Top Gear (2002–…): Season 6, Episode 3 - Episode #6.3 - full transcript

James goes back to the 1970's when he reviews the Maserati Bora. Jeremy compares Germany's and Russia's interpretations of British sports cars, the Wiesmann MF3 and TVR Tuscan, and The Stig...


CLARKSON: Tonight,   two British sports cars   with forged papers.

Doctor Who is the star   in our reasonably   priced car.

-- And I splash out  -- on a '70s Roller.

Hello. Now, we began  the last show with a film  about the history of Maserati.

I made it, and it was rubbish.

Don't know why,  it just worked out that way.

Anyway we're not giving in. We're gonna start tonight's show

with another film about Maserati.

James has made this one.  He says it's much better.

--MAY: After the bright, brash  -- and noisy swinging '60s,

-- people were hoping -- for a nice, quiet '70s.



-- But fortunately,  -- the Italians had other ideas.

-- This was the decade  -- when they went supercar-mad.

Lamborghini gave us  the Countach,  Ferrari gave us the Boxer.

And from Maserati,  we got this.

(ENGINE ROARS)

The Bora.

Yes!

-- It wasn't such a big '70s star -- as the Lambo or the Ferrari.

And to be honest it was nowhere near as popular as a pin-up,

for school boys bedroom walls,

but even so, of all the '70s  Italian supercars,

for me this is the one.

Now, at first glance,   the Bora seems to follow   the usual supercar recipe.

Like everyone else,  Maserati had gone mid-engine,



and they had  produced a quick car.  Nought to 60 in 6.5 seconds,

a top whack of 160mph,

all courtesy of a race-derived  4.7 litre V8.

And it makes a magnificent rumble. Listen to this.

(ENGINE REVVING)

It's molto bella!

--MAY: Like all  -- supercars of the day,

-- it was certainly  -- no shrinking violet.

This was after all the '70s,

-- when Italian designers seemed  -- obsessed with styling cars

-- that wouldn't look out  -- of place in outer space.

So it's fast, it's mid-engined  and it looks sort of striking.

But when you dig a bit deeper,  you discover that Maserati  did things a bit differently.

Let me explain.

-- This is another '70s supercar, -- the Lamborghini Countach.

-- I've driven one.  -- It's ruddy awful.

-- Noisy, hot, uncomfortable, -- tricky to handle,

-- and at the end of the journey, -- I couldn't get out.

And those days of course,  you couldn't sue people  for your personal injury.

-- Maserati, on the other hand,  -- took a more reasonable view.

-- The Bora came with  -- proper doors,

it had sun-loungers for seats,

and it had   an adjustable wheel,   and pedals.

And here is the engine.

Now, as you can see,  this boot-lid thing  is made of glass,

so the obvious thing to do would be to leave the engine on display,

so that small boys could  peer through the glass  and look at it.

But now, what they did was...

They covered it up with a piece of carpet, like that,

so you'd have somewhere  to put your umbrella.

That's what my mum would've done.

-- And they didn't just stop -- at shag-piling the engine bay.

-- The Bora had double glazing  -- to keep it quiet,

-- and it was built strongly  -- to make it safe.

Unfortunately though, things like this made it heavier

-- and then slow compared  -- with Lambos and Ferraris.

Maserati had all the ingredients for classic '70s supercar excess.

They could have  gone completely mad,

but for some reason  they came over all grown-up,

they held back a bit. Why?

The answer is simple.

Maserati weren't   aiming their cars at   new money riff-raff,

-- like rock stars  -- and footballers.

Instead, they had clients   like the Shah of Persia   and Sophia Loren,

sophisticated people.

Now we're getting closer   to what I think is so great   about this car.

And to explain what it is,

I've brought you to an insurance office in Ipswich.

I know that sounds  a bit dismal, but trust me,  you haven't seen it yet.

This is the Willis Building,

Designed by Norman Foster and one of the youngest listed buildings in Britain.

So when do you reckon  this was built?  1995? 1996? The year 2000?

No. 1975.

This building came  from the decade  that gave you cheesecloth,

tie-dye, Spacehoppers,  Choppers,

the Watney's Party Seven  and that hideous tower block.

But this looks fabulous.

So you see, not all buildings   from the '70s are wretched,   monstrous carbuncles.

Some are so beautiful   that they still look modern,   30 years on.

Likewise, most '70s supercars are unbearable to live with today.

-- But the Bora  -- is the exception.

Actually that Maserati film was better than yours. It just was.

Yes, it was. You're right.  Although,

I will say James  did forget to mention  that this had Citroen brakes.

-It had Citroen steering.  -It did.

It was basically...

Maserati was owned  by Citroen when this car  was being made.

And also, did you notice?

"My favourite supercar,"  James said...

"My favourite supercar of the '70s is the slowest supercar of the '70s."

Yes, but then,  but that's not  that surprising,

because James thinks  even his hair  grows too quickly.

He does, he does,  he's terrified by  anything speedy.

Anyway, while we're  on the subject,  it's all supercars,

my Ford's arrived!

(ALL CHEERING)

It's here! Oh!

Finally! It's made it!

I'll give you your due,  it looks gorgeous.

Good enough to...

I find that disturbing, the whole image, but look,

let's just remind ourselves,  how long ago did you  order that thing?

-Two years. -And when did they say they would deliver to you?

Last Autumn,  and then there was  a bit of a delay,

-Christmas,  New Year, Spring.  -And it arrived in?

-Summer. -There you go.

It is a big old wait, I mean that a momentous day in your life clearly.

And we do have a photograph  of the momentous occasion,

of the lorry backing down  his drive, with the car in it.

And you have got to  see what was written  on that lorry, okay,

here's the picture.

(ALL LAUGHING)

-That hurt.  -(LAUGHING)  What did you think?

That hurt badly. Mind you, I'll tell you what hurt more,

is that when I ordered...  Actually after I ordered this,

he said, "Oh, I want the car  of my dreams as well."

So he decided he was gonna order himself a half-timbered Morgan,

specifically,  this half-timbered Morgan.

Yes, but the interesting thing  about this... If you think  about it, that means

that in the same amount  of time it took Ford,

the world's third largest  car maker to build or just  stamp out a car for him,

a bunch of blokes in the Malvern Hills managed to grow a tree,

cut it down,  season the wood,  and carve it

into the shape of a car,  for me, and I like that.

