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A short life and eternal legacy: 3 of Ken Block’s most significant influences on automotives

January 2, 2023, marks the date of a tragedy many of us will never forget. Kenneth Paul Block, celebrated rally car driver, entrepreneur, and car enthusiast, passed away at age 55 during a snowmobiling accident in Northern Utah. Left behind are his wife, Lucy, the couple’s three daughters, and fans that traverse the domains of rallycross, extreme sports, the video game industry, and more.

We could write endlessly about Block’s innumerable achievements, but in the wake of his death, our goal is to drive home one crucial fact: Block was a pioneer. His legacy, while exceptional, encompasses far more than rally driving and entrepreneurship. Below, we’ve listed 5 of Block’s most significant influences during 55 short years on the earth.

1. He influenced a generation
If anyone could single-handedly influence a generation, it was Ken Block. He played a monumental role in reshaping car culture at a time when younger people were drifting away from cars and towards technology. Then, Block entered the scene. One of the most important parts of his legacy was re-engaging younger audiences with automotives and racing. Dominik Wilde, motoring and motorsport journalist, stated it perfectly: “It didn’t really matter which side of the fence you landed on – if you weren’t a car fan, you were a Ken Block fan instead.”

2. He was a trailblazer for automotive influencers
Let’s time travel back to 2008, where (virally speaking) it all began: a 4-minute, 26-second Gymkhana Practice video. It featured Block tearing through an obstacle course at an abandoned industrial site in a 2008 Subaru WRX STI. The video not only quickly went viral, but launched his infamous Gymkhana YouTube video series, which has over 500 million views – making it one of the most viewed series in the history of YouTube. While Block didn’t invent the concept of car stunts, his unique blend of originality, driving dexterity, and brand-building instincts made him, quite literally, a viral success – and pioneer for car enthusiast influencers that followed in his footsteps.

3. He pushed the car film industry into the mainstream
Finally, number 3. The automotive marketing space would not be what it is today without Ken Block. He pushed what was, at the time, a traditionalistic industry into the viral era. He was far more than an award-winning racer; he was a visionary with the business acumen and creative itch that influenced people to care about racing at a time the automotive industry needed it most. Block intrinsically knew what it took to revitalize an industry. As others tried to force new ideas into a template of, what was at the time, standard media, Block’s team created their own sandbox. Ultimately, it became a sandbox that everyone wanted to play in – and it changed the way automakers approached their marketing efforts to this day.

What we hope you take away from this blog
Among mainstream audiences, the name Ken Block elicits thoughts of his Gymkhana rally-car-stunt driving series, position as co-founder of DC shoes, and founder of Hoonigan clothing brand, which evolved into the Hoonigan Race Division and ran his various motorsport programs.

With that said: talent, accolades, and businesses aside, Block had a gift that should be recognized and celebrated as part of his legacy alongside the rest of his achievements. His natural ability to create authentic, meaningful connections. It was evident in his relationships with audiences, fellow racers, fans, and the family he was deeply devoted to until his untimely passing. Block connected with and united people in a way no other racer in history has.

Rest in peace, Ken. We will not let your legacy be forgotten.

The 5 Most Sought-After Coupes Of 2022

Let’s pay our respect to 2022 before we dive into 2023 with a drive down memory lane! Check out our list of 2022’s 5 most sought-after cars: coupe edition. Each of the 5 is uniquely categorized, and if you’re a car fanatic, we’re willing to bet one of these was on your dream car list last year!

 

1. The Tumi Wallet of 2022 coupes
The Subaru BRZ was a coupe that sports car lovers pursued in 2022 for its unusual combination of luxury and accessibility. The completely redesigned, rear-drive-only 2022 BRZ sits 0.5 inches lower than its predecessor, is 1 inch longer, and is modernized with higher caliber interior technology. Car enthusiasts treasured its renewed, more powerful 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine, choice of a manual or automatic transmission, and revamped interior aesthetic. This stole the hearts (and saved the bank accounts) of countless car lovers in 2022.

2. The 2022 coupe James Bond superfans drooled over
Car enthusiasts and James Bond fans alike lusted after 2022’s Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. Its mind-blowing acceleration, ride comfort, and old-world GT charm made the coupe, Valkyrie aside, Aston Martin’s most expensive and powerful model. Revamped with enhanced style and performance, the DBS is highly customizable, powered by a 715-horsepower turbocharged V12, and explodes to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Power and performance aside, The DBS is a luxurious and comfortable ride. And did we mention James Bond?!

3. TheStradman’s 2022 fleet favorite
Any car aficionado with internet access knows who Stradman, TheStradman on YouTube, and James Lucas Condon in real life, is. With 3.7 million subscribers and 4.7 million dollars worth of luxury cars in his 2022 fleet, The Lamborghini Aventador coupe was arguably his favorite. Despite the Lamborghini Aventador price being virtually half of his Bugatti Chiron (he refers to it as the “cheapest Lamborgini” in the YouTube episode he buys it), followers know the Aventador is number one in his heart. While a number of this YouTube star’s cars are for sale right now, the Lamborghini Aventador is not one of them. It will remain where it belongs… at the Stradman house.

4. Elusive dream car of 2022
An editor at Business Insider and author of “Racing with Rich Energy” dubbed this 2022 favorite the “closest [she’ll] ever get to heaven on Earth.” Bentley hailed it an “unmatched balance of luxury and fearsome performance.” If you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about The Bentley Continental GT Speed: 2022 dream car of the masses. A perfect blend of power and indulgence, Bentley’s most powerful production delivers astounding performance for a four-seater, propelling from a standing start to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The sporting detail and technical finishes are exceptional. Inside, there are 15 main colors, 11 secondary colors for the leather and Dinamica upholstery, and a stunning array of color splits, stitching styles, and piping possibilities. Owners can choose from 16 standard exterior colors or 80+, including the extended range and Mulliner Paints. Hand-finished veneers, high-gloss woods, and contemporary open-pore wood finishes make this coupe an actual work of art.

5. 2022’s “Mach 10 speed, Maldives luxury” coupe
Well, Bugatti certainly saved the best for last. Its Chiron Super Sport 300+, a paragon of engineering achievement, left speed-obsessed car lovers drooling in 2022. This final edition of the Chiron super sport 300+ collection broke new ground (and hearts, with a price tag starting at $3,825,000) in 2022 with – just to name a few – an uncharted top speed of 304.773 mph, W16 engine, and advancements to the software that controls its engine, gearbox, powertrain and turbochargers. We could talk about the groundbreaking, speed-enhancing advancements made to the body of the 300+ for days, but one of the most notable includes its ‘longtail’ design. Extending the coupe by approximately 25 cm., aerodynamic stall is reduced by over 40%. This 1,600 horsepower beauty’s tires were stress-tested on a bench built for a space shuttle, goes from 0-62 mph in 2.4 seconds, and boasts a top speed of 273 mph. Enough said. Modifications including a longer tail, stacked exhaust tips, side air curtains, and a higher 7,100 rpm redline deliver an experience Bugatti phrases as “brutal performance in total comfort.” We concur.

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