I feel like I need to apologize in advance because I know that my narrative for this piece isn’t exactly going to be fluid. It began in London, in 2008. I was a young ‘un back then, a teenager basically. It was only my second visit, and I was alone and I didn’t know anybody in London at the time. I was in my hotel room, just whiling away the time waiting to go out and experience the city at night and –the other show– was on. There were three men on screen, just casually having fun with cars. No particular attention to technical details, no frills, no ready-made lines that you normally hear in car shows. It was a revelation. The show, you might have guessed it by now, featured Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond on a very important national British broadcaster.
I realized immediately what I wanted to do. I wanted to talk about cars but make it interesting, make it amusing. Over the years, I’ve ignored the constant “hum” of editors that wanted more technicalities from me, more facts and figures, and I only focused on what I liked. Cars. That was then, this is now. Nine years later, (by the way, I’ve actually met the trio at the launch of the other thing they’re doing, Drive Tribe*) and I’m having a pint at the Grand Tour pub in the West Hall of the Convention Center in Los Angeles. Which means that it worked. Which means that life’s good. This is the Grand Tour and this is Automobility LA**, the press days before the LA Auto Show (December 1-10).
Amazon set up a pub (open to media only) at Automobility LA, and I mean an actual pub with a bar, stools, Guiness posters on the wall, British flags and pictures of the Grand Tour obviously, right at the entrance of the West Hall at the Convention Center, where members of the press could enjoy a pint of British ale and British bites at any given moment during the opening hours, while watching various clips of the first season of the Grand Tour and the official trailer for the second season, which will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on December 8.
Let me tell you, it was joyous. Tremendous fun. British Ale is always good, the food was great, the girls were breathtaking, the company was amazing and I really can’t wait for the second season of the show. Yes. That’s all good. But the best part?
At any moment, after a test drive or a photography session or a press conference, for three glorious days, I was able to say, “I’ll meet you down at the pub.” Priceless.
photo credit: Beckmedia / Amazon
The Grand Tour pub will be at the Detroit Auto Show on January 15-16.
*this item was also posted on Flabbergasted (leavemeflabbergasted.com) on December, 4.