What's interesting is we both now have, okay, the cars of our dreams.

But as we've discovered this week,

there are  one or two sacrifices  that you need to make

with cars like this.

-For instance,  this is quite large.  -No, it's enormous.

I drove it America first.  It felt ok there.

Drove it on the track,  felt fine there.

London this morning,  Hammersmith bridge,  width restrictions...

(LAUGHS)  You didn't!

Stuck.  "Sorry, everyone,  can we back up?"

18 cars had to back up  to let me come back out.

"Sorry, people coming the other way, 87.2..."

I was on the traffic news.

Not looking secure.

If you were held up  in West London,  it was me, I'm sorry.

This is the point, it's lovely having dream cars. It's great,

but there are...  I'm worried about your health.

Because you arrived  this morning, looking

20 years older. I'm not joking.

It was driving down these very narrow lanes near here.

Dappled sun going over,  in a car that was so wide...

Met a bloke in a transit van  coming the other way.

Said, "I can't back up,  I can't see out the back."

"Neither can I!  I can't see anything  out of the back!"

Bouncing past you  over the potholes.  Every time I was in this car.

And not only that,  I daren't leave it anywhere.

Anything I put in here  is gone. Listen.

They said to me at the factory,

"Say, carbon-fibre hard top that.  Good for security."

I don't think so. Look!

(ALL LAUGHING)

That's the end of that.  No it is, it is.

I'll tell you what.  I'll tell you what.

We may mock,  but the thing is,

this is what  cars are all about.

Cars like this.  We're men, we're mad,

we haven't looked  at practicality,

but on the right day,  the right moment,

stuff like this,  it's what makes  the world go round.

Yeah, sort of kind of all about that lunacy and idiocy.

Speaking of which it's time now to talk about Darling and man love.

Yes. Darling and Ladyman.

Now they run the  Department for Transport.

And I'm sure you've read  recently that they've got  some pretty radical ideas

for reducing congestion.

Essentially, what they're  saying is that road tax  will be greatly reduced,

maybe even  abolished altogether.

The duty on fuel  will be greatly reduced.

Instead, you will pay  as you drive. Road pricing.

Exactly, per mile.

Slightly more complicated,  because then you'll pay more  for certain times.

So on the M4 at half eight  in the morning you might  pay £1.40 a mile,

but on a country road  in the middle of the  afternoon, about three p.

What do we think?  You don't like the idea?

Well, there are some  advantages, aren't there?

I thought about this very carefully, and if,

for example,  you were an old lady,

who just went out in the car once a week

to buy some  cat food for example,

you'd pay less fuel duty,

you'd be paying less road tax,

you be driving in the middle of the day.

And it would  cost you thru pence.

-It would be cheaper.  -It's good for me.

To be honest.  A Ford GT...

Because at the moment,  if you drive a car that gives  four miles to the gallon,

it's a lot more expensive  than running a Ford Fiesta.

But if the roads  are the same price,

the Ford GT...  Petrol's much, much cheaper.

-'Cause there's no  duty on the petrol. -Exactly.

So you pay the same  whether you're in  a Ford Fiesta or...

Great! So we can all  have Dodge Vipers.

Very egalitarian.

Well, you gotta be slightly worried because if they put a black box

in your car and know where you are,

they also know  how fast you're going exactly.

And faster you go, you're gonna get letters from these two

saying,  "You were doing 72,

"and you were in fourth and should've been in fifth gear!"

That's what they're  going to be doing.

Well, not fifth gear,  obviously.

Top Gear.  Let's be specific.

What concerns me is this.

What about all the people  who work in towns and cities,

maybe firemen or teachers,  or traffic wardens.

But they can't afford...  They've been priced  out of flats,

they can't afford  to live in the city.

They won't be able to afford  to commute in from  the outskirts either,

because it'll cost a fortune  at peak times.

That's a good point.

I was gonna say  my big point, but actually,  that's my new big point.

The point I was gonna make is now my second big point,  which is,

at the moment, BP, Shell, Esso, all the fuel companies,

they get 50 million quid  from selling petrol, diesel,  what have you.

They write out a cheque  for 70% of that, 35 million,  send it to Gordon Brown,

he pops it in the bank, jobs good.

That's how it works.

If we now have this,  it means everybody here...

Somebody's gonna  have to monitor  how you drove here,

your black box, send you letters, send you bills,

gonna have to have people  dealing with company cars  and hired cars,

all these different things.

It's going to cost  an absolute fortune!

And here's another thing,

The only way this can  reduce congestion,

a system like this,  is by pricing us off the road,

by having fewer cars  on the road.

That's forgetting that  the reason we have  congestion and rush-hours

is 'cause we all need  to be in the same place  at the same time!

-(ALL LAUGHING)  -That's when we go to work.

There is that assumption  by the Government

that we're all driving around  at 8 AM in the morning  to be really annoying.

Let me put it  to you this way.

As far as I can work out  it's a bit like saying, well,

the sewage system's  completely clogged up.  Okay?

So if you take a dump  during, say,

I don't know,  a penalty shootout in  the World Cup Final, two p.

If you take a dump just  after the papers have been  delivered in the morning,

five quid.

"Oh, I can't afford to go!"

You go in the morning.  The paper...

(MIMICS PAPER RUSTLING)

That's how it works.

Now, let's talk about cars.

I'd like to talk about this.

This from Honda  is a new people-carrier.

It's big, it's pretty ugly.  It'll only gonna be  sold in Japan, probably.

So we wouldn't ordinarily  be that interested.

Apart from that  I wanna show you

what they've lined  the back of it with.

On the floor.  Here we go.  Look at that!

That is a laminate floor,  ladies and gentlemen,  in a car.

That's gonna be noisy.

It is.  The people down below  will hate it.

More to the point,  that is a family car, yes.

-So what's gonna  be in the back?  -Dog!

A dog, yes.

I'd put little socks on it  just to make sure.

Whoa!

That's a stupid idea.

MAY: It is  a stupid idea, yeah.

Hey, You know Porsche,  laziest design studio  in the world.

New 911, exactly the same as the old one.

Porsche Boxster,  they designed the front,  thought,

"Oh, I'll have that  at the back as well."

That's it. They just folded the...

They did the back and  they went, "There you go!"

Folded the page over.

Well, guess what.  They've come up with  an all-new model!

And here it is.

