Top Gear (2002–…): Season 24, Episode 6 - Episode #24.6 - full transcript

Matt LeBlanc vs the fire-breathing Mercedes-AMG GT R plus Harris and Reid hit Cuba.


and welcome to Top Gear.

Tonight, Chris and Rory
head to Cuba to kick-start
another revolution.

This time it's not communism,
it's corners.

But first, I may have
mentioned a time or two

that I like a Porsche 911.

And I especially like
this one, the GT3 RS.

It's less car,
more surgical instrument.

See, for years,
if you wanted something
for the road and the track,

this has been the answer,
the benchmark,
the undisputed champion.

But now,
there is a new contender
that quietly begs to differ.

MATT: It comes from Mercedes,

and it's called the AMG GT R.

Like the 911 GT3 RS,

it costs about £140,000.

But you get the sense
that in creating the GTR,

the goal was
less surgical instrument,

more the Hulk.


And just like the Hulk,
you wouldn't like it
when it's angry.

Whoa, whoa, I don't know
what it's so upset about,

but it seems really,
really mad.

This thing is alive.
Oh, it's just brimming
with energy.

Underneath that bonnet

is a four-litre
twin-turbocharged V8.

I've got 580 horsepower,

I've got more than
500 pound-feet of torque.


And in the exhaust,
is a trigger-happy
firing squad.


-There goes another one.

-MATT: And another one.


And all that noise
comes with plenty of speed.


Zero to 60 in
three-and-a-half seconds!

But the GT R feels faster.

As for top speed...


Mercedes says the GT R
isn't really about top speed.

They are not bothered.
So, flat out,

it will only do
198 miles an hour.

I know.
I'll do my best to cope.



MATT: But to be
a true GT3 RS rival,

the big question is,
how does it corner?

And to be honest,
this is the bit that I am
kind of nervous about.

Because the normal AMG GT,

the car Mercedes put
on a Russian Olympic diet
to make this GT R,

that car has a lot of pitch
under braking

-which makes it...

...twitchy and unpredictable
in corners.

Basically, you never know
when it's going to bite you
in the ass.

In this car,

they have given more power
and less weight.

Which essentially
makes it even bitier.

This could be interesting.



Oh, that's not bitey,
that's brilliant.

Wow, there is so much grip.

That's because underneath that
Marvel Comics paint job,

there is a lightweight
titanium exhaust,

a race-tuned suspension,

a whole new track-focused
arrow package,

and my favourite bit,
rear wheel steering.

See it? See it move?
Cool, right?

And that makes
the GT R super agile
in the slow corners,

but super stable
in the higher speed corners.

And the suspension
keeps the car so flat,

you can really tell
what the tyres are up to

and know exactly
how hard you can push it.

-MATT: Ho-ho! Yeah!

[LAUGHING] That is nice,
that's real nice.

I love it.

And at top speed,
this thing makes
155 kilos more downforce

than the normal AMG GT.

I mean, me personally,
I'd say it feels more like
153, 154,

but, you know,
I don't wanna nit-pick.

Now as a rule,
to be a serious track weapon,

a car should have its engine
in the middle,

not underneath the long bonnet
way out in the front.

But with the GT R,
looks can be deceiving.

Take a look at this.

This isn't the engine.

It's just a cover to hide
a bunch of crap
nobody wants to see.

This is the engine.
Behind the front wheels.

So this is a mid-engine car.

You just don't sit
in front of the engine,

you sit behind it.

All of which
makes it pretty handy
around a racetrack.

Including, yes,
that German racetrack.

Late last year, this car
lapped the Nurburgring

in seven minutes, 11 seconds.

Now, say what you want
about Nurburgring times,

but that's way quicker
than a Ferrari 488.

Way quicker
than a Corvette ZR1.

And, oh, yeah, way quicker
than the Porsche GT3 RS.

Mercedes says
no rear-drive road car
has ever gone quicker.

So don't let
its appearance fool you.

Yeah, the GT R
might look like it wants
to kick you in the cubes,

but this really is
a sophisticated track machine.

A genuine Porsche rival.

And I gotta say,
I think that's a shame.

Because Mercedes, well, AMG,

has spent years and years
making tyre-smoking,

socially unacceptable,
nutjob cars.

And you don't wanna throw away
a reputation like that

just for
a Nurburgring lap time

and a little,
tiny spat with Porsche.

And you know what?
They haven't.

That AMG animal
is still in there.

You just have
to unlock the cage.

And the key is in the GT R's
race car spec

nine-stage traction
control system.

Here, in technical terms,
is how it works.

This end...

Bruce Banner.

This end...

The Hulk.

And so far today,
I have been sticking
to the Bruce Banner end.

But do you know
what happens when you
turn it to the Hulk end?

It gets mad. [CHUCKLES]



[EXCLAIMS] I'm out of control
and I love it!


Okay, that's definitely
not the fastest way
around the corner,

but it sure is exhilarating.


This car is a hooligan.

-A hooligan!

This is an AMG.

No doubt about it.

You're a troublemaker.

But I love ya.

[LAUGHS] You know what?
I was wrong.

I mean, yeah, sure,

this car can play
the part of a precise
sophisticated rival

to the GT3 RS,

but what it really is,
is a muscle car.

A muscle car built by
the best F1 team
on the planet.

And that is a very,
very good thing.




-I mean, just look at it.

