With the consistent popularity of YouTube and the pandemic-driven rise in popularity of TikTok, it seems that short viral videos are one of the most widely consumed and influential forms of media these days.
Cars, trucks, and SUVs often play a star role in many of today’s most popular viral videos, and while we typically spend our time providing expert car advice to Canadians, we figured a lighthearted end-of-the-year roundup of our favourite automotive-themed viral videos would be a great way to help cap off the year.
Scroll down to see the top 10 craziest automotive viral videos of 2021. (Warning: Some videos feature language that’s not safe for work. Please exercise caution.)
Dealership Technician Takes Customer’s Corvette on 236 km/h Joyride
Our first crazy automotive-related viral video of 2021 shows a technician from Fremont Chevrolet in California taking a customer’s brand-new C8 Corvette Stingray out for a joyride and racing a Dodge Charger at speeds of up to 236 km/h (147 mph). This video racked up over 15,000 upvotes on Reddit’s /r/IdiotsInCars board and was also covered by several major news outlets.
The incriminating video footage comes from the vehicle’s built-in Performance Data Recorder, which is mainly used for recording a driver’s on-track moments from a racing circuit, but it can also double as a dashcam. The customer realized the technician took their vehicle out for a high-speed joyride when they reviewed the footage. The owner was later offered a new 2022 Corvette Stingray from the dealer as an apology. Needless to say, the dealership technician was also fired.
Plane Lands on a Highway in Markham, Ont.
While not the most viral video of the year by any means, this clip of a small airplane performing an emergency landing on Highway 407 in Markham, Ont., generated some buzz on Twitter and in the media. According to Global News, the pilot took off from the nearby Buttonville Municipal Airport, but was forced to make an emergency landing after experiencing a mechanical failure. A pilot and instructor were on board at the time and were thankfully uninjured.
Large Man’s Small Car Is Surprisingly Fast
This short and strange video has so far racked up a surprising 13 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded in early August. The unintentionally hilarious title of the video, “Tiny Car Takes Off in a Hurry,” really says it all. The 34-second clip shows a grown man exiting a building and approaching a miniature pickup truck before he starts a small engine, hops in, and takes off down the road. The two onlookers filming the video can’t help but laugh as he speeds away. Laugh all you like, but we can’t help but be a little bit jealous of his tiny little truck.
Ohio Senator Debates Distracted Driving Bill on Zoom While Driving
This video was the top-rated post on the aforementioned /r/IdiotsInCars board this year, racking up a whopping 173,000 upvotes, and it’s easy to see why. The clip shows Ohio senator Andrew Brenner participating in a Zoom meeting while driving in his car – but attempting to conceal that fact by changing his Zoom background to a photo of a living room. Unfortunately for Brenner, his seatbelt was still showing with the Zoom background on, giving him away in a rather hilarious fashion.
Brenner later defended his decision to take the meeting while driving, saying he’s taken “numerous” other Zoom calls while in his vehicle and that he doesn’t consider it distracted driving. According to Cleveland, Ohio, NBC affiliate WKYC, this all went down on the same day a bill to ban distracted driving was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. Not a great look.
YouTuber Spotted in Wagon Wheel-Shod Hellcat
This rather hilarious video also comes from the /r/IdiotsInCars board, but it’s also connected to a YouTuber by the name of Whistlin’ Diesel, who is known in online automotive circles for destroying his pricey fleet of pickup trucks and doing other automotive stunts.
The YouTuber in question outfitted his Dodge Challenger Hellcat with a set of wagon wheels for a video and was spotted filming said video in a parking lot of a grocery store by an unsuspecting motorist, who later shared the video to Reddit. We’ve embedded both the Reddit post and Whistlin Diesel’s video for your viewing pleasure. Something tells us those wheels won’t be able to put 700-plus horsepower to the pavement very effectively.
Model X Gets its Falcon Wings Clipped
A video of a Tesla Model X driving with one of its Falcon Wing doors open before smashing it on a double-decker bus went viral on various social media platforms and was covered by major international news outlets. The driver pulled away from a parking bay unaware that the door was open and, due to its design, clipped the tip of the door on the front of a London bus, smashing the front windshield. It’s too bad there isn’t a different, more widely used rear door design that could have prevented this!
18-Wheeler Carrying Turbine Blade Hit by Train
Attracting more than 12 million views on YouTube since it was posted in late August, this video of a train crashing into an 18-wheeler carrying a large wind turbine blade in Texas is one of the scarier automotive-related viral videos from this past year. According to the video description, the truck became stuck on the tracks when trying to execute a sharp turn and was hit by the train, which was unable to stop in time. Crew members from the train were taken to hospital with unknown injuries.
Dog Hops in Golf Cart, Hits Owner’s Truck
After the scary incident above, we’ll lighten things up a bit with a video of an English Mastiff named Titan accidentally hopping behind the wheel of his owner’s golf cart, which makes a sharp 360-degree turn before crashing into a nearby Chevrolet truck. This video wasn’t the most popular on this list, but it’s local to us here in Canada, with Titan and his owner residing in rural Manitoba. Luckily, Titan walks away from the collision unharmed.
Distracted Driver Wipes Out Pool, Trampoline
This rather scary crash was another one of the most popular posts from the /r/IdiotsInCars board this year, amassing nearly 100,000 upvotes. According to the original poster, a distracted driver lost control of their vehicle and crashed into the backyard. The clip shows the vehicle entering the frame at an extremely high rate of speed before wiping out an above-ground pool and a trampoline before crashing into the home. This viral clip may be entertaining, but it’s an important reminder to put the phone down when driving.
Lamborghini Crash Goes Hugely Viral on TikTok
This clip, which originated on TikTok, may be the most viral on this list, but it requires a bit of a backstory. A person by the name of Matthew Heller initially went viral on TikTok and YouTube when he posted a video of a woman confronting him after she allegedly rammed into his Lamborghini Aventador on purpose. This turned the Internet against the woman, but a video later emerged on TikTok showing Heller sideswiping her Audi moments before. She later admitted to purposefully ramming into the Lamborghini in retaliation, according to a report from The Drive. Sounds like everyone in this story could use a bit of self reflection.