And what they've done is  they've taken the Boxster  and put a roof on it.

-Not just that,  it looks like a 911 roof.  -Yeah.

Unbelievably lazy design.

It's called the Cayman.

They're bringing the  S model in first of all.  It's £43,000.

It's coming in in November, it does 171 mph

and nought to 60  in five and a half seconds.

-Which isn't as fast  as I was expecting.  -It's not that quick.

I think the problem is, if they'd made it go any faster,

you'd have thought,  "Why buy a 911?  I can have that."

I think they've deliberately  slowed it down.

But that's not a good enough  reason for not buying it.

Would you like to know,  why you shouldn't buy it?

Look at it from the back.

(ALL LAUGHING)

Oh, I'll be sick! Get it off the screen!

-That's not nice.  -Don't look at that.

No, it's still there.  That's unpleasant.

It's gone.  Thank God for that.

Sorry if you have  children watching.

Now, it is a known fact,  okay, this is a fact!

People only ever want  to be firemen so they  get to drive around

in a great  big red fire engine.

Those are the facts,  that's how it works.

Well, not anymore!  Look at this.

(ALL LAUGHING)

This is symptomatic  of the problem  with Britain today.

You know that  World's Wildest  Police Chase thing

that's on Channel 5,  late at night. You see that?

"Those police chases from around the world!"

And it's always a big V8  chasing a Corvette  in Australia, in America.

Then they go, "We got a chase  from the United Kingdom  of England-land!"

Oh, no, this is going to be so embarrassing.

Sure enough,  it's a Vauxhall Astra with  a big "Diesel" sign there.

"Now we're chasing  this BMX bike up the A34".

This is going  round the world!  They're gonna laugh at us.

What worries me about this  is, you're at home,  "My house is on fire!

"Everything's burning,  come and save me."

"All right, mate, I'm on my way."

"I am?"

I want "we" in a big lorry!

It's the ladder I wanna see.

"Yes. Hope it's a bungalow, because..."

(ALL LAUGHING)

"Oh, we've only got...  There's library-steps on the passenger seat".

-I don't feel safer in my house. -No.

Now, are you the sort of chap  who laments the demise

of the classic  British sports car?

I'm talking about stuff  like the Austin Healey  three litre here,

and the Triumph TR 5.

Well, lament no more because

I'm delighted to say,  the classic British  sports car is back.

-- This is what  -- I'm talking about.

A traditional two-seater   soft-top, with rear-wheel   drive at the back,

a straight six at the front.

-- And a cockpit  -- full of leather and weather.

-- It's British in every way  -- except for one small thing.

It's German.

It's called the Wiesmann MF3.

And under the pretty skin, you have the engine, sequential gearbox,

-- and running gear -- from a BMW M3.

-- That sounds like -- quite a recipe.

(ENGINE REVVING)

Ooh!

Cheeky!

-- The figures suggest it'll do  -- 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds,

and reach 158 flat out.

I can believe that.

What I cannot believe is  how well this thing corners.

You see the body   and you think it's going   to be as advanced as mud.

But honestly,   it corners like   a Cylon Interceptor.

It's very, um, delicate,  very finger-tippy.

Very poised  and precise kind of car.

The brakes are brilliant, the steering's fabulous,  the grip is monumental.

And when it does let go,  you still don't have  any worries.

-- Of course,  -- when you peel away the body,

-- it's easy to see why  -- this car handles so well.

I have never seen such a low-profile tyre as that. Look at it!

May as well  have just painted the wheel!

And I've never seen springs  as short as that either.

Normally they're that long.

And that's great,  but I can't help thinking

"What if I run over  a manhole cover?"

There's no give in that tire.  It's all...

It can't be any give  in the suspension,

so it's gonna break my back!

It doesn't.

-- Somehow it glides -- over the bumps!

I have been in less comfortable beds than this. But then, that said,

I've been in beds with  more equipment than this.  There really is nothing.

It's even got  wind-down windows.

But Wiesmann say  that means there's  less to go wrong,

and you have to admit,  they do have a point.

-- This, then,  -- is a fabulous sports car.

Looks the part,   goes like stink,   and it's beautifully made.

It's a '60s throwback with none of the '60s drawbacks.

-- So that's Germany's idea  -- of a British sports car.

And now let's see   Russia's idea of   a British sports car.

This is the TVR Tuscan II,

the first TVR to emerge   since the TVR was   bought last year,

-- by a young  -- Russian businessboy.

-- It may look pretty much  -- the same as the old Tuscan,

but it's supposed   to be easier to live with   and easier to drive.

So has it worked?

Oh! Oh, my God!

No.

No, it... No!

No.

It... No, it hasn't.

You can drive the Wiesmann  using telepathy,

but this really responds  better to sheer brute force.

Sledgehammer to change gear.

A tugboat to  brake into second.  Whoa!

And wrestle it, yes...

Yes.

I'm a horse of a man!

What's more, in the Wiesmann  you get traction control  and anti-lock brakes,

whereas you get neither  of those things in the TVR.

Instead,  you get electric windows,

which, in this car,  I have to say,  are broken,

and a windscreen wiper  which, when you get  to 80 miles an hour,

lifts itself  clean off the screen!

There you go.

I'm blind!  I'm completely blind!

-- They say this car -- is more stable at high speeds,

and that lazier steering   has made it less nervous   in the bends.

Yeah, right!

I suppose if you really  concentrate it is a little  bit less nervous

than the old Tuscan,  but it's still like  an Anglo-Arab horse.

Goes past the same drain cover  every day for 20 years,

and then one day, "Whoa!"

Hello!  We're going round in circles.

(LAUGHS)

What an insane car.

-- So, it's not  -- an easy car to drive.

But is it now   an easier car   to live with?

To find out, I have assembled a group of guys

from this factory  which is next to our track.

I will offer 20 quid to the first one of you

that can get to that car,  get in it,

start the engine, get out,  in under a minute.

These are the keys.  Your time starts now.

It's already open,  so don't worry about that.  Just get in.

Come on, man. Ah!

He's good. He's very good.

It only took him ten seconds  to get in.

30 seconds has gone.

Three, two, one!

Total failure!

Right, if you wanna step out.

Come on, Joe, out the car.

If you could just get out,  we've got others to try,  and it's snowing.

I'll have to let you out!

Now. There you go.

I'm impressed.

Oh! Oh dear, no.

