8 things you didn't know about Top Gear

Think you know everything about the good old show?

5w ago

I am of course talking about the Top Gear we describe as proper and "the one and only" to some people. You may know a lot about the authentic trio but you're about to learn a whole lot more weird and fun facts about the Top Gear we all admire.

The Stig was supposed to be called "The Gimp"

Indeed, the first version of the legendary driver was initially going to be called the gimp. Unfortunately, Perry McCarthy, the first Top Gear driver refused to be called under that name due to the sexual meaning of the word and then went on to be known as the Stig. The idea of a speechless racing driver came from the opinion that racing drivers never had anything interesting to say according to Andy Wilman.

Bond on the Top Gear track

You may know that the track was originally designed by Lotus who also came up with the "Chicago" corner. What you might not know is that the Top Gear track was involved in some stunt filming for the "Casino Royale" 2006 film part of the James Bond series. The track was used for high-speed car chases and tumbling over scenes. No doubt then that the production team got nervous every time Hammond was out testing the latest Lamborghini. Which brings me on to my next interesting Top Gear fact.

Hammond's special ambulance service cost over £250,000

We all remember Richard Hammond's good old crash when he was attempting a land-speed record in a jet-propelled car. As the front right wheel exploded and detached from the vehicle, he went spinning off many times into the grass area. Well, the ambulance service bill for taking care of Hammond and keeping him alive resulting in costing the Top Gear team over £250,000. Still, at least he didn't make a habit out of it.

Top Gear's preposterous influence on millions of people

Top Gear isn't in any way a factual programme and that in its self is a fact. Millions of viewers every week watched an hours worth of Top Gear knowing they were in for a good laugh and nothing too serious at all. Having said that, did you know that a negative comment on any car could influence potential buyers massively? In 2009 for instance when Jeremy reviewed the then-new Ford KA and said it looked like a frog, soon after this, Ford KA sales when plummetting down due to this very criticism. On a more positive note, Top Gear alone made the reputation of Ariel, the company who made the Atom after mentioning its incredible performance and unique driving experience you got from it.

Tickets to the studio were incredibly rare

It really was a case of having more of a chance to win at the lottery than getting tickets to the live studio recording. It is predicted that the waiting list was over 360,000 people long, more than any other show in history.

The trio's voices in Forza Motorsport

Starting with Forza Motorsport 4, Jeremy, James, and Richard lent their voices to the famous video game which you could hear in both version 4 and 5. The trio did a great job with these voice-overs, unfortunately, after Jeremy's incident with the BBC production team, he was first sacked from the job and later followed James and Richard who also got ditched. At least now we've got the Grand Tour Game.

Who was the last star in a reasonably priced car?

Still considering the series which ended after 22 seasons, Nicholas Hoult, actor in the film "About a Boy" was last to conquer the Top Gear test track under the good old trio's presence on the show back in 2015.

Jeremy's last ever lap of the Top Gear track

Getting sacked from the BBC show also meant Jeremy had to leave behind the legendary track he'd grown up on as a motoring journalist since 2002. So, for his last lap of the track, he ran a charity auction where the highest bidder would get to accompany Jeremy on his last ever lap of the Top Gear track. The lucky bidders, Nick Mason from Pink Floyd and racing driver Marino Franchitti were given the choice to run the last lap in eighter a La Ferrari, AMG GT, or a 488 GTB. After his final lap, Jeremy had two things to say about it: "Two good things about the last lap. It raised a load of cash for a good cause", £100,000 in fact, "And I did the motherfucker of all tail slides through Chicago."

Thanks for reading.

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Comments (13)

  • That's a great article! Loved all of it!

      1 month ago
  • A very interesting read.. But on a side note, Hammond's helicopter ride after his dragster crash shouldn't have cost the BBC anything, because it's all charity run..

      1 month ago
  • People mistakenly thought that there was a ‘waiting list’ for tickets. At the beginning this was true but for many of the later series you had to apply before every run. Initially tickets were on a first come, first served basis which resulted in people having to sit on their computers constantly refreshing Applause Store’s page - it was like the scramble for tickets to Glastonbury. In the latter series you had to register an interest for particular episode(s). Applause Store then did a random draw (supposedly) of all applications. Sometimes you didn’t get notified until a few days before filming which was a bit nerve wracking if you had time-off work to negotiate. I was lucky to go twice, both as a guest of someone else. It was a brilliant experience. The guys were extremely professional - no auto cues for them! Richard and James making time at tea break to come out and mingle with the audience for photos and autographs was brilliant. Not having any chances to meet the guys in person now is sad.

      1 month ago
  • Great piece of work. I'm still sad Top Gear arrived so later in France.

      1 month ago
  • Great article. Ah, memories! I tried to watch current Top Gear, but no. Something just isn't right. There is nothing wrong with current team. It's just like Manchester United post-Sir Alex Ferguson!

      1 month ago