Most Popular Posts of 2010

Murder and intrigue. Car crashes, dead bodies, motorcycle chases and, of course, sweet revenge. Are we describing the latest round of blockbuster summer movies or reading the latest New York Times best-seller? Nope, just recapping the ten most popular posts on Autoblog from 2010 as determined by click-throughs garned from from regular AB readers and outside link-ins.

Yep, it's that time of the season. It's officially the very last day of the year, so we hope you'll join us in taking a look back at the year that just was – and, of course, in looking forward to everything that 2011 has in store for those of us who obsessively cover the auto industry.

Click here to take a trip down memory lane.

[Source Image: Cliff Owen/AP]

1: Video: Moscow motorcyclist's crazy high-speed commute

Russian commute on Yamaha R1
Morning commute in Russia on a Yamaha R1 – Click above to watch video at the original source

Combine a rider with a need for death speed, a 25-mile commute through Russian traffic and a powerful two-wheeled samurai sword, and you get a video showing the "quick" way to work. Sometimes this two-wheeler even becomes a one-wheeler as rare empty stretches of road disappear when the nose goes skyward.

Call it crazy, call it insane. Thanks to about a billion link-ins, we can't help but call it our most popular post of the year.

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2: Puerto Rican funeral home presents shooting victim on his motorcycle [w/video]

David Morales Colon's unusual wake
David Morales Colón's unusual wake. (Photo courtesy of Primera Hora) - Click above to watch video at the original source

If you thought you'd previously seen it all, well, you're wrong. Case in point: David Morales Colón, a 22-year-old Puerto Rican man who was shot to death early in 2010, and whose wake made headlines (and generated enough clicks to become our second most popular post of 2010) all the way to the mainland United States. Why? Well, see above. Yes, that's a dead man mounted on a motorcycle.

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3: 2011 Ford Explorer unveiled, tries crossing over on road to redemption


2011 Ford Explorer
2011 Ford Explorer Deep Dive – Click above for high-res image gallery

In creating the 2011 Explorer, Ford engineers and designers had an enormously difficult task set before them. Ford's President of the Americas, Mark Fields, described the job as "Reinventing the SUV for the 21st century." Despite the near complete collapse of the traditional mid-to-large SUV market over the last several years, Ford still sees a substantial market for the capabilities of these boxy behemoths. Customers just don't want the traditional downsides that accompany these body-on-frame 'utes – specifically, their higher fuel consumption and poor ride and handling. Enter the newly redesigned unibody Ford Explorer.

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4: Toyota's chief test driver dies behind wheel of LFA in Germany

Hiromu Naruse
Toyota pays tribute to one of its icons, Hiromu Naruse – Click above to watch the video at the original source

Hiromu Naruse, Toyota's "Master Test Driver" and the man responsible for some of the greatest sports cars ever to come from Japan, died in 2010 while piloting the automaker's Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition near the Nürburgring race track in Germany. The world lost a legend, and many lost a friend. Our own Damon Lavrinc wrote up something of a eulogy, which you can read here. Shortly thereafter, Toyota paid tribute in its own way.

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5: Toyota to kill Sequoia, Tundra redesigned in 2014

2010 Toyota Sequoia
2010 Toyota Sequoia – Click above for high-res image gallery

At its peak in 2002, Toyota was selling over 70,000 Sequoia SUVs. Last year, that number dropped to below 20,000 units. So it comes as little surprise that ToMoCo will be nixing its Tundra-based behemoth at the end of the current model's lifecycle. More interesting is the news that the Japanese automaker has no plans to abandon the full-size pickup market in the United States and plans to have a brand new Tundra ready for 2014. For whatever reason, our readers were interested enough to make it one of our top-performing posts of the year.

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6: 2011 Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition ready to frag n00bs

2011 Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty Black Ops Edition
2011 Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

Fans of the Call of Duty video game franchise know that the latest edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops, was released on November 9, 2010. What you might not know, however, is that Activision Publishing, Inc. – the folks responsible for distributing Call of Duty – partnered up with Jeep, not only to have the Wrangler featured in the latest addition of the CoD series, but to create a special Call of Duty edition of Jeep's most popular vehicle featuring mineral gray alloy wheels wrapped in 32-inch off-road tires, Mopar taillamp guards, a Mopar fuel door, Call of Duty: Black Ops logos, and an entirely blacked-out exterior.

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7: Uwe Gemballa found murdered in South Africa

Uwe Gemballa

The story reads like the script from a Hollywood movie. He was reportedly having trouble paying its employees, his wife was given power of attorney and registered the company for bankruptcy and he had started a second company with his 79 year-old mother listed as the sole stockholder.

To further muddy the waters, it's being reported that noted Porsche tuner Uwe Gemballa was turning towards Czech fugitive and South African organized crime boss, Radovan Krejcir. A former business partner of Krejcirs by the name of Juan Meyer has provided the local police with a sworn statement, saying that the aftermarketer and the mobster were working on a business arrangement. Gemballa was slow in getting money to Krejcir and it may be what cost him his life. Gemballa's killers were later tried and found guilty in an oddly hurried process that took less than 24 hours. Hmmm...

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8: Video: Bumblebee accidentally T-bones a real cop car on TF3 set

Transformers 3 Bumblebee Camaro crash
Autobots, roll out... No, wait! – Click above to watch videos at the original source

You know how they say some movies are cursed? It seems that may just be the case for the folks working on Transformers 3. The movie has had its share of crashes, with a few of them being of the "unplanned" variety. The most most well documented incident took place in Washington D.C. and involved a certain yellow Chevrolet Camaro that Transformers fans know better as Bumblebee.

As a scene was being filmed, a real police vehicle was responding to a call and cut quickly across the set. The two cars collided and the police officer driving the SUV was taken to a nearby hospital, but at least there weren't any serious injuries – except to the Camaro, which was covered up and taken away.

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9: Man busted by traffic camera gets unique revenge on police department

Bluff City, TN Speed camera man
One man from Bluff City, Tennessee came up with a rather inventive way of 'sticking it to The Man' after getting a speeding ticket from a machine set up to catch unwary motorists off guard. It seems that the officer in charge of the Bluff City Police Department's website had gone on sick leave, and nobody noticed when the time came to renew the PD's URL. Whoops.

Computer network designer Brian McCrary, who received a $90 ticket from a speed camera earlier in the year, saw a unique opportunity and seized it, picking up the domain rights from Go Daddy. Want to know what the Bluff City Police Department's old website looks like now? Of course you do. Click here to find out.

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10: Tuner wrecks customer's Ford GT, situation devolves from there

Wrecked customer Ford GT

Anyone who's ever been hesitant to hand over their keys to another driver, or conversely to get behind the wheel of someone else's car – exotic or otherwise – will want to take note of the following story currently being played out on the internet's extensive web of car enthusiast forums.

The story revolves around a Ford GT – one of the finest exotics ever produced by an American automaker – its customization, and its unfortunate demise. The car – in classic Gulf baby blue and orange heritage livery and outfitted with twin turbochargers – belongs to one Ray Hofman, who wanted to have some modifications carried out to make it more drivable in advance of a Ford GT rally event. Having struck out with other tuners, Ray turned to Bill Knobloch of Discovery Automotive, better known to forum members as Shadowman. Bill agreed to carry out the tuning Ray was looking for, handed over the keys, and from there things went downhill in more ways than one. See above, and read all about it right here.

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