I'm sorry , your time is up.

If you'd like to  step out now, please.

You'll not get  through there, love.

25 seconds has now gone.

He's turned on the radio!  He's gone for the damn radio.

Come on. We've got some more to go through.

Oh, my God.  Another one can't get out.

So if you're a car thief  watching this,

see one of these on the side  of the street ,forget it!

That's the horn! This is the worst yet.

Fastest in, and then 53 seconds of just sitting there.

This is Mark.  He's the boss of the factory.

He's worked his way up  using intelligence  and cunning.

He's closed the door  which, of course,  is a mistake.

Five seconds, Mark.  Come on, you're the boss, man!

You should be able  to start a car.  And your time is up!

Come on, Mark,  we've actually got quite a lot  more filming to do.

So, there's the answer.   No, it's not an easy car   to live with.

And now, of course,   it no longer   has the market to itself.

So which is best?

-- The technical, exquisite  -- ice-cool Wiesmann,

-- or the mad,  -- hairy-chested TVR?

-- The dentist's drill  -- or the pile-driver?

-- Well,  -- in terms of outright speed,

-- the German car is all out  -- of ideas at 158,

-- whereas the Russian car  -- can do 180.

-- Then there's price.  -- The Wiesmann is £60,000,

whereas the TVR is £39,000.

So the TVR is faster,   a lot more powerful   and much cheaper.

-- Sounds like a walkover.  -- But it's not that simple.

You see, my wife loves this car.

She loves the noise and the vibrations and the sense of danger

and the way that  when you over-rev it,

the whole dash lights up  like a baboon's backside.

Richard Hammond,  on the other hand,  he pretty much hates it.

He says it's too difficult  and too complicated,

and that all the stitching  in here looks like the  kind of stitching you find

when someone's tried to  mend their own shoes.

It's a Marmite car, then.

-- If you love it,  -- nothing else will do.

-- Nothing else offers you  -- anything like the thrill.

-- But if you hate it,  -- don't worry,

-- because there  -- is an alternative.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDS)

Lovely pictures.  Yeah, beautiful.

-Every single weather in one day. -The whole lot.

Now, big question,  why do you hate TVRs so much?

Why do I hate TVRs? Because for one thing,

they're all made of plastic  and fibreglass, and they smell  like canoe factories.

You got bits  of glue hanging off  all over the place,

all the rubber trim falls off.

On some of them,  if you open the side windows  the back window blows out.

The thing is,  they are a lot better  than they used to be.

I actually had one of these.

-In fact, I think it was  that one on test.  -Yeah?

And it wouldn't start.

Wouldn't start  or you couldn't start it?

No, no, no, no!  I'd had the lesson,  read the book, seen the video.

All of that.  I knew how to start it,  but it broke down.

All of that is why I would  rather have the Wiesmann.

-I would. -£21,000 more.

Yes, I know, it's a lot more money,

but still,  I would rather have that.

Do you know what?  I'm with you.

So would I. So would I.

But of course, we do have  the important test to do.

We must hand them both over  to our tame racing driver.

Some say that  he appears on high-value  stamps in Sweden,

and he can catch fish  with his tongue.

We know him only as the Stig.

--CLARKSON: So, TVR first,  -- and away he goes!

-- 350 angry Russian horses  -- kicking it off the line.

Up to the first corner,   this is gonna be a wild ride   for the Stig!

Already you can see him   fighting to keep the Tuscan   on the track!

-- Nice. The multi-synth stylings -- of Rick Wakeman and Yes there.

That's--Yours Is No Disgrace.  -- But is this?

-- He's surprisingly tidy  -- round Chicago there.

Here comes the real test,   it's the Hammerhead.   Will it understeer?

Will it oversteer,   or simply fail to   steer at all?

The back end's   trying to break loose,   not on Stig's watch.

-- Okay, down to  -- the Followthrough.

That looks fast.

Also rather hairy. There's only two more corners to go!

It's the second-last corner.   He can't afford   to lose it now.

Right on the edge   into Gambon   and across the line!

And now, it's the Wiesmann.

-- Off he goes with some  -- precise German wheel spin.

Can't help thinking   the Stig will have   an easier time here,

-- but will it be -- a quicker time?

-- He's looking controlled  -- in the first corner.

-- Bit of squeal from those  -- very, very low-profile tyres.

Through Chicago.   TVR was good here,   and the Wiesmann?

Even better, actually.

-- Just a little hip wiggle  -- on the way out.

Hammerhead looking fast   on the way in.   Nose starts to run wide.

-- Stig cancels it out with  -- lovely controlled slide.

-- Oh, that is beautiful.  -- Now, Followthrough.

-- Keeping the power on,  -- looking good.

-- Over the first half  -- the TVR is faster

but the Wiesmann's   in really good shape   for a sprint to the end.

-- Can Germany beat Russia -- to become the fastest Britain?

-- He's keeping it neat now,  -- coming up to Gambon.

-- Very neat still,  -- and across the line!

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDS)

-I have the times!  -Share them! Share them!

The Wiesmann went round  in one minute, 27.9,  which puts it there.

That's pretty quick!

Well, it's the same  as the TVR 350c, all but.

TVR Tuscan 2?

-1:24.8! - Whoa!

It's all the way up here.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDS)

That's good.  That is a fast car.

That's very quick.

That is very quick. Really, properly quick.

And I'd still rather  have the Wiesmann.

Do you know what?  So would I.

Now, the new Batman film is released next week.

It's got some actors  and stuff in it,

but the thing we're interested  in is the new Batmobile.  Watch this.

-Who is this guy?  -MAN: (ON RADIO)   Where's he going?

He's on the roof.

He's flying on rooftops!

And look, we've got it here  in the studio! There it is!

MAY: Wow! I have to say,  that's bigger than

the Batmobile I had  when I was a kid.

HAMMOND: Yes, it probably is.

MAY: It weighs  two and a half tons,  it's 15 feet long,

and it's actually the only car we've ever had in the studio

that's wider than  Jeremy's GT.

-HAMMOND: I know,  that's incredible.  -CLARKSON: Nonsense.

HAMMOND: It's amazing.

And the important  thing to bear in mind is that  in that clip we saw,

there's no computer-generated  trickery going on.  It's all for real.

So, they've actually  given this thing  a real 5.7 litre V8 engine.

