In the early days of the BBC’s Top Gear show, aired every Thursday evening on BBC 2, presenter Chris Goffey was a very influential voice in UK car culture. And on one such Thursday evening in 1986, he was among the first to drive the recently-launched diesel-powered Range Rover. It did not go well. On film, Goffey made his feelings for the 2.4-litre VM-powered diesel Range Rover quite clear. Range Rover had built its success on the performance and refinement of its 3.5-litre petrol V8, and the less refined diesel engine alternative took some time to catch on – partly down to Top Gear’s unfavorable review. The interesting backstory however, is that the Range Rover delivered to Top Gear never went through a PDI (pre-delivery inspection), let alone a detailed preparation by Land Rover’s famed press garage and vehicle operations team. For […]
Caterham Cars will be one of the stars of this year’s Supercar Event – the 10th anniversary of the charity initiative. The Supercar Event is an annual family-based event which offers fun activates such as supercar and helicopter rides, land hovercrafts and a Stay Safe Driving School for children aged 14 and over. The event runs from over the weekend of July 2/3 at the famous Top Gear track at Dunsfold Park. It will be open to the public from 9am to 4:30pm each day. At the event, Caterham will have the exhilarating, top-of-the-range Seven 620R on display and will offer fans the mouth-watering opportunity of having a passenger ride with a skilled instructor in the car – the most powerful production Seven ever built. The Seven 620R will also form part of the event’s main parade, which travels round […]
McLaren Automotive has been presented with the accolade of Manufacturer of Year in the 2016 BBC Top Gear Magazine Awards in recognition of the rapid growth and global success of the company, both achieved in so short a time. The announcement follows a ’vintage’ year for McLaren, its most successful to-date, with five new cars launched and another sales record achieved. McLaren also predicts 2015 will be its third consecutive year of profitability. Models across the three-tier McLaren range also received praise with the overall strength and breadth of the line-up highlighted as key to the award: ‘We’re not evaluating them as a product line-up, but assessing each in its own competitive environment. All of them are exceptional, arguably the very best in their class. That McLaren has got to this stage in such a short time frame speaks volumes […]
The Rolls-Royce Dawn has earned BBC Top Gear Magazine’s coveted 2016 ‘Luxury Car of the Year’ award, just days after the international launch of the car began in the winelands around Cape Town, South Africa. The most uncompromised open-top motoring experience in the world, Dawn has won plaudits from some of the most highly respected international commentators, with many declaring that the new Rolls-Royce redefines the notion of a true super-luxury drophead. Dawn, the fourth distinctive model in the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars family, is powered by an effortlessly smooth 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine and features a multi-layer foldaway fabric roof that, when in place, makes the Dawn the world’s quietest convertible car. Addressing the desires of a significantly younger customer base, Dawn delivers timeless refinement and is the most social car the marque has ever produced. Naming the Rolls-Royce Dawn […]
BBC has announced that racing driver Sabine Schmitz, YouTube star Chris Harris, F1 pundit Eddie Jordan and motoring journalist Rory Reid will join Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc and of course, The Stig, when Top Gear returns in May. Eddie Jordan, once ran his own Formula One team with drivers like Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill on the roster. He said: “I have such enormous respect for all my fellow presenters and I politely ask that they go easy on these old bones.”