Look at it. It's just so...



-Well, you're perceptive.
-No, I have been
doing this a while.

-I'll tell you what, though.

This is not going
to impress Nissan.

Okay. What does it have
to do with them?

Nissan has built an entire
brand around building

a front-engine
turbocharged sports car

-called the GT-R. Yeah?
-Mmm-hmm. Yeah.

AMG comes along,
builds a front-engine
turbocharged sports car

called the GT R.

Oh, no, no, no.
See, the Nissan GT-R,

that's "GT, hyphen, R".

This is a "GT, no hyphen, R".
Completely different.

-Come on.

So I choose to release
a brown liquid beverage

called Coca Cola, no hyphen.
And that's absolutely fine?

No, no, no. First of all,
anything that starts with
you releasing a brown liquid

is definitely not fine.

-No, no, no.

All right. Now it's time
for the big movement...


We need to find out how quick
the GT, no hyphen R is

around our test track.
And you know what that means.

It's time for...

The Stig.

CHRIS: Off the line.

Managing traction,
he short-shifts to second
quite quickly.

Now, this long run
down to first corner,

let's see what it looks like
as it turns in.

Really flat,
controlling all that roll.
Looks fast.

But oversteer on the exit.
Managing it.

And now blending left
into Chicago.

A tight line so he can get it
opened up and get on the gas.

It just looks like it wants
to oversteer everywhere.

But it looks stiff,
doesn't it?

It looks flat
and it looks agile.

Braking hard, triggering
those warning lights.

Hammerhead. What's it like
for the right-handed
direction change?

Really good, actually.
Turned well.

Coming out
and managing oversteer again.

But it seems that once he
gets through that initial slip

he's got really good traction.

Through the follow-through,
that's just fast
and flat again.

What's it going to be like
when he booms
though the tyres?


Now that's really,
really fast.

Using all the circuit
in the trail break

into second to last.

Look at that.
Good control driving
from Stig.

Now rolling down towards
Gambon and over the line,

I think that's going to be
a really fast time.

-MATT: All right.

Quick. That was quick.

[CLEARS THROAT] Okay, now.

The old AMG GT S
did it in 1:17.5.

That's pretty quick, too.

-That's a fast time.
-That is a fast time.

So we are looking to be
somewhere way up here.


The new AMG GT R did it

in 1:16 flat.

-That's right there.

That is seriously quick.

-That's a quick time.


And in the same conditions,

we got the Stig
to lap the GT3 RS.


Okay. Now the GT3 RS
did it in one minute,


-So move that Veyron down.

Get that thing out of the way.

-CHRIS: Move that Veyron down.

All right. There's that.

So there it is,
in black and white.

The Mercedes is faster.

It is faster.

-I'd still have
the Porsche, though.
-So would I. Yeah.

-I would, too.


Loving that Merc.
And just to save you
looking it up,

that's even faster
than the Smart Fortwo

went around that track
a couple of weeks ago.

-Knew that Merc is quick.

[CLEARS THROAT] All right.


Now, it's time to welcome
this week's guest.

He is a stand-up comedian.

He also loves off-roaders
and motorbikes,

and heavy machinery.

So you two can
probably just take off now.

Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome Ross Noble.


Hello, hello.


How're you doing?



Thank you very much.


-MATT: All right.
-All right.

Now you're into your bikes,
I know. So did you ride down
or drive down?

No, I drove down today.

I brought my mate.
So we, er, yeah,
we sort of came in the car.

-All right.
-I thought it best

to turn up to Top Gear
in a car.

Okay. What'd you drive?

My Land Rover Defender.

-Defender? Ah, okay.

-Standard Defender or any,
any tweaks?

No. It's massive tweaks.
It's a... A con.

A fully customed...

What I have done, right,

-is I've taken...
I've taken a tin box.

And I have polished it up.

There it is. Look.

-That's my car. Look at it!

CHRIS: Oh, my lord.
RORY: Yeah, it's a beauty.

I like the styling, too.
You've gone for
the fully murdered outlook.

-Black on black on black.

-That's gangster.
-It's proper gangster.

You've got to admit,
that is a cool-looking thing.

-Have I?
-Come on!

I don't mind a Defender,

but, I mean,
the wheel arch extension
seems a bit...

A bit much
and it does look like
it's trying a bit too hard.

To be fair,
I do live in the country.

But don't
the countryside folk sneer

at the fact that you have not
got a normal Defender?

-They must see you as being

a bit arriviste and bit like
a townie in the country.

Yeah. I like to annoy everyone

-equally at the same time.

Yes, it's, er...
No, but the thing...

'Cause I had, like, proper...

Proper car.
Like I had a Golf GTI.

And we had
a 1960 Karmann Ghia.

Beautiful, you know,
wonderful cars.

Whole thing.

It was like you were
at the end of EastEnders.

-Driving down the drive.

As you are headed down
to the road...


Yeah. I wind the window down
and start shouting

cockney things at people.

What about
the driving position?
I'm not a big man.

And I find myself in those,
that my elbow
is hitting this...

And there is just
no room in it.

It's not comfortable at all.

What, 'cause you're like
that... You're sitting in it.

-This is what...
Like, right, like that.

And then I've got...
I've got leather bucket seats
in it, as well.

So I've taken
the most uncomfortable car
that money can buy

and I've made it
more uncomfortable.

