Love them or hate them, you can’t consider yourself a car enthusiast if you don’t have an opinion about the members of the show “Top Gear” Top Gear is made up of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Richard Hammond, and of course the Stig; who are often joined by featured celebrity guests. Top Gear featured everything from exclusive super cars to their own homemade concoctions.
There have been numerous spinoffs of the show including a version for both Australia and the States. According to CNN, the show even has a Guinness World Record for being the “most widely watched factual show in the world” and once had an estimated 350 million viewers world-wide!
There were 22 seasons of Top Gear before sadly they were canceled from the air after Jeremy punched a producer in the face. A petition was signed by over 300k people in hopes of trying to get the show back, but unfortunately was unsuccessful. Lucky for us all three guys are now featured on a new show called “The Grand Tour” which is available to watch on Amazon Prime. Here’s a look back on 20 cars from Top Gear you may have forgotten about.
19 Mini With Skis
This crazy build was featured when the boys visited Norway where they host a Winter Olympic special. According to Top Gear, they hosted crazy events like racing a Jaguar against a speed skater and playing a game of hockey using vehicles.
The craziest thing we saw in that episode though was when they fabricated a set of skis on a Mini Cooper and decided to see what would happen when they tried to jump it.
The Mini successfully made the jump, but lost the challenge to beat a skiers distance.
Believe it or not, this is an ambulance, by Top Gear standards that is. The ambulance challenge was featured on the last season on Top Gear. The boys were all to design their own ambulance of their choice, Jeremy building the Rambulance. According to Top Gear Wiki, the Rambulance was based off an old Porsche 944 Turbo. Instead of a siren, the Rambulance would blast the Bee Gee’s “staying alive.” In the end the Rambulance took second place, Richard taking the gold with his Chevy Astor.
17 The Dampervan
The boys at Top Gear decided to see if they could make their own homemade versions of an amphibious car, and then successfully make it across a two-mile stretch. Richard’s car was the Dampervan, which according to Top Gear Wikia was based on a Volkswagen Transporter 2T3, that he then converted into a boat by waterproofing and then attaching a propeller to the flywheel. The waterproofing failed as did the propeller and the Dampervan sadly sank. It was no Titanic, but it definitely did its job and entertained us all.
16 The Nissank
The Toybota was featured in the 2nd amphibious shot at the car challenge that the boys at Top Gear attempted to cross the English Channel to break the record once set by Richard Branson. Jeremy decided that he was just going to strap a huge engine on the back on a Nissan D12.
The D12 was nicknamed “hardbody” due to its double layer bed.
According to Top Gear Wikia, Jeremy welded up the hardbody a bit more, strapped some empty barrels in the bed and a massive engine out of the back and hoped for the best. All three of the boats sank and they unsuccessfully broke the record
15 Rover James
The Rover James was built by Jeremy and Richard with the intention to be driven by elderly people. The Rover James featured things like sofa chairs in lieu of regular car seats and a dumbed down navigation system that would only take you to BINGO, the Post Office, home or Peggy’s house. It also had upgraded safety features like an extra thick foam bumper, and air bags that would go off if the driver was about to back into something. According to Top Gear, the car was also painted to be the same colour as a hearing aid!
14 The Giant Panda
The Challenge was to build a homemade limousine to be used to transport a celebrity to the Brit Awards. The “Giant Panda” was built by Jeremy out of a Fiat Panda to deliver famous Radio DJ Chris Moyles to the show. The car needed to be cut down from its original form and be legally and safely driven on the streets of Britain.
According to Top Gear, the Giant Panda successfully delivered Chris Moyles to the award ceremony, but was missing the back half of the limo.
The winner wasn’t determined by who got there to the Brits first, but by who got the most photos in the media, and Jeremy took the cake.
13 The Dominator
The Dominator was another homemade creation that was fabricated from all three members of Top Gear. The Dominator was a snow removal vehicle that was made in response to the UK's snow storms. The vehicle was made from a crop harvester, whose blades were replaced with a snowplow; in addition to having a flame thrower and a snow gritter. One of their challenges included plowing a runway for a plane to land on, and failed miserably when the plane crashed due to the path being too rough.
12 Homemade Motorhome
This gem was fabricated in a challenger were the boys had to make their own motorhomes. Richard decided to base his of an old Range Rover that he cut the back off of and built a small house on to.
The challenge included having to camp out for the night, change at the beach and also cook a meal.
In the end Richard and his motorhome failed miserably after his house collapsed and then eventually went up in flames in an attempt to make dessert.
