Most of us aren’t driving much these days. Or even at all. Whether you’re a total car geek, or you just miss going places in your car, we’ve started this series to highlight ways to help you pass the time while you’re parked at home. In this edition, we’re focusing on online, app, and streaming-based diversions. Here are our recommendations!
Asphalt 9: Legends
If you want to race some exotic cars on your mobile device, Asphalt 9: Legends is pretty great. You can drive cars like the Lambo Centanario, Aston Vulcan, and the Bugatti Chiron, across famous landscapes and through iconic cityscapes like Shanghai and San Francisco. The graphics are immersive, and it’s about as realistic as you can get on a 6-inch screen.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
If you’re into simulated driving and stealing cars, as well as a lot more backstory, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is still one of the most entertaining games around. You can play the app version on your iPhone or iPad. It’s rated M (Mature, 17+), and has all the language, violence, sex, etc. you’d expect from the GTA franchise.
Real Car Parking 2
I discovered a strange phenomenon when I was checking out the latest apps: Parking games. Actual games based on parking simulation. They’re a thing.
I was curious… I pride myself on my parallel parking skills (we didn’t have a parking lot at my high school, so when we got our licenses, we all had to learn to park on the street.) Parallel parking is the single most useful thing I learned in high school. (Somehow algebra has never come up!)
So I was curious to try my hand at Real Car Parking 2. You actually use onscreen controls (steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, and a shifter for forward and reverse) to park a car. First into regular perpendicular spots, and then parallel. It sounds weird and tedious, but… it actually becomes strangely compelling. The default camera angles are not always the most intuitive, but you can adjust them. The graphics are pretty decent. And once you get a feel for the controls, it’s a smooth game play experience. I had fun. Or maybe I just really miss going places in the car.
Shop for cars online
If you want to scope out your dream car, reminisce about a car from your past, or shake your head at the surprising premiums some cars go for… Mecum is the place. ‘65 Mustangs to 2020 Bugattis—and everything in between—the cars and the stories are endlessly entertaining.
If you’re looking for something a little more practical—maybe you’re starting to think about your next car—definitely check out the cars for sale on TRED. If you find a seller with what you’re looking for in your area, TRED offers contact-free transactions, and also test drives that comply with social distancing. If you find your perfect prospect outside the area, you can arrange to have it delivered to your door. Whether you buy locally or from across the country, TRED handles payment and paperwork, so you’re protected and you never have to set foot in a dealership or DMV.
Binge-worthy car shows and movies
Ford vs Ferrari
If you didn’t catch this one already, it’s definitely worth watching. There’s the automotive genius and all-around-colorful-character Carroll Shelby, who is a wealth of entertainment on his own. And the design processes, super-suspenseful race scenes, and mostly-true-story automotive history of the companies (and family members) Ford and Ferrari mean that there’s something for every type of car geek. It’s even family-friendly, if you’re okay with a little salty language and some fiery crashes. And if you need a family meal before, while, or after you watch, you can fire up a batch of Carroll Shelby’s chili. (Yep, that’s a thing. The man was a Texan, after all.)
It doesn’t have any tigers, but Hyperdrive is definitely one of the most exciting Netflix-produced reality shows of the past year. It’s a self-described mashup of Fast and the Furious and American Ninja Warrior, where cars compete on a massive obstacle course. There’s drifting, and hydroplaning, and… what can only be described as acrobatics. In cars. Oh, and Charlize Theron is executive producer.
This is one of the most essential films for any car lover. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you’ve seen it, watch it again. There’s political intrigue, the mafia, Steve McQueen, and some of the most timeless car chase scenes ever filmed. Real chases through the streets of San Francisco, with real crashes. And featuring what would later be the most expensive Mustang ever sold at auction (by Mecum, in fact), a ‘68 GT. Which brought in $3.74 million, despite being, well, kind of trashed. (It was basically a daily driver for much of its life, after its starring role in Bullitt.)