Short of paying a man
just to sit behind me

-and do this all day long.

That's just... Yes.

But, you know.

All right, so...
Now, what was your first car?

My first car, I had a...
It was a, er, Metro.

-An MG Metro, it was.

And I bought it off
another comic for 150 quid.

And he said to me, he said,

"That car is perfect.
Just don't drive it
over 70 miles an hour,

"or it'll go horribly wrong."

I thought that's fair enough.
So I never drove. And then...

There was one night,
I was a bit late,

and I sort of maybe exceeded
the speed limit a little bit,

pulled up outside my house,
closed the door,

and it burst into flames.

-Just literally burst
into flames.

-But you do drive yourself
to gigs?
-ROSS: Yeah.

'Cause I had this...
This is one of the reasons why

I thought it was important
to drive 'cause I...

I was in a train station and
all the trains were delayed

and they sort of... There was
a replacement bus service

and this, sort of,
old woman was there.

Weird, strange old lady.
She was wearing sandals,

and she had long,
claw-like nails,

which should have, sort of,
rung alarm bells for me.

And she said, er, she said,

"Where are you going?" I said,
"Hampton or somewhere."

She went, "I'll drive you.
I'm going there anyway."

So this woman, sort of,
got me in her car.

And she...
So, we drove off to...
We started driving.

And then she said...
Chatting away
and all the rest.

She went, "I want you
to meet my daughter."

She said,
"Come and cheer her up."

So basically, she kidnapped me
and drove me to her house.

And then her daughter,
who was also bleary-eyed,

she drags her out of bed
and she went, "Go on.

"Cheer her up."

-So... So I was now in this...

-"Or you'll get the claw."

-"I'll rip your gizzards out."

So I was then
just in this house.

Just in this... And I'm going,
"No, no, I really have to...

"I have to get
to where I'm going."

And she went, "No, no. Go on."
And I... So...

And the daughter didn't
want this to be happening,

and I didn't want it
to be happening.

It was all horrible.
And I went, "I will never
get the train again."

'Cause that's what happens.

Get the train, you'll end up

in someone's house
with a woman with claws.

Have you been back to visit?

Yeah, we're engaged
to be married.


And she was the most
sensitive lover I've ever had.

-Not the daughter,
the old woman.
-Yeah, well, of course.

I took me clothes off

and then when it...
I didn't even have to
take me own socks off.

She went... [GROWLS]

-Okay, right, right.
-This is horrible.

Let's get down to business.
Now you've...

You've tackled
the Top Geartrack before in
the famous Kia cee'd, right?

-Yes, I have. Yes.
-And you were quick.
Real quick.

What, like, fifth fastest,

Yeah, yeah.
The most important thing
is I beat Tom Cruise.


I... Not that I've become
utterly insufferable,
since that day,

but I mention that,
I would say,
at least once a day.

He was in Days of Thunder.

And my wife...
It's got to the point now

where, since the last time
I was on the show,

we literally sat there,
if there's a new advert

for a Tom Cruise film
comes on, it'll just, like,

"Tom Cruise." And I'll go...
And she'll go, "I know."


I'll sometimes say it
to complete strangers.

-I beat Tom Cruise.
-MATT: Yeah.

Well, yes, you did.
You certainly did.

A lot of people
beat Tom Cruise.


All right, but now,

we get the more
challenging GT86. Now that's
a proper sports car.

How did it go out there?
How did your training
with Chris go?

[LAUGHS] It was,
you know what, it was...

It's such good fun.
It was great fun.

But that old car was just...

[STRAINING] Come on!

This thing, it's got like...

It moves around.

-And it's quite...

-MATT: Yeah.
-So, you know.

Er, yeah, great.

-Chris, what do you think?
-What he said.


It was... It was interesting.
The training was interesting.

But I saw a kernel of talent
in there.

So let's see what happened.

All right, let's take a look.

-Before we start,
all I'm gonna say...

...these are
the best conditions
we've had all series.

-Are we driving
or going for a picnic?

Well, we'll find out.
Let's go. Come on.

-Now, just remember

that the slow speed corners

give you a better chance
to make time up.

Braking hard. Brake hard.
Now second gear, please.
Second gear.

We're going round
to the right.

You've got four,
you've got four,
you've got four.

-Oh... [BLEEP]

Off the white lines.

-That way then.

Round to the left.
Second gear, please.
Second gear.

-Second gear.
-Round to the right,
round to the right.

Round to the right.
Second gear...
We're in fourth again.

-Oh... [MUMBLES]

It's in there somewhere,
it's in there.

-Over to the left,
over to the left.
-In third. Okay.

-Don't worry, don't panic.
-Look, I'm not panicking.

Bit of third gear,
bit of third gear, please.

-This could be interesting.

Wait, wait, wait.

-Brake that hard?

-Or not quite as hard?


There's quite a load
of fuel there, isn't it?

That's right,
when you're strapped
into a metal box,

it's nice to smell fumes
just all around you.

It's fine.
It's all part of the thrill.

And give it some gas,
over the line. We didn't die.


There was...

There was... There was
a moment there, all right,

so we spin and
we were going backwards
for quite a long time.

Seventy miles an hour.
It was brilliant!

-Because it's...
It's not like...

This is the thing.
It's not like a motorbike,

where if you come off
a motorbike, you really
hurt yourself.

-Whereas this...

