The Best MotorTrend On Demand Shows to Binge While Social Distancing
The Four Wheeler & Truck Trend Staff picks its favorite MTOD shows
If you're anything like us, you're getting tired of watching the 24-hour news cycle and the usual talking heads. The majority of the country is now practicing social distancing. Whether that means working from home, drive-by meal pickup, hoarding toilet paper, or just hunkering down on the couch in isolation, we think it's time we all give ourselves a break. We asked around the virtual Four Wheeler & Truck Trend Office and found out which MotorTrend on Demand shows each of us has been binge watching all day- ahem, we mean checking out at the end of the day when we're all done with work!
We learned a few notable things along the way. Even though we are fully consumed by all forms of truck related content pretty much 24/7, it doesn't necessarily mean that's all we watch on MTOD in our down time. After all, variety is the spice of life, right? As long as it's automotive-centric! We also realized that there is pretty much no way that a single one of us could watch everything that Motor Trend Group produces. There are literally thousands of hours of content out there. So, it was definitely interesting to see where each of us drilled down for our entertainment.
The bottom line is that MotorTrend Group creates a lot of automotive entertainment. And it turns out we watch a lot, too. So, this is our list of the shows you can stream on MotorTrend right now. You can't possibly watch it all, or maybe you can? Either way, we're happy to keep you entertained until the world gets things sorted out.
Oh, and if you don't have a MotorTrend streaming subscription? You can try it for free here for two weeks.
Jeremy Cook- Editor, Truckin
I think you probably could have predicted this one, right? Bill Carlton is an old friend- like for the past 20 years- and I couldn't be happier for him and his crew at Ekstensive Metal Works. Ekstensive is known in the truck scene for a whole list of firsts: first to put that body style truck on the ground, first to put that model in the sky, etc. And since my other love is Cadillacs, the show fulfills that craving, too. I mean, the last printed cover of Truckin was the C30 crew cab dualie!
This one might throw you for a loop, but in my opinion the beauty of this show is in its simplicity. Real world folk that just want to drive their long-forgotten project car again and a crew that gets the job done in real-world terms. And if you haven't noticed, they do a hell of a lot of trucks!
If the last pick was a surprise, then this one certainly will be. I don't know Wayne Carini personally, but it sure is fun to watch him work his way into old barns and garages and check out people's stuff. I also find it interesting that he covers all aspect of collectable vehicles: Exotics, turn of the century cars, racing pedigree, broncos- he even commissioned a Riddler award contender. His across-the-board knowledge is something I envy.
Christian Hazel- Editor, Petersen's 4Wheel & Offroad
Fred and Dave were both my buddies long before they ever had a show called Dirt Every Day, but they're both real-world off-roaders who know how to wrench on their own junk and that comes through in the shows. Dave is an exceptional fabricator, mechanic, painter, and welder so without him I think most of the crazy contraptions they come up with just flat-out wouldn't get 3 feet outside the shop door. Fredling is a pretty kooky dude with original ideas and no filter for self-preservation, which is why you see him doing things like riding shotgun while Dave does motorhome donuts or piloting a diesel-powered Jeep underwater in full scuba gear.
The BBC program that started it all featuring the original trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammons to me sits head and shoulders above all imitators. In my opinion, the key to this formula's storied success is that it's a show originally constructed around three car guys who then became famous. Other iterations take three famous hosts and try to cram them into a car guy mold. It just doesn't transfer. To me there's no better automotive TV than those first 22 series of original Top Gear Episodes.
Ken Brubaker- Editor, Four Wheeler
Even though my world is 4x4-centric, I've found Roadkill to be addictive. And, David Freiburger used to be the editor of 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine, so there's that. The episodes are fresh and entertaining and I like both. I was drawn to the "Rotsun Lives Again!" episode (Season 9, Episode 103) because I used to have a Z-car. And I think the "440 Big-Block Samurai: From The Junkyard to the Road" episode (Season 8, Episode 92) is a classic.
