An open letter to the BBC and Top Gear.

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Active Member
Jul 11, 2006
New York, NY
Audi A4
As per the request of Clarkson, here is what I have to say regarding Top Gear's future.

Being from the U.S., I am one of the many who doesn?t have access to Top Gear through any other media except through the internet. The idea as to whether it is illegal or stealing is still out for debate, but thats a whole different story. The fact is, IF Top Gear were sold via the internet or DVD, I would not hesitate to dish out a few dollars just to watch the show. The fact that I pull my hair out just in order to watch new episodes shows how much I truly love the series.

I've been watching Top Gear now for 4 years; I have seen every episode since the end of 2003, which I believe had the M3 CSL on the Isle of Man. I have seen a progressive change from automotive road-tests to the more amusing, 'challenges' and stunts. This though, I'm sure has led to the success of Top Gear over the recent years, so I'm not going to say you are doing anything wrong, you aren't. But, what turned me on to Top Gear, besides the amazing editing and cinematography of the show, was the detail at which cars were depicted. The research behind the scenes for the segments must be amazingly in-depth, I can only imagine what DOESN'T get placed in the final cut. The obscure facts which take you by surprise are what truly got me hooked. These are the facts which you can't find on the internet, but rather they are deep inside a book you overlook in the library. The history of British Racing Green is a prime example of this - I would NEVER have learned this anywhere else. I think this is what your audience wants, even if they don?t specifically say it.

As you must already know, the challenge is to balance the show with the right content/entertainment. The challenges are great, but I don?t think you need many of them. As an American, I can honestly say, the American Special from Miami to New Orleans was pure genius. I showed all my friends, and they loved it even more. If you are going to do a challenge such as that, you need to go all out. You cant just have 30 minutes in an episode dedicated to a challenge. The challenge SHOULD be the entire show. But you don?t need a lot of challenges, maybe just one a series?
If you are going to do something such as that, do it right.. don't half-ass it. I think you pulled it off perfectly with the American Challenge.

I think Top Gear has got the idea as to what a good automotive show should be. The fact that the word of the show has influence over the automotive industry says something. (Example is the CCX with the wing). Take advantage of this. YOU need to continue doing road tests of not only exotic cars, but also cars we all will buy. I think a balance of having half the show automotive news, and the other half entertainment, is probably the best mix. Also, take ideas from fans for new segments.. Below I have listed a few of my own.

Thanks for reading.

Segment Ideas:
The "crew" behind the scenes at a Formula 1 race.

Even better, have Jezza, The Captain, and Hamster go to a NASCAR race - turn them loose on the infield. Get in a fight with Montoya!

Getting an inside look at automotive testing/prototyping such as at the 'ring.

How about an inside look at RUF?


Forum Addict
May 7, 2006
I think Top Gear has got the idea as to what a good automotive show should be. The fact that the word of the show has influence over the automotive industry says something. (Example is the CCX with the wing).
For the 55th million time: it's not a TG wing!

Just had to.. :)


Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2004
personally I like the topgear from 2 years ago better...
I don't mind the Car vs. Boat/Plane/Train things, cause that's interesting, but the skits (paving, building a limo...) get's boring...sure it's funny, but once a season is good, not EVERY episode...

I miss the days of Ferrari vs Aston, Koineseggssegsggsegss 6 minute review, Spkyer reviews, Isle of Man Porsche vs Aston vs BMW review, Lambo reviews, "cheap korean cars" review, head to head car reviews...stuff like that, I like the longer 6-10 minute car reviews that took up like 30-40 minutes of the show, have the star in the car, then maybe a skit here or there (hammond getting frozen/shocked, or a high speed test, F1 car speed test indoors, old school cars vs new generation). Hell, even the car vs. mountain climber/bike rider/tank/sky diver was interesting, but only because they reviewed the car before they went head to head.

sure the topgears from last season were interesting and funny, but it lacked substance, it lacked the cars, it was an hour of HAHA funny, but i gained nothing from it. I didn't feel the passion for the cars, i missed having just finished watching topgear and being able to lust for a car, to be able to rewind it and listen to an engine noise, like mentioned before, the history of the car colors and their countries (british racing green)

Here in the states our "car reviews" are basically 30 minute commercials with them telling us everything that's great about the car while they drive around town, they don't beat on it, they don't complain about the cheap interiors, they don't call out the crappy handleing or boat like feel. it's 30 minutes of "this is the greatest car in the world" and it's coming to a dealership near you.

personal favorite review: Carrera GT.
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Retired Moderator
Jan 8, 2005
Melbourne, Australia
2006 MY07 Astra SRi Turbo
FFS, do we really need yet another thread about this? Use one of the existing twenty threads...
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