Top Gear has been the front runner in the news recently, what with Clarkson, May and Hammond leaving the show last year and the new season launching with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc as co-hosts. Let’s not forget Evans’ recent resignation in light of the bad press he’s been getting for just doing his job.
So I thought I’d take a trip through the Top Gear archive and find some awesome custom cars that we can enjoy in the true Top Gear fashion. Taken from series 11 in 2008 and features Clarkson and May aiming to prove which classic car is better: the 1972 Rolls-Royce Corniche or the 1963 Mercedes-Benz 600.
Let’s take a closer look at both cars:
Manufactured between 1971 and 1995, this car came as both a coupe and a convertible. Something of an iconic car, it was owned by a number of celebrity names including David Bowie, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra and Elton John.
Due to the sheer size and weight of the car, Mercedes needed to build a bigger engine and was the largest engine on the market at the time of manufacturing. They produced a new V8 which featured a single overhead camshaft, mechanical fuel injection and was twice the size of previous designs. The 600 has had its fair share of famous owners too, including: Elvis Presley, Hugh Hefner, John Lennon, Jay Leno and Coco Chanel.
So what do Clarkson and May make of them?
May chose the ’72 Corniche which is probably not surprising as his focus is on its quintessentially British style and heritage. He talks about the details of the car, the classic luxury of it as well as how comfortable it is. Captain Slow really has outdone himself with this one. Of course, he’s more interested in the fact that the car was hand built by HJ Mulliner Park Wardthan anything else.
But when it comes down to it, the turning circle isn’t quite good enough to deal with one of the challenges set by the Top Gear presenters and is only able to reach a top speed of 97mph. The question is whether that can out do Clarkson.
He may have built himself a bad reputation in recent years but he does have good taste in cars. Of course, Clarkson opted for the ’63 600, especially as it was once the world’s most expensive car. Only the best for old Clarkson, eh? His favorite aspects of the car are definitely the more modern ones: hydraulic sun roof, hydraulic windows, hydraulic doors and not to mention the special little window that stops the wind from messing your hair up when you roll them down.
In terms of drivability, Clarkson is the proud owner of a car that is popular with dictators, and as it drives, you can feel the bumps being ironed out of the ride.
When it comes down to the challenges, Clarkson only fairs marginally better than May with a smaller turning circle and a top speed of 108 mph.
They might not be the ideal custom car but they’ve definitely stood the test of time and shown what true craftsmanship is. The question is, which do you prefer? Are you a May or a Clarkson?