5 iconic classics from Richard Hammond’s car collection
And no, Oliver isn’t here
Richard Hammond has famously owned his Opel Kadett since 2007, when he purchased it for the TG Botswana Special. He’s also owned at least four vintage Land Rovers – nicknamed Buster, Lollipop, Molly and Gertie – and about a million ancient Porsches.
He buys and sells cars pretty much constantly, but we thought it would be interesting to put together a list (in no particular order) of five of the best and/or most interesting classics he’s owned. Don't forget that you can now watch Richard's new show: Richard Hammond's Workshop over on discovery+.
1. 1976 Toyota Corolla Liftback
This was technically Hammond’s first car. He was considering buying a Ford Capri but eventually ended up with this one. It was powered by a 1.6-litre engine, and decorated with a Japanese flag on the roof.
Unfortunately, it was later destroyed. But this time it wasn’t Hammond’s fault. Sort of. He tried to rebuild it but made a bit of a mess when he lost the jet from the carburettor and couldn’t find a replacement. Pity.
2. 1999 Lotus Esprit 350 Sport
For reasons that we can’t explain, the Lotus Esprit is one of the few desirable classics that never really blew in terms of prices in the pre-owned market. It is not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is still attainable, which is more than could be said about most cars of the same era.
Only 50 units were built, making it a rare iteration of a car that’s already relatively rare to begin with. The V8 engine in the 350 was tuned to produce 350 hp (hence the name) and thanks to a few carbon fibre enhancements, it only weighs 1,300 kg (2,866 lbs).
Richard bought his 1999 Esprit 350 Sport, in silver grey, about four years ago, and sold it a few weeks ago to fund his new restoration business and TV show. His Esprit raised £65,250. Again, £60k for an Esprit in good condition – once owned by TG and TGT’s Richard Hammond – is not too bad, is it?
3. 10-seater Land Rover ‘Wally Car’
This was a ‘heavily modified’ Land Rover 110 with 10 seats and a 300 Tdi engine that Hammond’s daughter Izzy nicknamed the ‘Wally Car’.
Hammond mentioned it on several columns in the Top Gear mag and he said he’d bought it twice. First, nearly 30 years ago and then again around 20 years ago, when he was able to track it and buy it back as a present to Mindy for their wedding anniversary.
The engine was rebuilt and after 217,000 miles, he announced he sold it it again in 2011. Or did he? I must admit keeping track with Hammond’s Land Rovers is kinda hard.
4. 1969 Porsche 911 T
Don't panic, Oliver is *not* for sale
The only car Hammond loves more than the Land Rover is the 911. He’s owned many, including a modern GT3 RS and many iconic 911 from the olden days.
This model in particular is a 1969 911 T, equipped with carburettors, a 5-speed manual, and a 1991 cc engine.
Hammond’s 911 T was sold at auction (along with the Esprit we mentioned earlier) to fund The Smallest Cog, Richard’s latest restoration project. How much? Well, it fetched £60,750, which is not too bad for a classic 911.
5. 1994 BMW 850i
I know he only bought it for a Top Gear challenge (what can you get for the same price as a Nissan Pixo) and I know he sold it after about five minutes, but I’m still in love with Hammond’s 850i.
He purchased it in 2011 to put it up against Clarkson’s Mercedes CL 600 and it reportedly broke down just weeks after the episode (S17 E03). It was equipped with a 5.0-litre V12, capable of 296 hp, and… pop-up headlamps.
The beautiful burgundy paintwork was the cherry on top of the cake.
What is the best classic car Hammond has ever owned?
Remember to check out Richard Hammond's Workshop, available to stream now on discovery+.