If you know me, you know I'm really not a motorhead. I'll probably never buy a "Car and Driver" magazine, but I'll read one at the barber shop. And yet I find myself enthralled by Top Gear, a BBC show dedicated to all things "car." It's not about how to build a carburetor, or turning your Mazda into a rally car. It's about the cars you wish you could drive. These three blokes (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May), along with their "tame racing driver" The Stig, manage to get their hands on some amazing vehicles and play around with them on their own track. And I mean amazing... Such as:
A Bugatti Veyron
A Ferrari FXX
A Pagani Zonda
A Gumpert Apollo (huh?)
But that's not all they do. They drive rally cars, they drive minivans, they drive econoboxes. Not willingly, those last two, and always with an eye toward, "yeah, it'll cart your shopping home, but is it fun? Is it well made? Is it really any better than the others?" All of which in a very amusing, tongue-in-cheek, "can you believe we get paid for this" sort of way.
And then there are the challenges: 1) Leaving from Basel, Switzerland, three cars race to Blackpool, England - on one tank of fuel. 2) From a standing start, can a Bugatti Veyron drive one mile, turn around, and reach the starting point faster than a Eurofighter can take off, climb a mile, turn around, and return to that same starting point? 3) Can you make a convertible minivan?
I'm told it can be seen in the US on BBC America. If you have ever seen a Lamborghini Murcielago drive by the other way on the highway and thought, "Ooh, cool!" tune in. You'll thank me.