Top Gear started in the late 70’s as a local program produced by BBC Birmingham and has established itself as the world’s most popular motoring show.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have witnessed Top Gear growing into a global phenomenon, so no wonder it’s the most illegally downloaded show on the planet.
According to Dailymail.co.uk, Top Gear has a global audience of over 360 million people in more than 100 countries. The long-running show conquered the world with good old fashioned British humor and dedication. Enjoy watching some of Top Gear’s most entertaining moments:
10. Top Gear Stunt Man Setting a World Record
A new character, Top Gear Stunt Man, was introduced in Top Gear’s first episode of the 11th series, 2008. The goal was to break the world record of most cars jumped over by a vehicle driven backwards. Top Gear decided to use an Austin Allegro, “a car that was famous for being more aerodynamic going backwards than it is going forwards,” claimed May. It turned out that this record didn’t exist, so Top Gear Stunt Man set a world record on his very first appearance on the show.
9. Car Football World Cup
Believe it or not, car football is actually played in America and as I see it, it’s a lot more fun to watch and play than real football.
A team of Toyota Aygos takes on the Volkswagen Foxes in a game of car football in the 5th episode of the 8th series. James May captains the yellow Foxes and battles against Richard Hammond and his Aygos that are apparently made in the Czech Republic, and not Japan. Which small smart car do you think will prove victorious?
8. Range Rover vs. Challenger II
Challenger II is a British main battle tank (MBT) advertised as the world’s fastest and most reliable MBT. Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the awesome Range Rover Sport while testing it in a battle against the Challenger II tank on Salisbury Plain. The conclusion? That’s one impressive off-road car! The Ranger Rover Sport is a very good off-road car, but if you are planning on invading another country, use a tank
7. Alabama, Lethal Car Decorating
This US Special is an episode of the ninth series that sparked quite some controversy. It features Richard, James and Jeremy taking a road trip across Southern America. The catch? Each of them were given $1,000 to buy a car that will carry them to their destination. There were five challenges to overcome and at the end of the epic road trip, the cars had to be sold to see which host could get most of the money back.
Lethal Car Decorating was the fourth challenge. Prior to entering in Alabama, Richard, James and Jeremy were instructed to spray paint provocative statements on their cars to test the limits of Southern hospitality. Slogans like “Hillary for President”, “Country and Western is Rubbish” “NASCAR Sucks”, “I’m bi” and Man-love rules OK” didn’t go down too well with some of Alabama’s locals. The trio raised the fury of the locals to the highest pitch and the situation got very ugly.
6. Race on Water
Want to get off the old, beaten path…literally? Iceland with its spectacular landscape is the place for you, off road motor sport at its best!
Richard Hammond visited Iceland a couple of years ago and raced a buggy, a modified off-road vehicle, against a snowmobile over the third largest lake in southern Iceland, Lake Kleifarvatn. Hard to believe that a one and a half ton off roader could be driven on water? Just watch this video. The perfect combination of pressure, tire shape and speed prevents the water’s surface from breaking.
5. Crossing the English Channel in Car Boats
Richard, James and Jeremy were challenged by the producers to cross the English Channel in home-made amphibious cars. This was their second attempt. Jeremy built an amphibious Nissan pickup (nicknamed Nissank), James upgraded the same Triumph Herald he had used in the first attempt of crossing the Channel and Richard modified a Volkswagen Transporter (nicknamed Dampervan). The last two vehicles sank, so Jeremy Clarkson and his Nissan won the challenge.
4. Car Darts
James and Richard played darts in the fourth episode of the fourth series with second hand cars. Where? In a real quarry! They used scrap cars as darts and a caravan as the bull’s-eye. In a James Bond movie there is always a scene where a car makes a crazy leap through the air. How do they do this? By firing the car from a gas-powered cannon, so Richard and James were wondering what else could they do with that cannon. Here’s the result, a simplified, super-duper round of darts.
3. Funniest review ever
Offended by Mr. Needham, a fan who complained that Top Gear doesn’t review cars properly anymore, the hosts decided to take the 2010 Ford Fiesta and do a serious road test, including an exhilarating car chase inside a mall and a Royal Marine beach assault!
The road test was conducted by Jeremy Clarkson and was divided into nine major segments:
Is the Ford Fiesta practical?
Is it economical?
Is it fun to drive?
Will it break down all the time?
Is it easy to park?
What if I go to a Shopping Centre and get chased by baddies in a Corvette?
Is it green?
Can I afford it?
What if I’m asked to take part in a beach assault with the Royal Marines?
I couldn’t believe the ending, they are insane! This has got to be one of Top Gear’s coolest reviews ever.
2. Bugatti Veyron vs. Euro Fighter Typhoon
The second place goes to one of the most watched videos of Top Gear on YouTube. No wonder this challenge is widely recognized as Top Gear’s greatest race.
The legendary Bugatti Veyron is not just the world’s most expensive car, but it’s also the fastest. Richard raced a $1.4 million Bugatti Veyron against the highly agile and sophisticated multirole combat aircraft, the Euro Fighter Typhoon. Who do you think that won the horizontal vs. vertical two mile drag race?
(Series 13, Episode 3, 2009)
1. James May and Kent Block vs. Ricky Carmichael
James May meet stunt-driving legend Ken Block and Ricky Carmichael, the greatest dirt-biker in history, on an airfield in California. Ken Block took James for a spin in his Subaru Impreza rally car and shortly after, Ricky Carmichael joined the ride. Known as G.O.A.T., aka the Greatest of All Time, Ricky “retired from Supercross/Motocross racing at the end of 2007 having won 16 AMA titles. He also won every single race in the 2002 and 2004 Motocross seasons. Carmichael has now begun a new career in stock car racing,” wrote Crash.net.
Superlatives fail to describe this extraordinary and visually stunning Top Gear moment.
By Timeea Vinerean