Autoblog’s 10 most-read articles of 2021


2021 was a roller coaster of a year for the auto industry, with electrification topping just about every automaker’s to-do list as vicious parts and labor shortages threatened to bring global production to a grinding halt. But the world kept spinning, dealers (and squirrels) kept misbehaving, and people found new and ridiculous excuses to steal catalytic converters. It’s all right here in Autoblog’s top-read stories of 2021.

10: The V8’s days are numbered, Dodge says

When Stellantis announced its massive global electrification strategy during its EV Day presentation in July, it came on the heels of constant reminders that customers still want big, thirsty V8s. 

9: Used-car values keep increasing, but not uniformly

Covid-related supply shortages have forced new-car shoppers to buy used instead, but not all used cars are increasing in value at the same pace. Some, like the Mercedes G-Class, are skyrocketing. Why?

8: These cars and trucks are the most likely to run for 100,000 miles or more

Well, if you’re stuck shopping used, you’d might as well look for something that will last, right? These cars and trucks should go the distance while you wait out the market. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love?

7: Court: Chalked tires violate rights of Michigan woman with 14 parking tickets 

A Fourth Amendment argument bailed a Michigan woman out of more than a dozen parking tickets. Will this ruling survive what is likely to be several more legal challenges?

6: Tesla leads, Infiniti bleeds in Consumer Reports’ 2021 brand satisfaction survey

The cult of Tesla remains strong, but America has several more reasons to be proud of this year’s Consumer Reports 2021 Brand Satisfaction Survey. Here’s a hint: The first Japanese automaker appears at number five

5: Every U.S. state license plate ranked from best to Michigan

Some standard U.S. license plates are elegant and attractive. Some are as depressing as a cloudy Midwest winter. Does your state offer something attractive without a surcharge, or are you stuck in a state with miserable tag options? We ranked them all. 

4: Ford’s long-lost ‘Big Red’ turbine semi truck has resurfaced

‘Tis the season for big, red, flying stuff. This truck won’t catch air (at least it shouldn’t), but with its jet turbine prototype engine, you’d be forgiven for assuming it could. Missing for years, Ford’s rediscovered “Big Red” turbine truck is quite a treat to behold. 

3: Squirrels stash 42 gallons of walnuts in a Chevrolet Avalanche

Ahh, squirrels. Rats with better PR, right? And an interest in personal readiness, evidently, as this industrious critter (or group of critters) managed to stash a truly massive number of walnuts inside a Chevrolet Avalanche. If you’re a prepper in search of helpful pets, consider some fluffy rodent accomplices. They’re obviously very good at it. 

2: Craze for drug made from catalytic converters alarms Congo’s capital

Yeah, people are snorting ground catalytic converter waste. It’s as crazy as it sounds. 

This story is an even wilder ride than the one it depicts. A service technician took a customer’s C8 Corvette for a test drive after diagnosing what appeared to be an issue related to a loose spark plug connection, and ended up engaging in some shenanigans with a Dodge Charger that were captured on the Corvette’s performance data recorder. Oops! Don’t worry; this one has a happy ending

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