Watching the emotional ending, of the latest episode of the Grand tour, I found myself (like many of you), in a room full of ninjas cutting onions.
It's not like they are going away. However, at the same time, it's a reminder that someday that may be the case.
When the trio got together, I was a 10-year-old, with a strong passion for anything mechanical, particularly for cars. Consistently, throughout my teens, I watched Top Gear like Hammond drinks gin. Between the cool cars, the exotic locations and the specials, it was always great to watch what they were up to. Now, Looking back, I see under it another light.
It's no secret that Portuguese people love football, it seems it's all they care about. Well, I've always despised it! I'm not fond of watching the matches or chatting about it. I don't care what player did what it's all white noise to me. As a result, I've always felt a bit like an outcast, most kids I met weren't into cars or even worse, they were into awful cars!
While I watched the episodes, the screen became a portal into a world where I belonged, where people shared my passion and points of view. It was my own little universe.
Eventually, I grew older, got a drivers licence and started driving my mothers old Alfa Romeo 33. That fact coupled, with their schoolings regarding the art of being a car enthusiast, led me down the path of becoming a full-on petrolhead. Later at university, met a few like-minded individuals. But through life's ups and downs, the boys and their mischief, always made me smile, no matter how complicated matters got.
On a particular occasion, while watching the ill-fated Patagonia special (before everything went wrong) it dawned on me. This is more than a tv show. Its more than three middle-aged men, driving around in cars. It wasn't meaningless fun and entertainment, it always had somewhat of a contagious comforting tone, topped off by interesting locations with historical significance. Their affection for the vehicles they drove and their tomfoolery were relatable to any enthusiast.
Theres specific moment on the special, when they were at the beach. Admiring the breathtaking landscape, was the instant, I grasped I craved to see more of the world, maybe even become a photographer.
The birth of The Grand Tour and Drivetribe enabled me to dive deeper into the depths of the automotive world. Since then, I've met so many wonderful people, listened to amazing stories and experienced situations I would deem impossible a few years prior.
You can say that without watching their adventures, I wouldn't be the same person. Their work had a significant impact on me during my formative years I'm sure it had a role in shaping my personality. It ultimately encouraged my decision to steer my life into a certain path. Without them I definitely wouldn't be pursuing my passions in the same way, I know it sounds silly. However, as I previously stated it's more than a show, using Jeremy's words it is an institution.
In my eyes, the whole team strives to remind us how astonishing our planet is, the unbelievable things humans are able to build and achieve, ultimately proving how wonderful it is to enjoy life.
What's your story with the show? Did it also impact your life in any way? Please, let me know in the comments
Now on a more personal note, if anyone even remotely related to what they have been doing for the last 17 years reads this, thank you! Thank you for showing me the world, making me fall in love with cars and driving, but above all thank you for teaching me what being a petrolhead is all about, the joy of motoring and shenanigans with your mates.