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The "poky little motoring show on BBC-2" may be quite a laugh, but it is often more...

  • Each presenter has one or two according to the opening title montage: currently Hammond has the Bugatti Veyron/Eurofighter Typhoon race and his attempt at driving a Formula One car; May has the Reliant Robin shuttle launch; and Clarkson has the Peel P50, his "giant Panda" limo conversion, and the race across London during morning rush hour.

Cheap Car Challenges

  • The trio driving a 1,000-mile trek across Botswana, Africa in cars bought for £1,500, said feat including the first crossing of the Makgadikgadi Pan by car.
    • Within this Crowning Episode of Awesome, this trope crosses with its heartwarming twin on a number of occasions, but most especially when Hammond arrives after a hard night's work trying to save Oliver, his Opel Kadett...having succeeded.

 Clarkson: Is that technically possible?

Hammond: Probably not.

    • No less notable was during the final stretch, when Hammond and May were waiting to see if Jeremy would be forced to take the Beetle at the last minute.
  • The trek across South America. The fact that they made it with two out of the three cars still in one piece (and the third only due to a freak accident) speaks volumes.
    • What's even more amazing is that they made it at all after almost dying of hypoxia at the high altitudes.
  • The first USA special, both when all three presenters had to drive through Alabama with variously offensive slogans painted on their cars (and all three avoided getting shot by a truck full of rednecks) and when Clarkson set off looking for roadkill for dinner and returned with a full cow strapped to the roof of his car.
    • And in a meta-example, having reached the challenge destination of New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina they scrubbed the "resell your cars and get points for any profit or at least minimal loss" portion and donated the vehicles.
  • In the police car challenge, Clarkson dueling the Stig in a Fiat Coupe with added wheel spikes.


  • Clarkson taking the Nissan GT-R to race the bullet train across Japan.
  • The car vs. boat vs. bike vs. train across rush-hour London.
    • More: the finale of the race being set to Globus's Preliator.
  • Jeremy Clarkson's lap of the Nürburgring in the Jaguar S-Type Diesel. The challenge was to run the lap from bridge to gantry in under 10 minutes. As the second day of his trial was closing, as he finally began to learn the track, he managed to crack it ... with literally one second to spare!
    • (This being Top Gear, of course, Clarkson soon got his comeuppance: Sabine Schmitz, who had been instructing him, told him, "I do that time in a van". And her first lap in the Jag? Nine minutes, twelve seconds.)
    • Oh, and Top Gear didn't forget her retort, either. 10:08.49 in a Ford Transit van — all of ten seconds shy of Clarkson's time. Even Clarkson couldn't mock that.
  • Top Gear's entry to the Britcar 24 Hour Endurance Race — for all three Presenters, the Stig, and particularly for Steve, director of the "Top Gear Technology Centre". When the engine blew out during May's nighttime practice laps, Steve led his team in a complete engine rebuild in twelve hours to get the car out of the garage just in time to stay in the race. And the team didn't let Steve down, either: despite being the only car in the field with a "Novice" sticker, having built their car on a low budget, and using biodiesel to power it, they took third in their class of five. Also counts as a very heartwarming moment, especially Jeremy's celebrations inside the vehicle after the race.
  • The Race to the North — in which the train Clarkson helped stoke actually set records for preserved steam locomotive operation in Britain.
  • As if the G Whiz wasn't enough of a Butt Monkey on the show, on one episode Hammond and the Stig race to see what's faster. The G Whiz...or a remote-controlled RC car. With both driving their cars with remote controls, the Stig at first plays dirty by running over Hammond's car. Hammond, in response, gets out another car, has it catch up to the G Whiz and drive under the car...then detonate the explosives he had strapped to the RC car.
  • Series 16, Episode 6: The sunset to sunrise race.