Now, here's the thing.  Normally, when a car  is built one-off for a film,

they start off with something  like a big old American barge

and then they cover it  with cardboard  and bits of papier-mache

till it looks right.

But this was built from the scratch as a Batmobile.

This is actually a Batmobile.  And here's another  interesting thing.

When they showed  the concept to all the  American companies

that normally come out  with these special cars,

they all said,  "Can't be done."

Too difficult.  All that back-to-front  axle stuff.

-The result of that is...  made In England.  -Absolutely!

Now, of course, it's gotta have lots of clever gizmos.

So, it needs to have guns.  Here they are.

Then, further down the car, when Batman stamps on the anchors,

the enormous air brakes  are deployed. Look at that!

And, finally, check this out  for a party piece.

-You see? -(ALL LAUGHING)

With a car like this,

Val Kilmer could be  in the movie  and you'd still wanna see it.

(ALL LAUGHING)

Okay, for the last 10 years,  my children have slept soundly  in their own beds every night.

But then Doctor Who--came along and everything changed.

Uh, now, I wake up  every Saturday night at 4am

to find all three of them  lined up at the end of my bed

shivering, saying they've seen a monster.

Well, the man  responsible for that  is here.

-Ladies and gentlemen,  Christopher Eccleston!  -(APPLAUSE)

How are you?  Have a seat.

Thank you.

Oh, yes.

Doctor Who is here.

Is that space fungus  you've grown there  on your face?

I had to shave every day  for nine months during  the shoot, so, uh...

You've decided  to give up shaving.

-Played havoc with me skin. Yeah. -(ALL LAUGHING)

Now, listen, Doctor Who,

did you know,  when you were making it,

that it was gonna be  that scary?

We're always conscious of how far to take it.

The episode that I knew  was gonna be frightening

was episodes nine and 10,  with the child  with the gas mask.

-Yeah.  -In some ways, that's more  frightening than a monster,

because it could be them.

They could be that kid  with the gas mask on.

-Who was dead. -Who was dead.

-Yeah. Hmm.  -Who was dead,  as it turned out.

What I realised filming is,  one of my jobs as the Doctor

was, if you throw  a look at them,  almost winking to the kids,

-that you're not that scared,  that helps.  -Yeah.

Not really. They still...  At 3:00 AM in the morning  they still go,

"Daddy, there's a monster  in my bedroom!  There really is."

-'Cause you've obviously  left the series now.  -Yup.

You're off to go  and do other things.

I mean, I am a doctor.

An eccentric.

I'm... Well... Mmm.

-Alien.  -Alien for sure. Definitely.

The other thing I've got  in common with you,

apart from being a doctor,  is we're both Northerners,

although you're  from the wrong side  of the Pennines.

Well, you're not  truly a Northerner,  because you're from Yorkshire.

You're part...  You're virtually  part-sheep, Jeremy.

(ALL LAUGHING)

-But I don't get rained on  as much as you though.  -No. That's true.

Let's be honest.  Let's be honest.

I do have to say though  that these Northern roots  does show up,

because most of the guests,  they go, "Will you send  a Gulfstream jet for us?"

and "Can I bring  my makeup artist?"

and "Will there be  a Winnebago?" and all that.

He rang and he said,

"Now listen,  where's the nearest  railway station?

(ALL LAUGHING)

"If you book the ticket now,  you can get them cheaper."

That's because I'm tight.  I wouldn't give a door a bang.

(ALL LAUGHING)

Now, your car history is,  as you say, is fairly short

because you passed  your driving test 12.

I passed my driving test  in January, 2004.

-So, you've only been driving 14 months. -About 14 months. Yeah.

Because you did actually star  in Gone in Sixty Seconds.  You were the baddie.

--Yeah, I was the baddie in  -- Gone in Sixty Seconds

and they did a press pack interview

on the set in Los Angeles.

And the guy said to me,  "What car do you drive?"

And I said, "I don't drive."

But when told this guy  that I didn't drive,

he actually physically  backed away from me.

Which is what  I've experienced all my life.

What did you do  before you were driving then?  I mean, how did you get about?

Well, I lived in... The time  when I would have been  learning to drive,

when me old fella  would have taught me to drive,

this time  when he taught me brothers,

I was living in London  as a student.

All the work I was after  was in London.

I walked. Ran everywhere.

-What?  -I'm a marathoner.  I run marathons.

-You're a marathon runner?  -Yeah.

That's not sensible.

-(ALL LAUGHING)  -I mean, if you've  gotta cover 26 miles,

you are better off driving.

Well, I'll challenge you.

-What?  -I'll challenge you.

-You...  -I'll run it, you drive it.

I tell you what,  you've given me an idea.

If we stage a race...  The London Marathon  course, okay?

Someone can run it, and then I'll race them in a car.

Normal week day morning.

I reckon the car. What do you reckon, car or runner?

-I'd back the runner. Mmm. -You'd back the runner?

-What if I ran it?  -With the traffic.

(ALL LAUGHING)

I have once...  I once ran 26 metres.

-God, it hurt. -(ALL LAUGHING)

Anyway, listen.  You've travelled across  space and time, okay?

You've fought Daleks.  You've saved the universe.

-But now, it's time for your  biggest ever challenge.  -Hmm.

-You've got to get  the Liana round our track.  -(ALL LAUGHING)

However, there was one problem  because you said  you wouldn't come on the show

-if you have to drive our normal Liana. -That's right.

Because...

Because I'm only qualified to drive an automatic.

-Doctor Who. -(ALL LAUGHING)

-Doctor Who.  -Now I expect  you all to back away

like I've got some disease.

I mean, I think what you said,  "Oh, we'll give you  a few lessons."

And I thought, "Yeah, I can see that!"

Going out on national television.

-My lessons in a manual.  Oh, terrible.  -(IMITATING GEARS FAULTERING)

I am not a natural driver  in any way.

Well, we're gonna  find that out in a minute.  But, there's...

I just thought I'd get that in early.

-Yeah. Nice try. -(ALL LAUGHING)

Do you know how many  automatic Suzuki Lianas  there are in Britain?

31 million vehicles  on the road.

40 of them,  are Liana automatics.

So, we had to find  one of these cars in Britain  and get it down here.

So, you had nobody  else on this show  whose driven an automatic?

No. They've all driven  the same manual car.

So, I'm special.

We had to borrow this from somebody.

I don't know  where we've got it from,  but it's a borrowed car.

