely precarious situation that resulted in the death of at least one Thai Navy SEAL, which should indicate that this was typically not the sort of thing for your average tourist to get involved with.

Elon figured he was no average tourist, however. He, the Man in charge of Many Companies, had a company that built rockets. Rockets, you may be aware, aren’t usually launched in caves.

But! Some of the rocket parts could be configured into a janky submarine, of sorts, that could wind its way in and out of the cave system to where the soccer team was, if only if the “submarine” was much smaller than it actually was.

After all was said and done, one of the rescuers called Elon out for generally being a distraction, inserting himself into something where he didn’t belong, and offering something completely useless (the team was eventually rescued with some more traditional SCUBA gear).

Elon, of course, offered the natural response (???????????????) saying that the rescuer was a “pedo” (?????????????????????????????????????????????).

And then, when he was rightfully lambasted from every sane corner of the world, he doubled down.

Proving, once again, that Elon Musk isn’t who you think he is. He’s exactly who you think he is.

9.) There Are Bed Bugs in Airplanes Because We Live in Hell Now

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There’s no backstory here. It is what it is. Happy flying.

8.) Here’s How to Ruin a Racing Career in One Dangerous Move

Mistakes and crashes happen in racing all the time, because we’re all human. But while we’re all human, everyone does their utmost to not let their passions get the better of them. To not do something truly petty and wildly dangerous. A high-speed crash can brutally maim, or even kill. Especially on a motorcycle.

Which is what made it so egregious when Moto2 rider Romano Fenati grabbed the brake lever of rival Stefano Manzi in the middle of a race.

Fenati was subsequently fired by his team and banned from racing until 2019.

7.) The Ford Mustang Is Eating the Chevy Camaro’s Lunch

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Ford, an SUV company, has an anachronism in its lineup. Despite a model range relegated to hulking crossovers and pickups in the face of stiff competition, it still makes one single, solitary car from a bygone era. That car is the Ford Mustang, which both looks very good and is very good.

Contrast it with Chevrolet, a company that makes a wide swath of vehicles, including a rival to the Mustang, a car called the Camaro. The Camaro is also pretty good, except for the fact that it looks a bit like it’s been beaten with an ugly stick.

Just look at that face, with a mouth looking like your eighth grade friend, Jimmy. You remember Jimmy. He thought it was a brilliant idea to get black rubber bands on his braces. Yeesh.

Which might help explain why the Mustang has been dominating the Camaro in sales. That, and the lack of a four-cylinder sporty option to compete with the Mustang’s Ecoboost engine until very recently.

6.) When Are We Going to Address How Paul Walker Had Relationships With Underage Girls?

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There’s been some lionization in the car world of late actor Paul Walker, because he acted in some movies as a character who happened to like cars, and he happened to like cars, too. But separating the character from the person is always important, and the person isn’t always who you want them to be.

There were multiple documented instances of Walker dating 16-year-old girls when he was significantly older than them, in one case when he was in his 30s.

When we remember people, it’s best for everyone involved that we remember them honestly.

5.) Cops Seize $130,000 Nissan Skyline GT-R At Florida Car Show And The Story Is Wild (Updated)

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A 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R was taken by the cops at a Florida car show. That much isn’t unusual, as we’re still about five years away from being able to legally import these good cars into America, the Land of the Free™.

What was unusual about this whole mess is that the cops couldn’t figure out who actually owned the thing:

This uncertainty forced authorities to take the car away until they could figure out who actually owns the thing. “Due to the fact that the lawful owner of [the Skyline] could not be determined at this time,” the police officer wrote, “the [Skyline] was towed by Daytona Wrecker Service to the Daytona Beach Police Department for safekeeping until Detective Bryant can determine lawful ownership.”

Our own repeated attempts to contact the potential owners went rebuffed at first. But it soon emerged that the car itself was at the center of an ownership dispute, spanning several states all across the country, and eventually the cops decided it was a civil matter that they didn’t want to get involved in.

Eventually, one owner won out. Maybe.

4.) Driver Faces Charges After Tesla Model S Goes Airborne

The galaxy brain take is that Teslas are from the future. Some say they can even fly.

3.) 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD: Gaze Upon It And Weep

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This thing is ugly. Uuuuuu-ggggguhhhhhhh-leeeeeeeeeeeeee. It is so hideous, in fact, that as of this writing, the Gizmodo Media Group’s Analytics Team is saying that a staggering 911,561 of you checked in just to stare deeply into the face of Medusa herself.

Seriously, we do posts like “oh, here’s a new pickup truck,” all the time. People generally go, “oh, a new pickup truck,” and then they move on. Because that’s the healthy thing to do.

Not the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD. People even volunteered, unsolicited, to try and fix it.

Its hair is snakes, and your faces are stone. Chevrolet, what have you done?

2.) The Pilot Who Saved That Southwest Flight Is A Badass

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The engine on Southwest Airlines flight 1380 disintegrated in mid-air last April, leaving one person dead. While the loss is incredibly tragic, it could’ve been worse, were it not for pilot Tamie Jo Shults, one of the first women to fly the F/A-18 fighter jet for the U.S. Navy.

1.) A Southwest Flight Made an Emergency Landing After an In-Flight Case of Non-Consensual Footsie Got Out of Hand

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Different pilot, different plane, but generally a rough year for Southwest Airlines, but this time, it wasn’t the airline’s fault:

It sounds silly at first, but the details of the whole event quickly get pretty disturbing. According to the Department of Justice, a 29-year-old Texan by the name of Justin Brafford is being charged with simple assault and intimidating members of a flight crew because things just got out of control.

See, on the flight from Los Angeles to Dallas, Brafford was seated next to a woman with whom he decided he really needed to play footsie. This is, arguably, every woman’s nightmare: dear lord, I’m trapped in this flying hunk of metal with nowhere to go and this weird dude next to me keeps rubbing his feet on mine.

Things just got worse from there. According to the woman, Brafford started to delve into verbal harassment, too, when she started to look uncomfortable. After the man warned his seatmate “don’t f*ck with me,” a flight attendant agreed to swap the woman’s seat.

With 1,389,479 readers as of this writing, this hellish flight is Jalopnik’s most popular story of 2019.

Happy flying, happy driving, and happy blogs.

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.



3 articles about planes and 1 about a flying car. Time to rebrand as Planeopnik?