S01E01: The long awaited reunion
(and the long awaited battle between the efficient german, the passionate italian, and the plucky brit)
604 days. That is the amount of time from Jeremy leaving the BBC to The Grand Tour finally airing on Amazon. A good number of those days were spent by myself and countless millions wondering if this was it for the 3 bumbling boys from Britain. We have all watched them grow many gray hairs (except Hammond, of course) after every series and wondering 'is this the last series?', 'how much more can Jeremy's back support his rump?'. Thankfully, this amount of time was short lived. It only took a matter of 3 months until it was announced that our favorite motoring trio would be returning to Amazon.
I personally could not contain my excitement as details of their deal came. The boys would essentially have a blank check to let their creativity run wild. The Grand Tour had the same budget for each episode Top Gear did for an entire series and would not be hampered by millions of Health & Safety forms. It was almost victory snatched from the jaws of defeat as well after the bumbling executives appointed Chris Evans as Jeremy's replacement. However, nothing was as sweet as the opening few minutes of the new episode of The Grand Tour.
Having the boys in 3 Mustangs was as surprising as finding a dinosaur fossil in your morning oatmeal. For a show that had long bashed Mustangs, they now had a Shelby GT350R, a Roush Stage 3 Mustang, and (most surprisingly) a Fisker-Galpin Rocket! I currently have a Mustang, and this truly was a real treat seeing real respect from my favorite show all of time towards a car that I treasured and cherished so much. Finally Ford had cranked out a base model that could be enhanced to give us truly magnificent variants that even European gearheads and the old hosts of Top Gear could respect. Although I'm sure that Rocket having 725HP had something to do with the respect when it came to Jeremy.
From then on the show was even better than anyone could have expected. A Burning Man joke, an amazing opening song, an even more improved studio, and even dead celebrities. It was only proper that the opening show would have a 3 way battle between the 3 hyper car kings of today that would invoke such passionate and pointless bickering from Jeremy, James, and Richard. I am sure that after this episode aired, millions around the world had quite a bit of bickering on their own as to which hypercar was the best out of the 3 despite Richard's Porsche technically winning the day. However if it were my money, I would most definitely have the McLaren.
Yes I know, it was technically the slowest on the track but to me that is not the most important metric for choosing a car. I prefer a car that makes me feel alive, a car that makes my heart pound, a car that constantly tries to kill me. I love a car that is tricky to handle and requires real skill because to me it is a challenge and not just something that could drive itself while a bag of meat just sits in the driver's seat and does nothing. I have modified my Mustang to meet this need of mine and The McLaren is the hypercar variant of exactly what I want: an unforgiving widowmaker.
This was one of the greatest episodes I have seen from the old Top Gear hosts. Nostalgic jokes, classic bickering, and a real competition from 3 of the greatest hypercars ever built by man. I think we are all in a real treat over the next 3 years (hopefully more!) and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for us this Friday.
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