11 Reliant Robin
The Reliant Robin is a small three-wheeled car that was featured on Top Gear where Jeremy cruises around the UK. During the 14-mile drive, Jeremy managed to tip the Reliant Robin over seven times. In a later article Jeremey admits that the differentials were adjusted so that the Robin would roll pretty much on command. According to his column in “The Sunday Times Driving,” Jeremy says him and the other member of the show actually loved the Reliant Robin so much that they all actually purchased them as their company vehicles.
10 C8 Spyker
The C8 Spyker is a rare supercar that is manufactured in Holland. Jeremey got his hands on one to test drive and he said one of the best part of the C8 is the fancy leather interior . The C8 weighs just 1.2 tons and has a 4.2-liter Audi V8 packed under its aluminum hood which ensures a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds and has a recorded top speed of 187 mph. According to Top Gear there was a twin turbo version being developed at the time of the episode, that was going to be capable of making the C8 good for 525 hp.
9 Caparo T1
The Caparo T1 is a supercar made in the UK, which according to Top Gear Wikia only 25 are made each year.
Despite costing over 200K, the Caparo is known for being unreliable with numerous accidents having happened due to the Camparo’s faulty design.
When Jeremy was test driving it, the cabin floor literally fell off. The fuel injection system also later failed, and Jeremy complained about how terrible the steering was. In a previous instance the Caparo’s front suspension came apart, causing the driver to drive completely off course and another involving a serious fire where the driver got severely burned.
8 HammerHead Eagle i-thrust
Here is another amazing homemade creation. The Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust was the second attempt at building an all-electric car; built by all three members of Top Gear. According to Autocar, a 0-60 couldn’t even be recorded as the car topped out at just 50 mph and it look over 16 seconds just to get there. In the end the Eagle i-thrust was an improvement to the original electric car they had built, even if it did take the Stigs cousin.
The Sherp was designed with the intentions to be the ultimate ATV. The Sherp is an amphibious monster that resembles a toy Tonka truck. The Sherp’s massive tires help create 23 inches of clearance, and has a weight capacity rated well over a ton at 2204 lbs. The Sherp by no means is fast, according to Sherp ATV, it’s only able to make 44 hp which will get the Sherp up to a whopping 27 mph with a max speed of 3.7 mph while floating on the water.
6 Citroen Campervan
The Citroen Campervan was also featured in the episode where they were challenged to make homemade motorhomes. According to Top Gear Wiki, Jeremy’s motorhome’s base was a Citroen XC Break with a three-story building built on the back of it, fully equipped with both eating and sleeping quarters.
The motorhome was so tall it eventually toppled over, needing the help of a crane to get back on its wheels.
The motorhome eventually rolled off a cliff to its death after Richard and James were trying to play a prank on Jeremy.
5 Peel P50
The next car is actually considered a microcar, and for good reasons too! The Peel-P50 holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest production vehicle ever made, and has for over 50 years. According to Peel Engineering, the P50 only has three wheels, one door, a windshield wiper and a headlight. It is only 54 inches long and 41 wide, which is just enough room for the driver. It's actually surprising that an engine even managed to fit into this tiny car.
The next car is the P45, which was made by Jeremy in response to test driving the Peel P-50, which is the world’s smallest car and was mentioned earlier on the list. Jeremy’s P45 was a hybrid, which seemed to be the only perk about the car. According to Top Gear, the car wasn’t approved by the panel and wasn’t put into production, which is probably for the best. The P45 would most likely eventually cause head trauma due to improper head protection.
3 World’s Fastest Bumper Car
The next one wasn’t actually featured on an episode of Top Gear, but it was raced by the Stig and its awesome, so we will make an exception. Colin Furze’s was the mastermind behind creating this super fast bumper car.
According to Top Gear, the Stig helped out by setting the Guinness World Record by crossing the finish line at a remarkable 100.336 mph.
The bumper car was fitting with a Honda 600cc motor you would find on one of their crotch-rockets to help set the record as the “World’s Fastest Bumper Car Ever!”
2 Mobility Scooter
The mobility scooter was built by James May in response to the off-road mobility scooter challenge. James unlike the rest made this scooter out of motorized wheelchair. He added an iPad for navigation purposes, a coffee machine and upgraded wheels to help travel off-road. According to Top Gear, in addition to bigger wheels, James installed a mechanism that would dump gravel out of the back to try and help gain some traction under the back wheels. James wound up being the worst design of the group, failing in every challenge.
The boys of Top Gear are responsible for another Guinness World Record of “the world’s fastest tractor (modified)” after they built their “Track-tor.” The Tractors power plant was swapped out to a 5.7-liter V8 in addition to upgraded brakes, suspension and a giant wing mounted on the back. According to The Drive, the Track-tor was capable of making 500 hp, breaking the former record of 81 mph by hitting a top speed of 87 mph! That is one fast piece of farm equipment.
Sources: TopGear.com, Autocar.co.uk, MotoringResearch.com