You know...
[STAMMERS] It's just
the smell of petrol

and another man's poo.


Okay, time to talk about Cuba.

When you hear that name,
you know what springs to mind.

All those incredible,
old American cars.
The ones they've kept going

since Castro and Communism
took over back in the '50s.

But over the past few years,
Cuba has been opening up
to the West

and that means
the days of those iconic cars
could be numbered.

So with a budget
of £5,000 each,

Chris and I bought a couple
of old sports cars

that we thought would impress
the locals and headed out

to hunt down
the Cuban classics.

CHRIS: Our landing spot
in the world's most westerly
communist state

was the Bay of Pigs.

Site of
an American-backed invasion,

defeated by
Fidel Castro's regime in 1961.

Since then, Cuba has
shut its doors to the West.

A generation
of '50s American cars
left stranded inside.

The fight to maintain them
has gone on ever since.

Those still running, survive
thanks to the resourceful
mechanical spirit

of this unique nation.

That's what we had come for.

But what had we
brought with us?

I'm not gonna lie.
I am so chuffed.
Look what I've got here.

All right, let's see
what you brought then.
Come on.

Look at this.

ROR Y: Now surely,
in a nation with a passion
for old, American cars...

CHRIS: Prepare to be amazed.

...there's only
one sensible choice.

-Oh, that stallion.


I present to you...
The Maserati Biturbo

or as they insist you call it,
the Bit Turbo.

-Amazing, eh?
-Yeah. That is amazing.

It's amazing
that you managed to drive it
out of the container

without it breaking down.

Oh, good.
The old "Maseratis
aren't reliable" gag.

Now, look.
Let me explain this to you.

This car is just
plain fantastic.

First of all, it's a Maserati.

It has a 2.6-litre
twin turbo V6,

styling, a manual gearbox,
and... And...

In this country,
Maseratis are racing royalty.

-"Racing royalty"?
-I'll explain that later on.

-What have you chosen?
-Watch and learn.

How to outdo your Maserati
in one fell swoop.

RORY: Like I said.

Oh, yeah.



What you are looking at
is a Chevy Camaro.

The quintessential
American muscle car.

Let's start up front.

Under the bonnet...

-Yep. Yep.
-...five-litre American V8.

-Hundred and seventy
-Sorry, stop there.

Repeat that.

Hundred and seventy.

But the thing is, 170...

How do you try
and get so little power
from such a big engine?

Well, they concentrated
on torque more than
anything else, all right?

So it's all about the grunt.

-But that's not
the only thing.
-CHRIS: Yep.

RORY: Check this out.
Round the back. Come on.

Watch this.
You don't slam
the Camaro's boot,

you place it gently down.

Soft close.
Straight out of
a Mercedes S Class.

So the best thing
about your muscle car
is the soft-closed boot.

Well, it's one of the things
about my muscle car.

I think we should go. Come on.


If admittedly, quite cool.



RORY: Let's roll.

RORY: Excited to see
what the locals would make
of our choices,

we decided to pick
our way northwest

towards the capital city,

And as our Cuban adventure
got underway,

we got better acquainted
with our cars.

This is meant to be the less
sophisticated car of the two,

and yet, everything works.

My electric windows work,
my cruise control works.

Well, nearly everything.

[CHUCKLES] My knob's come off.

I won't tell Chris about that.

The Camaro's the kind of car
that speaks to you
on a base level.

It's all about that growl.

It sounds good,
it feels powerful.

It makes me feel cool.

And that's what muscle cars
are all about.

That's what Cuba's all about.

CHRIS: It feels special to me.

Maybe it's because
it's got a Maserati badge,

but the dog-leg gearbox
feels great.

Really positive.

The engine has
that suggestive V6 note

which is so much more
sophisticated than Rory's
loud, brash, American car.


We're gonna get on well,
me and the Maserati.

CHRIS: Because,
despite Rory's scepticism,

this was the perfect car
to win over the locals.

You see, Cuba once
had its own Grand Prix.

The first was staged in 1957

and won by none other
than Juan Manuel Fangio

in a Maserati.

A year later, the five-time
Formula One World Champion

returned to compete again.

But he never made the race.

Miguel Fangio was kidnapped

by Cuban rebels in a daring
move to discredit the regime.

CHRIS: Yep. Kidnapped.

And in 1960,
the last Grand Prix ever
to be staged in Cuba

was won by Stirling Moss
in a Maserati.

So two-thirds
of all Grand Prix

on this fair island
were won by Maserati.

Isn't that amazing?

That is very cool.
That kind of makes sense.

It's a classy move,
I'll give you that.

CHRIS: Soon, we came across
a town called Coliseo.

Look at the architecture.
This is incredible.

It's like being stuck
in a time warp.

And with our first Cubans
to impress,

Rory wasted no time.


RORY: Chris, I'm speaking
to the people of Cuba

in a language they understand.

V8 pipes.


RORY: That means, "Hello".

-That means, "How are you?"

And that means,
"Don't bother looking at
the Maserati behind me."

I'm just gonna hang back
a bit 'cause it really
is quite cringe-worthy.

CHRIS: Annoyingly though,
the people of Coliseo

appeared to have forgotten
their racing heritage.

Quick question.
Is anyone gathered around
your car having a look?


Doesn't seem quite
as popular as yours.

Bask in the glory

of the V-ocho.




