It’s the end of the year, which means time to spend
in the garage avoiding extended family reflecting on what a year we’ve had. Roadkill has published several totally awesome magazines, grown a fantastic website with the automotive world’s best readers and commenters, and of course, banged out some of the most entertaining videos we’ve ever made. I mean, have you seen the “200 MPH Club “documentary of Freiburger and Keith Turk land-speed racing in Australia? [Go watch it on MotorTrendOndDemand.]
Rather than give you some old humdrum list of “ZOMG POPULAR STORIES,” we instead decided to comb through what our readers liked to see if there were any patterns. And boy, were there. You guys are weirder—in a good way—than we thought. So here are 7 things our readers loved seeing this year.
Roadkill Episode Release Dates
No, it’s not particularly exciting, but this was Roadkill’s most popular story of the year. I’m pretty happy about that, mostly because I spent a lot of time making it happen. And it also gave us a document to share with you viewers when you asked when the next episode would come out. This one goes through January, so it’s maybe about time we got a new one together, right? Of course, this is Roadkill, so you’ll maybe get it around March. Also heads up: New Roadkill episode on Friday!
We hear you loud and clear on this one. Three of our most popular stories this year came from Roadkill’s 24 Hours of Lemons correspondents, Murilee Martin and myself (Eric Rood). Murilee Martin walked us through how to fetch three common blowers for your low-buck build from General Motors’ V6 cars, the Mazda Millennia, and Toyota Previa. You can also find this one in the current issue of Roadkill Magazine. Additionally, you really liked this story about the Lemons BMW 3-Series with the blower from a GM V6. Finally, this old supercharging Lemons story from 2016 remained popular in 2017.
We’ve featured plenty of them here on Roadkill.com and also in the magazine, but this trio really captured your imagination. Top among them was Scotty Lochenaur’s story about Coti Sanders’ Asphalt Modified race car turned into a daily-driven ‘36 Chevy. Yeah, we understand why that was your favorite, too. RK Nation also loved Scott Harris’ quad-turbo 1980 Camaro, which Scott dreamed up while working as an engineer in the Texas oil fields. Finally, the Sloppy Turbo Pontiac Tempest of Shawn and Sara Jones, which featured a turbo 4.8-liter Chevy Truck engine. Povi Pullinen wrote and shot photos of those latter two and really captured their awesomeness.
Dodge Demon, Demon Banned, Dodge Teases Demon
We—and probably you, too—suffered a bit of Dodge Demon Exhaustion by the time Chrysler rolled out the 840-horsepower, 9-second factory car in April. But dang, we found a lot to be excited about after it rolled out. And no, we here at Roadkill World Headquarters (aka a cardboard box in Freiburger’s garage) had no information of substance before the proper announcement, the story of which was one of our top stories here on the website. You also wanted to know if it was gonna get you kicked off the local drag strip (Spoiler: It won’t). Also: Elana got to drive it and the rest of the staff is still mega-jealous.
While we enjoy plenty of cars outside the scope of “traditional” Roadkill topics (i.e. pre-1975 American cars), we love expanding our horizons. And we were pleasantly surprised to discover how much Roadkill Nation loves Volvos. When we posted this story about swapped Volvo Wagons from the first Roadkill Zip-Tie Drags at Tucson Dragway, our readers went nuts. Naturally, Roadkill Cold Weather Correspondent (aka Canadian) Ben Hunting followed up with two more awesome Volvo stories that you loved about a berserk turbocharged Volvo Pre-Runner and more on Volvo’s engines.
Controversial Lists and Non-Traditional Engine Choices
We’ll add on to that Volvo point with a couple of lists that went over well. When we asked RK Nation for their favorite non-V8 engines, we got a great mix of responses. We picked some we felt represented your choices and, naturally, there was some uproar about which ones we put on the list. Feel free to dump on us at the end of the year about it, too. Roadkill readers also enjoyed this list that Benjamin Hunting put together of great non-LS engine swaps.
Who needs cars?
If we’ve learned anything about Roadkill readers this year, it’s that you have a broad variety of tastes. That doesn’t pertain to just cars, either. Five popular stories from this year had absolutely nothing—or at least very little—to do with things on four wheels (kind of). Finnegan played a role in a couple of them, which might explain their popularity. Ya’ll love the Bearded Wonder and we think he’s alright, too. His radio-controlled mini-Blasphemi (OK, that has four wheels) went over well, as did the time he took his dad boat racing.
You know what else Roadkill nation liked? Minibikes! Man, minibikes rule so hard and we covered them with our friend Laura Conrad’s first minibike build plus this killer list of non-car projects for the aspiring (or experienced wrench). Finally, the 550 mph P-51 Mustang air racer smashed a new piston-engined record and that was just awesome. The noise! The glorious noise!
That pretty much wraps up the year for us here at Roadkill.com, unless we get a rush of awesome stories that break the internet in the intervening 10 days. Until then, we love hearing from you. What do you want to see from Roadkill in 2018 (besides the new episodes we have planned)?