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My First Year With Top Gear

The Chad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
570
Location
Northwest Ohio
Car(s)
'11 Fiesta SES
Well, it's been about a year since my infatuation with Top Gear began, and I'd like to share some things about the show with you guys that I've learned and enjoyed.

First off though, I must say I'm glad I found this site and learned how to use the simple BitTorrent program. I hope they release a new Mac version soon.

Anyways, where am I know that I wasn't a year ago?

1. I own an S2000. While I had ordered the car before seeing any real Top Gear review about it, after seeing the Isle of Man episode, it made me look at my car a little differently. While it was the slowest in the test, that's completely atributable to the tires and wet. The Z4's runflats are slightly more rain-friendly, as I believe the Porsches are as well. All the cars, however, suffered from the wet but I don't believe that's a "fair" test of the car's abilities. However, I've noticed with Top Gear is that their power lap times aren't as objective as they can be. I'm comfortable with that. I have other sources for reliable performance data. But owning a car in which JC really likes is something kinda special, because I've always thought the man to be honest and blunt about his feelings regarding cars, and that's something that I respect about him.

2. My vocabulary has changed. It's not a Z4, it's a Zed4. Instead of saying titanium how my midwest American accent pronounces it, I say it different. I've even caught myself saying aluminium differently now. Rubbish, bloke, and mate are something I catch myself throwing into random conversations.

3. I still love Ferraris, but look at them a little differently. While my goal in life (I'm 21 years old now) is to own a Ferrari (the new 430, I adore), I kinda matured a lot how JC has when it comes to the cars. They are damn near perfect, and that's why he's more likely to pick a car with more "character". It's like watching Formula One lately, it's not bad racing, it's just really boring. I can't imagine getting bored with a Ferrari, but then again I can see possibly getting bored with it's perfection. In that sense, my love for Aston Martin's has grown a heck of a lot. Before the release of the DB9, I never thought much of the cars, but after seeing the DB9 on Top Gear, I've grown an interest in the car, and now I must say it's something that I long to own.

4. I've learned why British car journalists don't like American cars. Anyone can tell you the Corvette Z06 in the United States is an amazing value, but the cost that it sells for in Great Britain is significantly higher than that here in the United States, so it loses it's value. Having driven one I can attest to the gearbox and interior, as I can compare both to the excellent S2000 and it's short thows that is in my driveway. Corvettes are inexpensive because they have to "cut corners" somewhere, and it's generally in the cornering department if they cut a performance aspect. Granted, they handle a lot better than they used to, most Americans look at performance as an HP number a 1/4 mile timeslip, not how fast you can complete a lap around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course or Laguana Seca.

5. Most importantly, the show isn't made for filming outside of Great Britain. Americans shouldn't take offense when they rip on us. I find most of the humor funny and laugh out loud. Their bit on construction workers and robotic traffic cones made me laugh because DOT workers a lot of times fit that stereotype. Keep in mind they're only stereotyping and it's not a personal attack against you, and just because they don't like an American car doesn't mean they're out to get you. They don't like American cars for the same reason most Americans don't like foreign cars. Also, keep in mind cars that are brilliant here may not be so smart on the island nation of Great Britain. And remember, you're downloading a bootlegged (basically) rip of a show that wasn't intended for you to watch. They all think the SRT-10 is rubbish mainly due to suspension tuning, and the crack about getting 500bhp out of a pencil sharpener (mainly ripping on how it's an 8.3L engine) is an exaggeration but makes a valid point. They (being Americans) don't look at the fact a 2.0L S2000 makes 120bhp/liter, b/c it's only a 2.0 liter. It's almost that good in a 360 Modena. A lot of American's don't appreciate that aspect of the engineering of a car. Imagine if you took that engineering and applied it to an American large displacement sports car, the power it could create would literally be astonishing. And always remember, they're British, so they're going to favor cars made in the country that they live in.

6. I've enjoyed the show so much that I've subscribed to the magazine, and with the US dollar being valued at where it's at, that's a VERY expensive purchase for just 12 issues.