CHRIS: Although
clearly misled by Reid,

the locals were definitely
car lovers.

And they told us
of a secretive drag race

taking place that afternoon

in a town further north
called Varadero.

So with our adventure
starting to gather momentum,

we got back on the road.

Local who can't
stop his horse,
have you spotted him?

He has no control
over that animal at all.

He's just gone left.

Wait, no.
It's gone left with him on it.

CHRIS: Yes, with every mile,
we drove deeper

into the Cuban time capsule.

RORY: We're starting
to see some proper,
old American cars now.

This is more like it.

CHRIS: And it wasn't just
the number of old cars,

it was the lack of almost
any new ones at all.

Now in the last few years,

Cubans have been able
to buy new cars.

But, as ever with Cuba,
it's not as straightforward
as that.

The average national wage here
is about $20 a month.

But they are
colossally expensive
because of import duties,

and other stuff.

So, for example, Peugeot 508,

in the UK, 20 grand-ish.

Here? £160,000.

Get your head around that.

Which probably explained
why the roads were lined
with people needing a ride.

RORY: You know the rules
about hitchhiking here, mate?

If you're in
a state-owned car,
you have to pick them up.

I reckon we should join in
with the local culture,

pick ourselves up
some hitchhikers.

Why would we want to do that?

'Cause it's all about
community spirit here.

People rely on each other
to get things done.

I don't share my car
with anyone.

When I go on holiday,
everyone else goes
in another car.

I go in my own.

CHRIS: But since
we weren't on holiday...

RORY: Right. Follow me.

Here we go.
Living the Cuban dream.


Just two of you, yeah? Two...


Er... Sure...

I thought we had... Two?


All of you?

RORY: Er...



Reid, what on Earth
have you done here?

How many have you got?

RORY: I've got,
er, four in the back,
one in the front.


-How... How far?

CHRIS: Now, the reason why
we're here with the Maserati,

I need to teach you
about this.


Okay, that's...
More Cuban people
that won't listen to me.

CHRIS: Still,
could've been worse.

No, no, no, no! Whoa, whoa!


No, no, no!

No, no. Dude, dude, dude,
dude, dude, please, please.

He's got a chicken!

a complete fool, aren't you?

El pollo loco! Pollo loco!

[SCREAMS] Pollo loco!

CHRIS: A long time,
and not very far later...

-Okay, this is the end.
-WOMAN: Yes?

-Thank you.
-It's been a pleasure.


I think... Whoa,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

I'm done. Out of the car.
I'm out. I am out.

Chris, this was a bad idea.

CHRIS: Rory?

RORY: Yes?

If you have any
other bright ideas

for cultural exploration,
keep them to yourself,
all right?


CHRIS: Back on the road,
before long,
we reached Varadero.

And arriving
at the drag race...

RORY: Oh, yes, look at this.

This is the place.

CHRIS: It didn't disappoint.




CHRIS: Motor racing has been
illegal in Cuba since 1962.

But with officials
starting to turn a blind eye,

in the last few years,

gatherings like these
have slowly begun to surface.

And now we'd found one,
we had to see
what they were running.

-Look at this!
-It's a Chevy.

CHRIS: Wow. Look at that.

That is class.



MAN: It's got 5.7...

RORY AND CHRIS: 5.7-litre?

-Did you do all of
this work yourself?
-Yes, yes, yes.

How long did it take you
to create this?

-Ten years.
-Ten years?

-CHRIS: And how much power?

Er, 400.

-CHRIS: Four hundred?
-Four hundred horsepower?

That is just beautiful, Rory.

RORY: And the more cars
we looked at...

Look at that!

...the weirder and more
wonderful they became.

-What on Earth
did this used to be?
-Are those teeth?

-No, it's a Buick...

-It's a '68? '68 Camaro?
-Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Ah, okay.

They sort of reengineer them,
don't they? What's over here?

This is Mecca,
as far as I'm concerned.

Cuba is giving up the goods.

CHRIS: Yes. Here in Varadero,
we had found some
real motoring spirit.


CHRIS: And, in his excitement,

Rory decided
to compete with it.

Er, nought to 60
in nine seconds.

This should go well.



Come off it!

He cheated!

Man, that thing is quick!

I am getting nowhere
near this guy.

Aw, man!

I don't like losing.

But I'll lose to that.

What a machine! [LAUGHS]

Did not stand a chance.

-CHRIS: Rory.
-Yes, yes.

Let's discuss some of the
basic skills of drag racing.

When the man says,
"Go," what do you do?

Well, I...
He picked the start.

He left about
half a second before me.

He left when
the guy said, "G..."

That's what you're supposed
to do in drag racing.

-You go on the "G..." of "Go!"

That was ridiculous.

CHRIS: After Rory's
shambolic effort,

the stage was set for my
thoroughbred to make its mark.

Yes, it was time
for a little reminder

of what the Maserati name
really means.



Hey, come on!

Look at it go.

That is hopeless.


RORY: It looked like
you got destroyed to me.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no.

It was a beating,
but it wasn't a drubbing,
was it?

[LAUGHS] How many car lengths?


You got killed, mate.
You got killed.

CHRIS: Okay, Cuba's racers
had turned out to be

a little quicker
than expected.

But there was still one
victory worth fighting for.



Terrible odds! Terrible odds!

CHRIS: Come on!

[LAUGHING] Yeah, look at this!