-Mmm-hmm. -It's not ours.

And who would like to see  how he treated it?

I don't think  they'll be too happy,

-when they get it back.  -Let's just have a look.

Here is Christopher  in a borrowed Liana.

-And... Oh!  -I've not seen this.

-(SCREECHING)  -CLARKSON: There he goes!

(ECCLESTON LAUGHS)

--CLARKSON: That was...  -- That was one.

-- This is another one,  -- here he comes again.

-- Oh, back that way that time.  -- And here he comes again!

(SCREECHING)

So if that's your car, tough!

Um, anyway.

-Who'd like to see the lap that followed that? -ALL: Yeah!

-Do you wanna see this? -I'd love to.

All right, play the tape.  Let's have a look.

(WHOOSHING)

I predicted that  in the taxi down.

CLARKSON: Yes.

-- It's that TARDIS feel to it.  -- And here we go.

-- Were you a bit unnerved  -- by the spins?

ECCLESTON: I wasn't... I was never physically scared, I was just...

-- I was obsessed  -- with trying to master it.

CLARKSON: This is looking good, I have to say.

-- You're certainly  -- concentrating there.

Now, slow in here.

Mmm. I'd say   it's probably a bit too fast   going in to that runway.

-This one... How was   the Hammerhead there? Good?  -(SCREECHING)

Good.

I'm wondering, if I think faster, I'll go faster.

-(SCREECHING) -ECCLESTON: Oh, Jesus!

This for someone who's only been  driving 14 months

is quite impressive.

--ECCLESTON: This was...  -- Yeah, here we go.

CLARKSON: Oh! Off again!

--ECCLESTON: Is that -- Gambon corner?

--CLARKSON: No, -- this is Gambon corner.

-- He hit the kerb on the inside  -- and nearly rolled it over.

-There you are,  across the line!  -(ALL APPLAUDING)

-You did actually cross the line in 1936. -(LAUGHS)

It's the advantage  of being a Time Lord.

Did you think the Stig was like someone from planet Zarg then?

He was...  He's a great teacher.

He's a good teacher?

I never panicked doing it,  I just thought...

He's tried so hard  to teach me well,

I thought, "I've gotta do this right for him."

And promptly spun off.

-Yes. -(ALL LAUGHING)

Well, I don't care. I thought that was a very impressive lap.

So where do you think  you've come on this board?

I reckon just above...

-Just above?  -Between Trinny  and Michael Gambon.

Oh, my word. That's... Where are they?

There's Gambon, 55.  No. You did a lot  better than that.

-Oh, did I? -Yeah.

You actually...  Bearing in mind  you're sort of...

I beat Vinnie!

You've beaten Vinnie.  You did it in 1:52.4!

-(ALL APPLAUDING)  -So, Ladies and gentlemen.

-You're in there.  -I'm so relieved!

I'm so relieved.

-I'm glad. Yep.  -That's the most pleased  I've seen you look.

Do you see?  It's the same every week.

Everyone that comes says,  "I'm not that bothered."

When the time's coming, everybody leans forward

like, "What did I do? What did I do?"

No, I had a great day.

I've really enjoyed doing it.  But like I said,

when you're actually doing it, you wanna get it right.

-It's like anything else.  -You do.

It's like playing the part  or wherever you go.

"Right, I'm gonna  master this,"

and then suddenly it's all over.

Well, you've mastered it  more than Vinnie.  That's the important thing.

-Ladies and gentlemen,  Christopher Eccleston!  -(ALL APPLAUDING)

-That was so brilliant. -Thank you.

Right! Now!

Earlier on,  Jeremy was ripping about

a couple of old-fashioned  British sports cars.

And I thought  it was time for something  a bit more modern.

(INSTRUMENTAL PIANO MUSIC)

--HAMMOND: The Aston Martin DB9  -- has always looked pretty.

-- And now, it just got  -- a whole lot prettier.

This is the DB9 Volante.

Just have another look at it.  I'll stop talking for a bit.

The last time  we featured a DB9,  it was the hardtop

and Jeremy raced it to the south of France

against James and me  on a train.

-- Today, things may look  -- a little bit more serene,

-- but we're still facing  -- a mighty challenge.

Because I've brought it here  to North Wales.

This is magnificent kingdom  of the speed camera-mad,

Chief Constable  Richard Brunstrom.

-- Obviously, we're not  -- speeding or anything,

but we're not exactly friends.

-- And he wouldn't be  -- too impressed

if he knew that--Top Gear had -- sneaked in under the radar.

So, what have we got?

Well, the Volante costs £115,000 for the flappy paddle gearbox version,

-- which is 12 grand more  -- than the hardtop.

-- And for that, you get -- Aston's six litre V12.

-- And one of the best -- interiors known to man.

And, of course,   there's the beautifully made   cloth folding roof.

-- But as any enthusiastic driver -- will point out,

-- lose the roof,  -- compromise the handling.

-- So, is this Aston -- any different?

Let's do the maths.

Now, the hardtop has  a torsional body stiffness

of 27,000 Newton metres per degree.

That makes it  one of the stiffest cars  you can buy.

Take the top off, though,  for the soft top  and that goes down

to 15,5000 Newton metres.

So, do the sum.  That means a total loss  of 11,500 Newton metres,

which is about that much.

(INHALES) Blimey!

Yes, it is indeed "Blimey!"

It does feel different.  Something about the car tells  you that the roof's gone.

And I don't mean  this big patch of blue  over my head.

There's some sort  of flex in it.  It's a bit wobblier.

-- So, not only does it  -- not handle as well,

the suspension is also softer.

And in Volante form,   the DB9 isn't as quick   as it was either.

-- In the hardtop,  -- you can hit 186 mph.

-- But this one  -- has been restricted to 165.

-- For fear of shredding  -- the roof.

All in all,   the DB9 has lost   quite a lot of its hard edge.

-- It's still fast enough  -- to annoy Brunstrom,

-- but it's not the sports car  -- it once was.

But one thing Astons have always had is charm and charisma.

-- Everyone, from children   to grannies, loves an Aston--.

-- So, is it the same  -- for this one?

Well, to find out, we're going to test it.

But we're not going to  test it against a Ferrari,  or a Porshe.

We're going to pitch it against something much,  much tougher.

-(WHIMPERING)  -This is Killer,

a seven-week-old  Golden Retriever pup.