It's almost like they created this show just for me. End to end entertainment with some truly creative content and the show is off-road based. Dave and Fred never disappoint. One of my favorite episodes was the "Washington Wagoneer Rescue" (Season 5, Episode 50). There's something about mixing an old barn find and snow. I actually felt cold (even though it was really warm in my living room) as I watched them work to get the Jeep running in an old barn in the dead of winter. That's a good show when it can draw you in like that and make you feel what they're feeling. But of course I got all warm and fuzzy when they got the Jeep running.
Jason Gonderman- Editor, Truck Trend
Texas Metal follows the team at Ekstensive Metal Works as they build some of the biggest, boldest, and flashiest builds around. They are constantly building impressive trucks.
Twin Turbos features the father-and-son duo of Doug and Brad DeBerti as they build outrageous and over-the-top trucks, Jeeps, and race cars.
On World's Toughest Trucker eight of the world's most experienced truck drivers go head to head in some of the harshest environments on planet earth. Drawn from around the world, the truckers must navigate the most extreme routes across four continents for the chance to win $150,000.
Ever hear of the Ripsaw? The How brothers build advanced equipment like a mini-tank, personal assault lander, and robots of all sizes.
We loved Richard Hammond in Top Gear, and now he's got his own show where he heads out into the world to try different things, like operating a tree harvester and driving an Abrams tank.
Monica Gonderman- Newsroom Editor
What could be better than tow truck drama? Repos. Wrecks. High-speed chases. Interpersonal conflict. Heck yeah!
KJ Jones- Editor, Diesel Power
What can I say? Roadkill really is the program that started it all, starring my boys David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan. These two guys always come up with some type of wacky idea that includes buying and/or building a potential deathtrap, and taking it on road trips that typically are several-thousand-miles beyond the 50 feet that I would even think of driving it. The successes are few, but, even in failure, the guys never cease to have fun, provide great entertainment and display the kind of determination that I think we all need to have.
As a long-time gearhead, I dig Engine Masters because it teaches me something (that I genuinely didn't know) about different engines, almost every time I watch it. The chemistry between David, Steve Dulcich, and Westech dyno master Steve Brule is great, and they even bring in Richard Holdner from time to time, to apply various forced-induction platforms (turbochargers, superchargers, nitrous oxide) and find out what the power potential and limits are for popular (and some exotic) engine combinations.
I used to follow Steve "Magneto" Magnante through Hot Rod magazine, long before "following" someone was a thing. Steve has more solid (and trivial) knowledge about some of the coolest cars that ever left the assembly line, and I enjoy hearing his detailed descriptions and "stories" about these vehicles he comes across in junkyards across the U.S. I've always wanted to do what Steve does on Roadkill's Junkyard Gold (just for fun), because I believe the finds in a junkyard really are treasures, despite their often dilapidated, clapped-out condition.
Verne Simons- Tech Editor, Four Wheeler Network
Ever since Motor Trend On Demand became a thing I've enjoyed watching all of the original Top Gear episodes. The highlights for me are definitely the Reliant Robin show where Jeremy Clarkson rolls a Robin about 5 seconds into the program. From there it devolves including the time when he rolls a Robin into a Robin owners club meeting. Sure it's a bit staged. Luckily the Robin that rolls many times has safety harnesses and a roll cage. Also Jeremy is wearing a helmet at all times when in the car. You can see what's going to happen, But either way it's hilarious. I also love the specials that Clarkson, May and Hammonds were involved in. The more off-roady the area or challenge, the better, especially when the "blokes" are in completely inappropriate vehicles.
I Also love me some Dirt Every Day. Truth is Dave and Fred are two of my BFFs, and they've even allowed me to be on the show a time or two, and help on a few others. I even wear the pink Sasquatch costume in one episode wait, that's actually just a figment of your imagination. The Cheap Truck Challenges are great, and I also like the Dirt Every Day Extras. They are a cross between a podcast and a magazine vehicle feature often with the owner and or builder of the rig.
Last but not least, and I'm due for a good binge, I really enjoy the analytical approach to figuring out what part is best that Engine Masters brings to the screen. What a great idea! Let's take a junkyard 5.0L Ford and keep adding power adders until time ends or the bottom end comes apart! What's the best intake manifold for an LS? Now we know. So much to watch and so little time!