Where's he gone?
Where's he gone?


Harris is gone.

Bye-bye, Rory Reid.

RORY: Ahhh! No!

Damn you!

That was a really ungracious
way to win, wasn't it?

Oh, he's going
to be unbearable.

-Here we go. Here we go.
-Now, what exactly
happened there, Rory?

-Well, you...
You won the race.

-Thank you.

But, look,
I'm not here to compete.

I'm here to have a good time,
meet some people,

you know, win some friends
with my V8 engine note.

Drive with my top down.

-Have a laugh.
-Who are you

and what have you done
with the Rory Reid that I know

that is super competitive
and wants to win?

-Calm down, Chris.
-So, do you see this
as a moral victory?

Well, I... I actually do,
but I also see you
as a sore winner.

I've never seen that before.

Like that phrase.
I'll take that. A sore winner.


Wow. Wow.

You guys got destroyed.

but at least I beat Rory.

At least the Cubans
liked my car.

Yeah, at least I didn't
get mauled by a cock.


All right, okay, guys, guys.
Guys, come on now,
we're all friends.

You both made bad choices.

Okay, we'll get back
to the rest of that story

a little later on,
but right now,

it is Dream Garage time.

Okay, £350,000
you have to spend,

and you want something
that's just...

Awesome, right?
What do you get? Rory?

Is this the bit
where we name a car

and then you show us
a combine harvester,

or a massive blender for cows
or something?

Why can't you
just play the game?

-Can you just play the game?

Come on, £350,000,
what do you get?
Go, come on!

All right, okay, I could go,
er, Rolls-Royce Wraith.

I could go
Ferrari 812 Superfast.

Yeah, you could, yeah, yeah.

Short wheel base,
1965 Porsche 911.


Hey, see? Yeah, yeah.

Both good suggestions.

Both wrong suggestions,

because for £350,000,
you want one of these.

That is
the Terex Fuchs MHL360.

-Just look at it.


-So... So that's a crane.

Wha... What? No.

A crane? No.


Ross, will you please
enlighten them?

Yes, certainly.

-It's a material handler.
-Thank you.

That's right.
A material handler.

And you know what it handles?

-A melon, a shed, and a Volvo.

Watch this.


This is
the Terex Fuchs MHL360,

and it handles stuff.

Really well.

Check this out.

Okay, now,
to help me with this,

I brought my trusty
digger mate, Ross Noble.

He's gonna help me play
Material Handler Bowling.

He's super competent.

Ross, what did you bring
to the table?

I've brought the Sennebogen.

The 830E, eco version.

Basically, it can,
er, rip out trees,

er, without
angering protestors.


Okay, so,
the rules are pretty simple.

You got a pile of scrap.

You got to pick this stuff up
and throw it at the shed.

Three turns each.

Whoever knocks down
the most sheds wins.


Okay, you go first.

MATT: I'm ready, go for it.

All right,
going for the washing machine.

ROSS: Here we go!


I might have overshot a bit.

All right, one down, my turn.

All right,
I got a bathtub now.

-Son of a bitch, I missed it.

That was not impressive.
Okay, your turn.

Ooh, you're going for
the jet ski. Nice one.

Let 'er rip!


-Oh, ho ho, beautiful!


What are you, three sheds?

Three to nothing,
you're winning.

I got to make up for it here.

ROSS: It's looking good,
it's looking good.

Keep it going, keep it...
Go 'round again.

Go 'round again.

One more time, that's it!
Keep going. Keep going!

You look like
you work at the fair.


MATT: Whee!

ROSS: Scream if you
wanna go faster. Go!





Whoa. Hey, Ross,
you hear that siren?

That must mean
it's Halftime Melon.

Let's have some.

It's a very civilised game.


Okay, I guess that means
melon time's over.

Right, we going for the cars?


All right,
he's got the scrap Volvo.

Winding it up.

Here we go.


Oh, that was a miss.

I'm out of the game.
That's me. It's...
It's all down to you now.

I got you!

Don't make my mistake,
go high, go high.

MATT: Okay,
I need three sheds to win.


That's got to be it.

ROSS: Yeah,
you've definitely won.

All right. I think, er...

I think I'm gonna have
one more go at the car.

I can't get enough.

You can spin your claw?
I didn't know you could
spin the claw.

Spin it!

Got it! [LAUGHS]


So there you have it.

The Terex Fuchs MHL360.

It handles stuff.

It drops stuff.

It crushes stuff.

Really well. [LAUGHS]


-Come on, how fun was that?
-ROSS: Yeah.

Yeah, yeah.

And you, er, you drive
a tractor as well, right?

Yeah, yeah,
I drive a tractor, and, er...

Well, that's the thing,
you know. You've got
a lot of digging machinery.

I've bought a JCB.

And that was a joy,
the fact that...

'Cause there's not...
I don't know many other people
who are...

Who are quite into,
you know, that sort of

heavy plant machinery,
just for fun.

But you know
people do it for a job?

-I know it.
-They do it for a job!

I know, and I think we're
in the wrong line of work.

Yeah. Oh, it was great.

-But just... Just...
You ever just...
-[SIGHS] Oh!


You ever just...

Dig a big hole
just 'cause you can?

-Yes! Yes.

-That's it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Isn't that
the best thing ever?

Have you ever gone out
and started digging a hole

and it's got, like, too big?