So, who's got the most appeal?

-(KILLER WHIMPERING)  -Let battle commence.

Can I ask you a question,  might seem a bit odd?

-Which is... -Ahhh!

Oh, that sort of  answered it, really.

-Which do you prefer?  -The puppy.

What?

Uh, the car's  a bit big for me.

The puppy's  just the right size.

I'm never coming here again.

-You see that car over there, behind you? -Yeah.

-And this puppy, which one? -Yeah. Puppy!

-Look at me with the puppy. -Yeah.

Look at me with the car.  Very manly!

-Which is it to be?  -The puppy. (LAUGHS)

-Tell you mate,  you've got to get the puppy!  -Mmm.

-Honestly, I'm telling you. -The car.

I'm telling you,  get the car and you're  wasting your money.

What you want  is one of these.

So there you have it.   The Volante isn't as   charming as a small dog.

-- And when you compare it  -- to the hardtop,

-- it's not as fast  -- or as sharp to drive.

If you're looking for a sports car,   this isn't it.

-- So, does that mean you should  -- ignore it altogether?

No, of course, not.

For a start,  you can't actually  drive a dog,

so you're stuck with the car.

And when it comes  to value for money,

it's not just about how fast a car goes  round a corner,

it's the whole package,  the whole experience.

I mean, just look at it!

-- This car on these roads, -- it's a deathbed memory.

And you know what?

I just don't care   that it's not as fast   or hard-edged as the Coupe.

That slight bit of give  in the whole car,

that slightly more supple  suspension, transforms it.

Now it is a cruiser.

And the Volante has one definite advantage over the hardtop.

-- With the roof down, -- your ears melt

-with the sound   of that amazing V12 engine.  -(ENGINE WHIRRING)

-- Which kind of has an effect  -- on your journeys.

I might go back just once more.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

I hate to burst your bubble,

but I think I may have made  a slight error with that film.

Oh, God! Not again!

You and Jeremy!  What is it this time?

You see,  it was a beautiful day  on beautiful roads

and I fear I may have got  a bit carried away

with the whole Aston Martin convertibleness of the experience.

Yeah, actually,  it gets a bit worse than that.

Now, I'm terribly conscious  that that bloke in the white  t-shirt has just bought one.

-HAMMOND: (LAUGHS)  You're right!  -MAY: But...

You were so pleased  when you arrived in it today!

I have to say, sir,  that it's a bit too blowy  with the roof down.

-The sun shines  off the top of the...  -MAN: You need a haircut.

-(ALL LAUGHING)  -He may have a point!

But...

-Can't argue with that!  -No. I can't argue.

However a haircut  is only three quid.

Not £115,000!

Exactly. So, I mean, it's too blowy.

-Yes, it is.  -With the hood down.

The light shines on the dashboard  and it gets...

You can't see  half of it, yeah.

And it's too wobbly.

And it still has that  low-speed steering wobble,

you know, when you manoeuvring in a car park,

with the roof off  in your Aston Martin  that is like that,

less than cool,  it's gotta be said.

But do be reassured  that you did arrive

-at a proper conclusion with that film. -Yes.

-Which is that if you want  a fast, open top GT...  -Yes.

-Get a puppy. -(ALL LAUGHING)

Or a Mercedes SL65.

Anyway, we must now move on  because as you probably know

we're on a quest  to find the greatest ever  driving song.

Now, for the last three weeks,  people have been emailing us  with their nominations.

Absolutely!  Now, here's the plan.

You've got one week left  to get your nominations in,

then we will have a top five

and you'll be invited  to vote for your favourite

out of that top five to find the ultimate,  the best ever!

Yeah. It's very,  very important that  you do get voting.

-Yes.  -Because this is  the chart so far.

AC/DC, Motorhead,  Golden Earring, Queen,  Deep Purple, Steppenwolf.

Setting a bit  of a trend here.

A lot of black t-shirts and long hair.

It's unbelievable!

Okay. There are one or two great driving songs in there.

But look what's at number one!

-Please! What are you doing!  -Have mercy on us!

BOTH: Meat Loaf!

Bat Out of...  You want us to stand  in front of the world

-and go, "The best ever driving song is a fat man!" -(ALL LAUGHING)

"To the wolf  with the red roses."

-I mean, come on!  -What are we going to do?

-We've actually had some celebrity suggestions. -Yes, we have.

We've been phoning around  this morning.

You know Jimmy Carr, sitting at the top of our fastest lap ever, okay?

He likes Blur, Song Two.

-That's a song.  -Well, he says,  "It's a short song,

"so you can listen to it  between speed cameras  without getting caught."

-James Nesbitt,  we had him on, didn't we?  -Yeah.

--Benny Hill, Ernie, -- The Fastest Milkman...

(ALL LAUGHING)

That's not a good suggestion!

-Jack Dee's got Hendrix.  -That's a good call.

-Not bad. Harry Enfield,   Always Look On The   Bright Side Of Life.

He reckons it works,  especially if you have  a Hyundai.

He's got a point!  He's got a point.

--Eddie Izzard,  -- Self-Preservation Society.

-Not bad.  -That works.

Hey, now, speaking of which...  Speaking of which.

On the way down this morning,  I was listening  to Matt Monroe.

Eh?

Days Like These.

-Exactly! It's the opening  of the Italian Job!  -Oh, it is, it is.

You've got the Lambo  going up the hill  and I was thinking,

-"Yes, I'm in a Ford in Guildford!" -(ALL LAUGHING)

And the other thing is...  Okay.

I know this programme is watched in Holland.

Okay? You don't pay...

--They always watch thinking Top Gear,--must be about drugs!

-Yeah. -(ALL LAUGHING)

For heaven's sake,  Golden Earring are a Dutch band,

Radar Love--is a good song.

Turn off your pornography  and vote for that.

-We've got to rid the world of this evil. -Yes, please.

Really, please do that for us.  Vote over the next week.

You could write  to us at Top Gear.

-HAMMOND: BBC,  12/1 Wood Lane, W12...  -CLARKSON: London.

HAMMOND: London, W12.  Something like that.

Vote for anything but Meat Loaf.

-That's all one word.  -Yeah.

You just click on  "voteforanythingbutmeatloaf"!

Please, we're doomed!

Now, the other day we had  a request from some bods  in Chipping Norton.

It seemed they'd got together

and refurbished the local open-air swimming pool.

