These Are the Best Luxury-Car Instagram Feeds to Follow in 2017
Cars, like other visually intriguing and tactile subjects such as food, fashion, and the human body, lend themselves particularly well to Instagram.
The luxury brands quickly realized this and have built vast followings by sharing thrilling photos of their wares. Porsche's account, for example, racked up more than 6 million followers by posting images of its cars in context—driving on ice, on racetracks, and near beaches. Lamborghini, which focuses more on the track, has 6 million as well. Mercedes-Benz has more than 8 million, Audi almost 7 million, and BMW more than 10 million.
But the liveliest conversation online comes through the influencers, journalists, fans, bloggers, and other enthusiasts who began their feeds out of passion (and can make a bit of cash from them—or use them to fuel a book). Their work is varied—some focus on Italian supercars; others on automotive architecture and its sometimes stark, beautiful design; still others focus on “rare, strange and perfect” cars in post-Soviet cities. Some photograph with expensive Cannon, Nikon and Leica cameras; others prefer the iPhone 7.
What they all have in common is a focused sense of purpose and an excellent eye for composition.
“For me it is, How can I showcase timeless beauty, cars that age really well, and then how can I punctuate that with new cars that carry on that philosophy?” said Ted Gushue, the editorial director of Petrolicious who has nearly 47,000. (Petrolicious itself boasts more than 263,000—and regularly features favorite Instagrammers on its website.) “The medium is so genuine that it rewards a really honest image presentation. Not necessarily filtered photos. I am honest about what my work is and want you to come along for the ride. People respond to that.”
Gushue speaks to a highly educated audience of car lovers who engage with him on every facet of the car: They’ll talk about the year and specs of the car, then compare it with similar and competing models of that time. Their opinions are not facts, but they are debated as though they were. (His own interest leans heavily toward vintage.)
Ian Wood, who runs the Instagram feed @eanousa, has an equally inspiring eye, if fewer followers (for now). Wood speaks to those who love a California vibe—his audience tracks him to see what is happening at local car shows, swap meets and secret gatherings up and down the coast. They trust his eye will pick the most important cars of the group to photograph.
“It just started it as a hobby, but then I realized I do have something unique, I do actually have something to say,” he said. “And anyway, what else am I going to do? I didn’t want to sit around doing nothing.”
He’s not the only one. Here are a dozen of the best individual photographers focusing on cars (and motorcycles here and there, too) working on Instagram today.
Number of Followers: 46,900
Words of Wisdom: “Do what you’re passionate about and the audience will come find you. If you have a cool camera and you have a Subaru WRX, and that’s what you’re passionate about, your best bet is to do what you’re passionate about. Don’t let the audience dictate what you need to do.”
Number of Followers: 386,000
Words of Wisdom: “For me, it’s just trying to get something that I really like. You can make an account where you just post crazy stuff that everyone will like, but I try and put the focus on what I like and build the audience around that.”
Number of Followers: 17,500
Signature Style: Closely cropped images of elite and vintage racers.
Number of Followers: 7,845
Signature Style: Muted, rich color and black-and-white shots of European drop-tops and racers.
Number of Followers: 6,465
Words of Wisdom: “I try to go really broad as well with my feed. I’ll go to low rider shows, Ferrari shows, old white men hot rod shows all in the same weekend, and I really enjoy that variety. I’ll have true Chicano low rider guys commenting on posts but by the same token I will post a Ferrari and have those guys commenting. I like how the cars can unite people.”
Wood, who studied car design in the U.K. before moving to L.A years ago, attended more than 100 car shows last year in pursuit of his obsession. He attends everything from low-rider swap meets to Ferrari rallies. At his peak he attended eight separate car events in one weekend.
“It’s about the lighting, it’s about the positioning of the car—the way it’s parked or the background,” he said. “At first it was difficult to know what to capture, but then when you get into the rhythm of it you start to understand, ‘I see that everywhere; I don’t need to post it.’”
Number of Followers: 119,000
Words of Wisdom: “It’s all about the design of the car. It doesn’t have to be beautiful, but it has to be interesting to me. Let’s say I see a car from the ’80s or ’90s—it’s not necessarily beautiful, but it might be interesting to me, especially all of these American cars. It just happens—I see a car and start shooting it. For me it’s a natural process."
Number of Followers: 26,000
Signature Style: Babes on choppers and hogs, but the cool kind who do their own stunts.
Number of Followers: 9,833
Signature Style: Motorcycles and a killer camo Land Rover, with an Australian bent.
Number of Followers: 8,600
Signature Style: Vintage Porsches, a perfectly aged Range Rover, shabby cool personalities, and the good life on the West Coast. Or, as Ardelean puts it, “dirty whips and rock chips.”
Number of Followers: 47,400
Signature Style: BMW-obsessed, with other killer German marques thrown in. Excellent hues, impeccable taste.
Number of Followers: 64,800
Signature Style: Landscapes like a soft oil painting; European makes in motion.
Number of Followers: 23,400
Signature Style: Cool motorbikes on rugged adventures. All the good things: slides, aerials, helmets, dirt.
Number of Followers: 4.4 Million
Signature Style: The official Instagram account of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance AMG line.
Number of Followers: 235,000
Signature Style: The account for classic Bimmers, where “the community for BMW Classic enthusiasts” celebrates #ThrowbackThursday every day.
Number of Followers: 3 million
Signature Style: The official Aston account full of British handsome good looks in every condition.