So in conclusion, I like Top Gear a lot more than Fifth Gear. FG is a straight to the facts kind of show. Much like American's Motorweek or Car and Driver television. I'll watch FG because of the exotics, bu FG to me seems like a lot of American car magazines, and they don't really rip on a car when it's bad. They may dislike a car, but that really seems rare to me.

One thing you can count on Clarkson doing is if he doesn't like a car, no matter who makes it, he'll tell you. And he won't sugar coat it either. I can see him being someone who would make an ugly kid cry by telling her she's ugly, and not regret it. He's pompus sometimes, very egotistical, stubborn, and sometimes can be a proper asshole about some of his reviews, but love him or hate him, he's honest, and you have to respect that and the fact he's willing to share that with the fanbase.

Driving to me, is all about the feeling. How does a car make you feel. If I wanted just the performance numbers, and which car is quicker on whatever test, I could get that anywhere. The tests are so easy to swing one way or another that no one can really be 100 percent objective. However, watch enough Top Gear you can really see what the presenters like, and either Jeremy, James, or the Hamster will appeal to your sense of cars, then when you watch that presenter give their opinion on the "feel" of the car, you'll know how your own opinion compares to theirs, and I think that by going by "feel" you get a lot more out of the show.

Keep in mind, these are all my humble opinions, and like opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one and they all stink, but I thought I'd share this with you guys (as this being one of my first posts).

Love the site, hope it's up for a long time and thanks to VUK for the awesome rips and the owner who keeps this site up and running.

That is all.
 
Thanks for sharing and :welcome:

I think I would feel the same way if I owned a car that the presenters approved of also. :D
 
I like you nickname... Was it in Roadtrip?

Well, quite a post for a first one... But a good one!

Do some pics of your car if you like! Welcome

Buba
 
SiR_Dude finds out you own a S2000 and he'll want pics. I think he's obsessed with that car. :) and :welcome:
 
Welcome to the board. Quite an essay you wrote there but it's a really nice one. About the bias towards Americans. I'm German and I really enjoy the parts about ze Germans. It really gives you another perspective on things that you don't even notice because they're a part of your everyday life.
 
swek said:
Welcome to the board. Quite an essay you wrote there but it's a really nice one. About the bias towards Americans. I'm German and I really enjoy the parts about ze Germans. It really gives you another perspective on things that you don't even notice because they're a part of your everyday life.

I agree, I find the new perspective quite refreshing.

I'll have to find pics of the car.
 
great post :)

i think a lot of americans just don't get the idea of "taking the piss". we take the piss out of the poms, they take the piss out of us (think of clarkson testing the monaro while constantly reminding the world that we lost to england in the rugby world cup final) and we both take the piss out of the septics.

there's no malice intended - it's all in good fun. kinda like taking this piss outta your mate for sleeping with an ugly chick or for not being able to handle his booze :lol:
 
great post. a good read. thanks.
 
:welcome:

I hated Clarkson at first because the first clip I saw was the 911 vs. the R1 (bike), and he said he didn't ride a bike because he's a "heterosexual".

Then I saw some of his other stuff and now I love him.
 
Re: My First Year With Top Gear

The Chad said:
I hope they release a new Mac version soon.
Since Azureus is Java based, it can run on pretty much any OS.

Here's the Mac version: http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/azureus/Azureus_2.2.0.2_OSX.dmg?download

8)

The Chad said:
2. My vocabulary has changed. It's not a Z4, it's a Zed4. Instead of saying titanium how my midwest American accent pronounces it, I say it different. I've even caught myself saying aluminium differently now. Rubbish, bloke, and mate are something I catch myself throwing into random conversations.
:lol: Yeah, I find myself doing the same kinda things. Like I've actually used "knicked" or however you spell it before instead of stealing.
 
Car & Driver is horrendously uninteresting. Those guys have absolutely no passion, no real emotion, no flair--nothing. Top Gear may be better than 5th Gear, but 5th Gear is miles ahead of anything shown in the states. At least it has some character.
 
Exactly. Both are great shows.
 
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