Top Gear

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (580)

  • Jeremy Clarkson: [referring to the Citroën Berlingo] It's like Gérard Depardieu: slightly swollen middle, broken nose, but there are hidden talents.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: Right, that's the track. Now we needed someone who could tame it, so we got ourselves a professional racing driver who could post consistently fast lap times. We um, we couldn't do that. Now we call this thing 'the Stig'. OK, now we don't know its name, we really don't know its name, no-one knows its name and we don't want to know because it's a racing driver and racing drivers have tiny little brains. And therefore worthless opinions and they're very dull. Doctors call it 'Mansell's Syndrome'. Its job is simply to go out there and drive fast.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: This is a car programme. There will be no cushions. There will be no rag-rolling. No-one will sing and at the end of the series no-one will have a recording contract.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: [referring to the Mazda RX8's wankle rotary engine] It's a wankle thing, isn't it? Richard Hammond: It is. Jeremy Clarkson: It's a wan-kle thing. There's nothing funny about wankle. Richard Hammond: Wankle's cool.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: A word of warning though. A word of warning, which I've learned over the years: never ever slag off a fast Ford cause these people don't just write polite letters saying 'Dear sir, I strongly disagree with what you said on Top Gear the other night'. A brick with 'git' written on it comes through your window.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: But first the 1960s. Now it was possible to go fast back then if you had enough money to buy a Ferrari or a Maserati, but then one day Ford thought 'hang on a minute, we've got all these cars flooding down our production lines, why don't we fit some of them with big engines'? Now if you think about it, this was an incredibly important moment because suddenly, everyone could afford to go fast.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: [to a young woman on the street] What have you got for a price of a Vanquish, then...? That house there?
    Young Woman
    : Mmm-hmm.
    Jeremy Clarkson: Detached house, three bedrooms, lounge, whatever one of those is... three bedroom house, for about the same as the Aston. Would you rather have that house or that car.
    Young Woman: The car.
    Jeremy Clarkson: Good girl.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: [on the noise made by the Aston Martin Vanquish] What it sounds like is Tom Jones bending over to pick up the soap while he's in the showers in Wandsworth nick - roooooaarrrrrrrr!

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Notes (400)

  • Stig's Lap Times: Lamborghini Murcielago: 1.29 (moist) Pagani Zonda: 1.23

  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car Lap Time: Harry Enfield: 2.01 Harry Enfield is one of Britain's best comedians - we certainly had a good laugh at his lap.

  • Stig's LapTimes: Noble M12 GTO: 1.33.1 (wet) Ford Focus RS: 1.32.2

  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car Lap Time: Jay Kay: 1.48 Jamiroquai singer, Jay Kay likes hats and fast cars. For Jay, a perfect day is driving a fast car whilst wearing a hat.

  • Stig's Lap Times: Westfield XTR2: 1.22.6

  • The result of the Best Looking Car poll: the Citroën DS.

  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car Lap Time: Ross Kemp: 1.54 Ross Kemp is in the soap opera EastEnders. He once tried to act his way out of a paper back and had to be rescued by firemen.

  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car Lap Time:

    Steve Coogan:1.53 (wet lap)

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Trivia (175)

  • From this episode onwards, the final corner on the track was renamed 'Gambon' as a tribute to Sir Michael Gambon who took the corner on two wheels.

  • The Rover P5 driven by Richard in this episode, is owned by Queen Elizabeth II.

  • The Liana was resplendent with a white stripe just like Starsky's Gran Torino, even though David Soul played Hutch.

  • The (black) Stig was 'killed off' in this episode after his identity became more widely known. The identity of the Stig was confirmed to be Perry McCarthy in his book, 'Flat Out, Flat Broke', which was published in 2003. McCarthy is a former Formula 1 driver and test driver for the Benetton, Arrows and Williams teams. He also tested for BMW F1. The Identity of the new (white) Stig is still unknown.

  • The robotic traffic cones ridiculed by Jeremy actually exist. They were the result of a project by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln (U.S.) professor who developed robotic cones and barrels that can move out of the way, or into place, from computer commands made miles away. The traditional orange-and-white tops fit over a black base that contains the electronics and motors. Aside from improving safety for workers, it also made it so that a one-mile construction project doesn't block up five miles of traffic. According to a 2004 article, the prototypes cost an estimated $700 each.

  • 24 hours prior to the race, the DB9 got a little too close to another vehicle, ripping off the driver's door mirror. This necessitated a quick run back to Aston Martin's factory in Warwickshire (about 100 miles north of the studio) for it to be repaired. It arrived back at Top Gear’s base in Guildford (south west of London) with just a few hours to spare before the race was due to start.

  • This was the very first of Top Gear's epic races across Europe. A slightly less significant first is that this was the first time that James explicitly refused to run on television. The result of which was that he and Richard nearly missed the train from Paris to Nice.

  • Having made James and Richard take a long walk to the local bus stop [during the Aston Martin DB9 Vs. Train race], the crew later found out that there was one much nearer.

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Allusions (73)

  • Jeremy Clarkson: There's only eleven Alpina Z8's coming to Britain and Ronan Keating has bought one. Just thought you should know.

    Ronan Keating was a member of Boyzone. No, not a gay collective, but a manufactured boyband from Ireland.

  • James May: ...and if I was Don Corleone and I just spent £70,000 on this (Maserati Quattroporte), I think there would be a horse's head in someone's bed by now.

    This is a reference to the 1972 Academy Award winning film, The Godfather. In the film Don Corleone, the head of a powerful mafia family, has the bloody head of a man's prized horse put into the man's bed as punishment.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: You know that bit in Dr. Strangelove where Peter Sellers is astride the nuclear missile?

    Dr. Strangelove, a 1964 Film starring Peter Sellers and directed by Stanley Kubrick (From the novel by Peter George).

  • James May: I know, but the next train that we've got is out of the Reverend W. Awdry stories.

    The Reverend W. Awdry stories James is referring to are the popular Thomas the Tank Engine stories of a toy train and his train friends.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: Obviously my abiding memory of it (referring to the Ferrari 612) is the windscreen wiper here which had a bent blade caused buy a mechanic leaning on it and he's now sharing his bed at night with a horse's head.

    This is a reference to the 1972 Academy Award winning film, The Godfather. In the film, Don Corleone, the head of a powerful Mafia family, has the bloody head of a man's prized horse put into the man's bed as punishment.

  • Richard Hammond [referring to James May's Jaguar XJS: And the Exxon Valdez? That had turned into a sort of mobile confession booth...

    The Exxon Valdez [now known as the Sea River Mediterranean] was an oil tanker owned by the Exxon Shipping Company. It gained infamy on March 24th, 1989, when it collided with the Bligh Reef on the Prince William Sound on its way to Washington D.C. spilling 10.8 million gallons of oil in the process.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: I'd arrived back in Britain half an hour in front of Ginger and Algy...

    Ginger Hebblethwaite and Algy Lacey are squad mates of fictional pilot James Biggles Bigglesworth, aka, Biggles.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: ... Meanwhile, 633 Squadron have to ride to the local airport and fly to England.

    Jeremy is referring to the 1964 film 633 Squadron, which tells of the exploits of a fictional Second World War British fighter-bomber squadron (and was based on several real Royal Air Force missions).

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