I can’t resist stories of the way cars used to be made – back when automobiles weren’t so much produced as crafted. You know, back when every other car that slides off an automated assembly line resembles nothing so much as an over-ripe jellybean. Honestly, it wasn’t that long ago. Our VotW this week goes back to an old Top Gear episode with a much younger Jeremy Clarkson visiting the TVR factory in Blackpool, Lancashire. The video, from 1995, shows a factory that is worlds away from the automotive assembly plants we picture today. TVR was started by Trevor Wilkinson in 1947 in Blackpool. For nearly 60 years the company produced fabulous if ofter quirky sports cars in fits and starts and under various ownership. In 2006, the factory at Blackpool was closed by then-owner and Russian businessman Nikolai Smolensky. […]
Ahead of his return to the airwaves, or at least wire-waves, next year, Jeremy Clarkson has made his first appearance for Amazon in a commercial for the Amazon Fire Stick. Find out more about the Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond & James May all-new car show for Amazon Prime at http://www.amazon.co.uk/guesswhosback
OK, so they can be rude, crude, and insulting. And yes, well, the leader of the pack is a bit of jerk sometimes. But we love them. Jeremy Clarkson, James May (my personal hero), and Richard Hammond are not only irreverent and funny, but they are extremely knowledgeable about cars. And entertaining. Did I mention entertaining? Ever since the BBC fired Jeremy Clarkson for being a complete and uncivilized jerk, no argument there, the future of Top Gear has been in question. Would the show come back? How could it come back without its stars since both Hammond and May refused to work without Clarkson. And if it did come back, would it be a bust like the American version? Well, Amazon has answered the question. It was announced today that Clarkson, Hammon and May will be coming exclusively to […]
Video of the Week is for fans of old school seat-of-the-pants sports cars in the form of a TopGear challenge between an Austin Healey Sprite and Peugeot 306. At this time – We can call this challenge – Old School vs. New Generation car culture. Richard Hammond and James May argue about the state of modern-day driving, which sparked a time trial showdown at Prescott Hill Climb Course, pitting a Austin-Healey Sprite representing a mostly middle-aged classic car owners club, versus a modified Peugeot 306 backed by a more youthful group. The Stig takes the two around, with the Sprite, on a serious race-focussed diet, defeating the showy and stereo-laden 306 by one second.
Most automobile enthusiasts love the BBC program Top Gear. Actually, a lot of people who don’t care a wit about cars enjoy the program as well. At least the version of the show from the UK as created by the BBC. We won’t talk about the US version. In fact, let’s forget I brought it up at all. The British version, the real version, of Top Gear is a phenomenon. By many accounts it is the most watched factual, meaning not drama or fiction, program in the world. Though originally a regional program hosted by Angela Rippon, one of the main reasons for the current popularity is host Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson hosts along with co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond. Not only is Clarkson humor, entertaining, and a good driver, he is loud, rude, and prone to get into trouble […]
All of our recent weekly videos have been of the more educational and historic nature, but now for something completely different. This week’s VotW (Video of the Week) is a review from a few years ago of the Aston Martin DBS by the fine folks at Top Gear. Don’t know Top Gear? You call yourself a British car fan? If you don’t know them yet, you will after watching this video. Oh, and we of course mean the UK version produced by the BBC, not the rather lame US version. In this review from the BBC series, Jeremy Clarkson test drives the flashy Aston Martin DBS in his unmistakable style, before Top Gear’s tame racing driver, the Stig, takes it out for a spin round the track. And as with all Top Gear segments, be careful about watching this at work. […]
As the new season of Top Gear starts, you can almost feel the excitement on the wires. Well, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but people really are eagerly awaiting the new season of their favorite car show. As proof, check out the new fansite dedicated to Top Gear at site www.topgearshow.com. With subject ranging from the recent Stig reveal controversy to the reviewed cars themselves, there is a ton of good information on the site. (Let’s just hope they devote a nice section to Oliver, my favorite car from the show.) They are trying to create the ultimate fan site that is dedicated to classic moments of May, Clarkson and Hammond, so stop by and take a look. And don’t forget to tune in to Top Gear!
There’s an official-looking horizontal line about 3ft off the ground as you enter the new exhibition at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The notice alongside says: YOU MUST BE THIS TALL (to be bigger than Richard Hammond). And that sets the tone for the World Of Top Gear section that opened last week, coinciding with the start of a new series of Top Gear today (June 21st). The motoring programme has a huge following in 80 countries but this will be the only place in the world where you can see some of the vehicles that featured in Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s best-known stunts. Cars such as the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle, Suzuki Swift that played ice-hockey and Toyota Hilux driven to the North Pole are almost TV stars in their own right and are expected […]
To start the review Clarkson says, “Normally I avoid road-testing cars made by small British companies like Ascari because nobody is going to buy one anyway. However, some things are worth a bit of extra effort and the Ascari A10 is one of them. With a tweaked version of BMW’s old M5 engine sitting in the middle of the carbon fibre tub, you have the power of 600 horses in a car that weighs about the same as a sausage dog.” Read the full review here.