-And they wanted someone  to come and open it.  -Yes.

You know, we get loads  of requests like this.  Really. All the time.

And we always say no.

-Yes.  -Well, he doesn't.

-Well, obviously, he doesn't.  -I'll open anything.

He will. He walked past a murder scene  the other day.

Ribbon around it.  "I declare this crime  scene open."

I only did it once in my defence.

Anyway, the problem  is that I live just  outside Chipping Norton.

And my children learnt  to swim in that pool,

so I couldn't really  sit there and say no.

No, so, as a seasoned pro in such matters, I gave him some useful advice.

Now, the important thing is  this is a big civic date.  The Mayor will be there.

You gotta get  the right tone, you know?

So, you don't wanna  pitch up in a Ferrari

'cause they'll just think  you're showing off.

You don't wanna pitch up in Nissan Micra either

'cause they'll think  you haven't really tried.

Getting the wheels right  wasn't easy.

--CLARKSON: This is  -- what I settled for.

-- A Mark 1 Rolls-Royce  -- Silver Shadow from 1976.

-- It had to be  -- a '70s Rolls really,

since Chipping Norton   was where a whole bunch   of '70s rockstars

recorded their albums.

The hotel there,  The Crown & Cushion,

that used to belong  to Keith Moon from The Who.

He was a big fan  of Rolls-Royces.  He painted his lilac.

Now, today, as I'm sure   you know, you can buy   a decent Roller

for as little as £8000.

-- That said though,  -- it won't be cheap to run.

-- Brakes, for instance,  -- are £4,000 to replace

-- and the linings -- are notoriously dodgy.

-- But even so, -- this is a hell of a lot of car

for a tiny dribble of money.

-- I mean, that radiator grill  -- was made entirely by hand.

The windscreen   was polished using   the sort of powdered pumice

normally used   in the production   of optical lenses.

-- The leather for the seats -- is only taken from cows

-- from countries with -- no barbed wire

-- so they couldn't nick  -- their hides.

-- And it's not as old-fashioned  -- as you might think.

Its 6.75 litre   all-aluminium V8,   is still being used today.

In the Bentley Arnage.

Quite a car, then.

And the great thing is that I didn't pay £8,000 for it.

I paid £2,500 for it.

Now, obviously, there are one  or two problems that need  clearing up first of all.

-- The leaky radiator -- is only the start of it

because the bodywork and trim   carry nearly 30 years   of wear and tear.

The thing is, though,  I reckon most of these  problems can be sorted out

using some of the polishes  and waxes,

and indeed machinery, that you can get these days from shops

and the interweb.

A couple of hours and I reckon  I can have this car gleaming

and ready for its important civic function.

-- First, detect the grime  -- with a power hose,

-- but avoid those  -- which are just too powerful.

Ouch!

-- Then it's time  -- for the shampooing.

This is a very good way  of passing the time.

If you don't like  your children  and they don't like you.

-- For the polish, -- I pushed the boat out,

-- going for some American stuff  -- which costs £6,000 a pot.

They actually say it's made of such pure wax

from such a pure tree  in Birmingham or Brussels...  Brazil!

Um, it's edible.

Only the Americans  will invent a car polish  that you can eat.

Uh-uh!

Tastes of car polish.

-- Well, so far everything  -- was going well

-- but then it was time  -- for the job I feared most.

The bodywork.

(MECHANICAL WHIRRING)

-- Look at the join I've got. -- Look at that join!

They're going to think,  "Those guys from Top Gear  have really made an effort."

They're gonna be  pretty impressed, I think,  when we finish this.

What I'm doing  is I'm matching the curve  of the flared wheel arch.

It's there. You can see.

The man in the shop  said he didn't have any  Rolls-Royce silver paint,

but he said that  because BMW  now owns Rolls-Royce,

this BMW Arctic Silver  would do the job

and it would match,  especially when it's dried.

That's better, look.

Oh, yes.

Just let that dry  and that's perfect.

For bodywork stuff like this,  don't do it yourself actually,

because not everyone  is as professional as I am.

You might come across  a cowboy.

Someone who doesn't take pride in his work.

-- With that job  -- well under control,

-- it was time to inspect -- my paint job.

The man in the shop was adamant that this paint would match.

Right, that...

That's not... Hmm.

-- With the Rolls -- now looking different,

-- it was time  -- to get myself ready.

What do you think?

Sadly, this is  the only tie I have

and I know it's not  particularly contemporary,

but the car, the suit,

it's a good package.

(MARCHING BAND PLAYS)

Good enough,   I hoped, for the   ribbon-cutting ceremony.

I really do feel like,  you know,

I'm putting  something back here  into the community.

It's... It gives me a warm feeling.

I'm feeling really  excited about today.

I mean, this is the end of years of hard work

and it's bringing the pool back to the community.

A lot of volunteers steam-cleaning the pool,

creosoting fences,  all of those sort of things.

A tremendous amount  of hard work.

And it's for the children  of Chipping Norton.

We're obviously very excited

that Jeremy's coming along  to open the pool  for us today.

I actually do watch him  on TV, you know.

Now, it's a shame  about the weather,

not as many people have turned out, as we'd hoped.

But we're hopeful  that not much else  can go wrong.

It's just great  that he's the one who's  going to cut the ribbon today.

What's that...  What's that bloke doing  with a pair of scissors?

Don't need those!

Hello!

Oh, yes!

Oh, yes!

Oh!

Oh!

Ah!

(GROANS)

Right.

Ah.

I declare this pool open.

You're going to have  to get that out of there  though, mate.

Some kid could really hurt  themselves on it.

Okay.

Who do I see about my cheque?

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

-I don't think that's what  they were expecting.  -I know.

You blithering idiot!  The cheque stuff,  that was textbook, perfect.

But the pool!  That's not what they wanted.

No, but I've always  wanted to drive a Rolls  into a swimming pool.

But you ruined it!  You ruined the pool!

-You ruined their day! -I also ruined my suit.

-Yes, probably.  -It's about this big now.

Ooh, can I borrow that?

Yes, we can salvage  something from this!

-Not an entirely wasted day.  -Yeah.

What we have got here  though is a very good   Top Gear--top tip,

which is if you want us  to open something,

-ring Alan Titchmarsh.  -Yeah, it's a good point.

And on that minor  celebrity bombshell,  it is time to end the show.

Good luck!