Other Challenges

  • In the British Leyland challenge, each presenter got 1200 quid, OF THEIR OWN MONEY, they'll remind you, to buy examples of what they think are good Leyland products, and they could "win" money back by accomplishing various challenges.
  • Crossing the English Channel in a Toyboata Nissank; especially as things had gone so badly beforehand, and they almost rolled it getting ashore.
  • Successfully turning a car into A SPACE SHUTTLE. (Okay, yes, I know it crashed, but consider what it took to even get it to the point it took off in the first place.)
  • When the boys were invited to face off against German motoring show D Motor, they arrived in Spitfires. Also very much a Crowning Moment of Funny. Things just got progressively more awesome and ridiculous from there on in.
  • Clarkson and May reaching the North Pole in a Toyota pick-up, and drinking gin and tonic while doing it.
    • And during the Polar Special, after he and Clarkson have been scared all day that they would fall through the ice, Clarkson is quietly agonizing over their possible routes to the pole (one just as bad as the one they'd covered; the other possibly worse). May calmly produces one gourmet food item after another (quail eggs, foie gras, Parmigiano a Stravecchio infact, salmon eggs, and ultimately a bottle of Chablis), until he finally breaks Clarkson's cycle of panic. Much like the man himself, it was pure understated awesome.
  • James May's segment in which he takes a Bugatti Veyron to its top speed: the 2001 stargate pastiche as he maxes out (at 253 mph) is pure Win.
  • The sequel, where James May gets to test out the Bugatti Veyron Super-Sport, and managed to push it past the Bugatti engineers' theorised top speed of 258mph, hitting an average top speed of 261mph.
    • Like Cameron Diaz in the Reasonably Priced Car, though, his glory was short-lived, as Bugatti's test driver took it for another run afterwards and set an average top speed of 267mph. To crown it all off, the Super-Sport then set a new Power Lap record in the Stig's hands of 1:16.8.
  • James May, trained pianist, recreates the Top Gear Theme Song with engine noises.
  • Turning a farm combine into a snowplough, and ploughing out 5 kilometers of road too insane for the Norwegians to do it themselves.
    • Well the Norwegians have always viewed the English as especially mad Norwegians.

Car Tests

  • Jeremy Clarkson sets out to perform a proper, serious road test of a car, like Top Gear used to do in the old days. This test concludes with Clarkson participating in a mock beach assault with the Royal Marines. In a Ford Fiesta.
  • The next year, Clarkson heads off to another such road test, this time of a Renault Twingo 133 - with which he does a barrel roll in a Belfast sewer. Successfully.


  • Michael Schumacher coming onto Top Gear.
  • Jay Leno's guest appearance.
  • The Stig's record gets beaten. By Rubens Barrichello.
    • To put this in perspective: four champions[1] and Mark Webber all failed to beat the Stig, yet the Long Runner who's never won a championship did it.
  • In the next episode, the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment saw a new record when Cameron Diaz ran a 1:45.2 in the Kia Cee'd ... only for Tom Cruise to beat her a minute later with a time of 1:44.2 seconds! And on two wheels too!
  • Billy Baxter, 100% black blind, makes a power lap in the Liana — and beats the times of two of the previous guest stars.
  • In the 'Ashes' challenge against the Top Gear Australia team, Hammond is given a Transit van which proves to easily win the race against the Aussies' V8 UTE...thanks to the Jaguar XJ 220 engine in the back. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny thanks to Clarkson's Refuge in Audacity when the Australians open the back of the van:

  Clarkson: You see? It beat you even though it was carrying this very heavy engine!

  • In episode 18x07, where the Star In A Reasonably-Priced Car is Slash from Guns & Roses, the theme tune for the closing credits is played by Slash himself. While standing atop the indestructible Toyota Hilux. With lots of dry ice.


  • The Top Gear crew ask: "Is a Toyota Hilux[2] really indestructible?" in three separate segments over two episodes. The answer? Yes. Yes, it is.
  • The first Motorhome Grand Prix.
  • James May showed up on Gordon Ramsay's F-Word program and Ramsay put him through a "manliness test," involving: drinking snake whiskey, eating a bull's testicles, and eating rotten shark. May made it through the test without so much as a twitch, while Ramsay had to snatch a bucket away from him and puke into it in the end, prompting May to grin and say: "You disappoint me, Ramsay!" He also defeated Ramsay in the recipe challenge segment, after Ramsay had made fun of May's fish pie and joked that it would never win, ever, and he'd give up cooking if James won. JB comes back with the results and James won, which utterly stunned Chef Ramsay. Here's the youtube video:
  • James May coming to America to take a drive with Rally Car Legend and co-founder of DC shoes, Ken Block in his tricked out Subaru. Then Ricky Carmichael shows up and races them on his dirtbike.
  • "He once fought a shark. He lost, but anyway..."
  • Your Mileage May Vary, but then that's what this page is for, so... Up until the crash, Richard Hammond's jet-powered dragster piece. Hammond's reaction of "I feel so alive" is a Funny Aneurysm Moment averted due to sheer awesomeness.
  • Anything the Stig does. Ever.
  • Clarkson's absurdly over-the-top 50th birthday party for the E-Type Jaguar, which involved spelling out the letter E in cars atop the White Cliffs of Dover, a flypast by Spitfires, skydivers carrying huge Union Jacks, a military band and a pair of Royal Marines abseiling down the cliff to plant another flag.
  • Their Retraux intro for a seventies action show called The Interceptors.
  • Introducing "Silverstone on Ice" to Elizabeth: The Golden Age - Opening when they faced off the Ferrari FF against the Bentley Continental on ice.
  1. Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton, and Jenson Button, twice
  2. Tacoma in the U.S.