-And it's got to
the point where

you're in the hole and you go,

"Oh, no,
I should have just..."

You hit water.
You ever do that?

-Oh, yeah.
-MATT: Yeah, that's...

"Did I break something?
Ooh, let's fill that back in."

Yeah. But it's fun.

I can't believe it, like,
this is the only other man

who I've ever met
who has also built
a dirt track,

and also has
the heavy machinery.

-It's like...
-You'd make a lovely couple.

-This is the first time...
-We do. We do.

You know what?
Coming on this show feels like
being part of a support group.


Okay, I think it's time to see
how you did on your timed lap.

How'd it go out there?

It was a lot of fun.
It was a lot of fun.

But all day long,
people have just been
talking about the Olympians,

you know, Max Whitlock.

Been talking about Chris Hoy,
just saying,

"They're focused.
They're machines.

"They just...
They're the most focused
human beings on the planet."


I'm not the most focused
human being on the planet.

So we'll see.

But sometimes loose is fast.

-You never know.

-All right, let's take a look.
-Let's have a look.


-CHRIS: Here he goes, then.

Well, that wasn't
the best start.
A bit of a fumble there.

Nicolas Cage.
Gone in 60 Seconds.

Think about that, right? Okay.

Okay, let's ride...
Oh, no, hands on the wheel.
Hands on the wheel.

That's quite important.

CHRIS: So what's it gonna be
like into this first corner?

Braking's pretty good.

And the line's
pretty good, too,

and you've hung
onto third gear

and look, you're using
all the circuit out
into the outside there.

That's impressive.

Braking into Chicago.

What's... Ooh.

And you've hooked second gear
and just locked the back up.

Lost a bit of time.


What was that noise
that just came out of my face?

CHRIS: Now down
the right-hand side
of the back straight.

What can you carry,
fourth gear?

We're gonna get a trigger
of brake light...

-Ah, whoa, madam.


I have no idea
what you're saying.

But the line's good.
The line is good.

Oh, madam.

Why do I keep saying,
"Oh, madam"?


CHRIS: Down to
the follow-through.

Oh, a bit mobile
at the rear, there.

Mobile at the rear,
and a whoosh!



That was quite squirrely.

CHRIS: Now this is
the trail break, which you
didn't get right last time.

Okay, that was neat,
and you've used
all the circuit, too.

Neat is fast, Ross.
Neat is fast.

Over the line.

I think that looks quick.


All right. Well...

-What do you think?

-You feeling confident?

I... I think that,
erm, it was...

That car, to be fair,

that car really does just go
all over the place.

And I think, looking at that,

start wasn't particularly
good, it was a bit...

So, yeah, I'm... I'm...
Yeah, I think...

I think if I could
beat the Doctor,
if I could beat Tennant...

Imagine, though, Max...
If I got

faster than Max Whitlock,
I mean...

He's an Olympian.
That's gonna crush his world.


And he's going to be sat
at home, just going, "Him?

"That shabby Geordie?"

Okay, well.

You never know.



Ross Noble, you did it...

-In one minute...




...point five. Well played.

-Yes! [LAUGHS]

CHRIS: That is a great effort.

ROSS: He's an Olympian!

Oh, yes.

So, ladies and gentlemen,
Ross Noble!


-Well done.
-Crushed an Olympian's dreams.

All right.

Right. Earlier on,
Rory and I were exploring Cuba

and its unique
motoring culture.

That's right,
and after our first day
on the island,

we managed to find
some classic cars and some
very passionate drag racers

who had, let's be honest,
destroyed us.

Correct. But we weren't
done with Cuba yet.

CHRIS: The next morning,
we continued
our Cuban adventure

along the stunning
north coast.

RORY: It's a new dawn,
a new day,

my car's running beautifully.
I've got the top down,

the sun's rising.

Bring it on!

CHRIS: Having been thrashed
once by our new
drag-racing friends,

we wanted a rematch,
and had arranged to meet them
again that afternoon.

But first, we were
heading for the capital,

the beating heart of Cuba,

to see what motoring
curiosities the legendary
city had to offer.

RORY: Oh, yes!

This is it!

Havana, baby!

Pretty special-looking place,
look at it.

It's falling down, but
magnificent at the same time.

CHRIS: And the cars?

Oh, yeah. They were Cuban.

Oh, now, this is cool.
Tell me this isn't cool.

Just like the drag race,

this was another living museum
of not-quite-right Americana.

RORY: Well, that one's a Ford,
that black thing.

This thing next to me
is a Chevy, that's
a Deluxe-something.

The problem is
they've all been slightly
tweaked, haven't they?

So they don't always have
the correct headlights
and sort of...

Dressings and features.

The only thing you can be
certain of is they're not new.

Okay, this green thing
to my left.

I'm guessing a...



Pon... Pontiac?

CHRIS: In fact,
I think it's an Oldsmobile,

I think it's an Oldsmobile.

RORY: Er, he said
it is a Pontiac, er...

"Ocho ocho".I don't know.
I don't know what that is.

Chris, these guys have
just got married.

CHRIS: In years to come,
they'll look back and say,

"Do you remember, we got
married and we saw the worst
muscle car ever made?"

RORY: Rev! Rev! Rev!


CHRIS: Undeterred, though,
Rory set about
winning over Havana.


CHRIS: And, not being
irritating enough already,

had decided to start calling
his car "the 'Maro".





I've made some friends, Chris.

He just wanted
a closer look at the 'Maro.

CHRIS: Can you stop
calling it the 'Maro?

I'm a tourist attraction.

That's one word for it.

Honestly, though,

Rory could have the limelight

because I'd found what
I'd really come to Havana for.

This road I'm driving on
is the Malecon,

and that's special,
because this is the place

where the first two
Cuban Grand Prix took place,
on this road.

So I'm in a Maserati
where Maseratis once raced.

This was a rare privilege.

Sixty years since Fangio won
the first Cuban Grand Prix,

over 200,000 fans
lining the streets.

It was a time of danger,
of glamour.

A national obsession.

Cuba had lost
its love of racing,

but now, through a handful
of dedicated racers,

it was back.

And as racers,
they were very good...

In a straight line.

It was time for the rematch.

The boys are back in town.

CHRIS: And this time, we would
be racing on our terms.

Okay, guys.

You absolutely thrashed us
in the drag races.

You owned us completely.

RORY: So we played
by your rules.

And I think it's time
that you played by our rules.

We wanna introduce...


You ever driven
around corners before?

-MAN: No, no.

No, no, no, no, no, no.

RORY: Never?

RORY: With the playing field
nicely levelled, then,

I set about preparing
the circuit

while Chris gave
the competition
a bit of Cornering 101.

The anatomy of the corner.




Then the exit.


We turn. Get all the power...


CHRIS: And then
we get the exit.
MAN: Okay.


So do you understand
corners now? Good?

-Yeah, good, good, good.


-That was easy. [LAUGHS]
-Well done.
You passed your test.

RORY: Do you know what, mate?

This might not be
the most high-tech setup,

but in our own
messy little way,

we're about to make
a bit of history here.

With a few scattered tyres
making up an oval track,

complete with chicane,

we were about to throw
the first circuit race in Cuba

for 57 years.

Naturally, qualification
for this historic event

would be decided
by the highly technical...

Drawing of straws.




Stitch-up, isn't it?

-RORY: Good luck!

CHRIS: Taking our places
on the grid, then,

fourth Cuban Grand Prix
would be contested
over as many laps.

And starting
from seventh place,

if I was going to prove
the Maserati's racing

I would have to come
from the back of the pack.

Dear Lord. That Ford in front
is making some noise there.

And he also has
a pair of testicles dangling
down from the back of his car.




Got quite a nice ring to it.

This is just so cool.

Come on, baby.


CHRIS: I passed one.
I passed one.

There's the big Ford.
Going through
the inside of him.

He's quite quick.

Climb up the inside?

Yeah, why not?

RORY: After one lap,
Chris had already climbed up
to fourth.

The Maserati was on a mission.

But I was still ahead
in third.


Two Cubans in front of me.


Stay with him, 'Maro,
stay with him.
Stay with him, baby, come on.

Oh, they're quick
in a straight line!

Oh, my goodness!

CHRIS: While Rory
focused on the cars in front,

I've got Reid
in front of me now.

RORY: Oh, Harris is
right behind me!

I'm sure I can do him here.

Ahhh! Harris is
right on my inside!


Ahhh, he's got me!

There we go, Reid.

Damn you, Harris!

My knob's come off!

Rory Reid's under pressure.

RORY: Going into the last lap,

Chris had just the two
fastest Cubans in front.

All right,
let's catch the locals.

Oh, man, I got one,
I've done one, I've done one.

I've done one.

RORY: And there was only
one thing he had come for.

To give his Maserati the win.

CHRIS: Come on, mate...
Yeah! Maserati leads again.

Nice work. Nice!


Once again,
a Maserati leads in Cuba!

Oh. History. It's history.

CHRIS: A tiny piece
of history, perhaps,

but this small
collection of cars

on this ragged
assembly of corners

had achieved something
not seen for a generation.

Well done, mate, well done.

Oh, my God, well done,
well done. [LAUGHS]

-Well done, man.

Well done, man, well done.

CHRIS: Cuba had raced.

Fantastic. Thank you, guys.
Thank you.

And we had been there.

And while
it didn't look like much,

it felt special.


That was great.

-That was great.
-Amazing. Also...

Could we please just say
a huge thank you
to the people of Cuba?

Great sports.

Good drivers, too.

Yeah. Okay, so...
So, let me get this straight.

Now, you had a race
around corners on a course
that you designed

against a bunch of locals
who've never raced
around corners?


And they were driving cars
from the 1950s

and you beat them in your
much newer Italian sports car.


Yeah, and then you celebrated
as if you'd just won
the Monaco Grand Prix.



Yeah. How do you feel
about yourself?

-Not so great now.

Do you think you could
have at least left the cars
there for the Cubans?

Well, you know, Matt,
I wanted to, honestly.

I was trying to tell him,

But it turned out the
government would have charged
them 20,000 in import duty,

and it didn't quite seem
the right thing to do,

no matter how great
the 'Maro is.

What? Stop, Rory.
Please, stop.
It's not called a 'Maro.

Listen, Matt,
you're American, tell him.

Yeah, yeah, he's right,
I am American.

And no one, no one,
calls it a 'Maro.


All right, next week's show,

I drive an eight-wheeled
Russian thing.

I drive
the new Porsche Cayman.

And we turn
the world's ugliest car
into a luxury yacht.

-See you then.
-ALL: Good night!