Rory and Chris discuss what it was like driving across Cuba together. Chris gets his hands on the Nissan GTR Nismo, and Ross Noble stops in to explain his love of large machinery.
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Hi, I'm George Lewis, and welcome to Extra Gear.
We've got a brilliant show for you tonight.
Rory and Chris tell us all about their Cuban adventure.
Harris is gone!
Bye-bye, Rory Reid.
Chris gets his hands on the GTR.
No, not the Mercedes - the Nissan,
and it's a Nismo.
And Ross Noble stops by, to help us understand
his love of large machinery.
I'm thinking of keeping this as my family car!
That's right, this is Extra Gear.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Tonight, Chris and Rory embarked on an amazing Cuban adventure.
Let's get them out here to tell us all about it.
Chris and Rory!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello! Hey, George.
So tell me, how was Cuba?
Where do we start?
Amazing. Wanted to go there for a long time.
Didn't think I ever would, and I didn't think I'd go there...
in quite the capacity that I ended up going there in, really.
-What a remarkable place!
-Yeah, really is stunning.
I mean, we kind of get off the plane and you're in this time warp.
You see these incredible old cars,
everything looks different, there's this Communist vibe,
but it's in the middle of the Caribbean.
And the cars, that's what really strikes us.
They were... It was like '50s America, wasn't it?
They've kept these cars for years and years and years, right?
-Not everyone can afford these old classics.
So people that own the cars and drive them,
they tend to use them as taxis,
and the whole family owns these cars
so you have six, seven, ten people who club together to buy a car
because they can cost 50, 60, 70 grand, each car.
Maybe more, sometimes.
And, you know, each person takes a turn using the car as a taxi
to drive tourists around,
but, yeah, they're stunning to look at but...
kind of dig below the surface, they're not quite what they seem.
A lot of these cars have been...modified.
-They're a bit Frankenstein.
You know, a V8 from the '50s,
there's only so much you can do with it.
Once it runs out of being able to be re-bored and all the other stuff,
I mean, they had done everything they could, they gave up,
and they started fitting diesel engines.
But they're family heirlooms,
they get passed down from generation to generation in the way that,
you know, someone might pass down jewellery.
But they keep them going, somehow.
-I mean, the ingenuity to keep them going is...
amazing to behold.
Yeah, well, we've actually got a bonus clip
of a car that you found, Chris, which I think you fell in love with.
-This was at the drag race.
-Oh, I remember this.
I have no idea how this is going to turn out,
but this is a Buick from the '50s...
..that's kind of been Frankenstein-ed,
and I have to say...
..it might be the coolest car I've ever sat in!
Look at it! It's amazing!
ENGINE RUMBLES TO LIFE
That, in there,
is a Russian truck engine.
It's a Buick,
and the bodywork's entirely the work of the man that runs it.
And he drives it daily.
Look at the smoke!
This is what cars are all about.
It's not all about Ferraris and Lamborghinis,
This thing saw a revolution,
and it's still going now!
It's a special thing!
That meets EU Six emissions regulations...
The guy that owned it was so passionate about it, wasn't he?
-He'd inherited it, it was a '53 model year car,
he'd done the back end himself.
He was so proud of it!
It was like the bloke pulling the covers off, you know,
-like someone pulling off the covers to their new Countach.
And this engine that he'd put in it came from a Russian truck.
The clutch was...
-You saw there, was almost two legs for me to get it down.
And the gearbox itself was almost...
immovable, it was the most remarkably difficult vehicle
to drive but I just loved it!
If you had to get Cuba in a car, that was it.
And Rory, can we talk about your car when you were over there?
-So you had the Camaro. The 'Maro?
-He loves that nickname.
It's got a lot of attention over there.
It did. I mean, like we were saying earlier,
a lot of their cars don't use their original V8 engines
so these guys are seeing this bright red American sports car
that's pretty modern compared to what they experience
and it's still got the V8 inside so I'm driving around in this thing,
-and I'm on the right foot all the time.
-Giving it the big...
-Were you really?!
And they can hear the sound of this engine,
-and they're like, "Oh, my God, a car that still has a V8 in it?"
So not only was it quite beautiful to look at for those guys
but they were real passionate about hearing the sound of the engine.
And you didn't see this in the film, but I had a really...
weird American horn that...
MIMICS HORN PLAYING FIRST 12 NOTES OF DIXIELAND
..and I was letting that off every single place that I could.
It's a brilliant piece of editing
that managed to remove that from the film, for your enjoyment!
Actually, let's bring one thing up quickly.
We did a drag race which you saw in the main show.
Your car's meant to do 0 to 60 in what, six seconds, seven seconds?
-About six, yeah.
-Mine does it in nine seconds,
and I was still about half a second behind you all the time.
That shows, over the years, the 'Maro has matured.
OK, so, two things. 'Maro - no.
We're done with the main show, we can't hear that again.
Secondly, that's the worst "I didn't lose by as much as I thought" blag
-I've ever heard.
I will concede certain things about that Camaro.
-First of all...
Very, very clean design, it still looks good now.
It's one of the best-looking Camaros ever. It does look fantastic.
And I think, with the T-bar roof,
there were times where I was inside the Maserati sweating.
The aircon obviously wasn't working.
And before you leave, if you want to,
by all means open the door and experience the...
unique aroma of 20-year-old velour and whatever's in there, suede,
cos that thing smells like a dead rabbit's arse.
-It's absolutely horrendous!
Nothing to do with the fact that you spent a week in it?
-It didn't help, did it?
-Actually, it did smell better when I... No!
The Camaro looked like a great way to cruise the island to me.
Yeah, and a great way to pick up hitchhikers as well.
-We saw you both do that.
You seemed all right with them,
-as long as they were human.
-I've got a clip of you with the other guys.
HE PANICS LOUDLY
No, no, no, no!
No, dude, dude, dude, please! Please...
He's got a chicken!
Pollo loco! Pollo loco! Argh!
I think... Whoa! Whoa! No, no, no.
I'm done. Have the car. I'm out.
I am out.
Chris? This was a bad idea.
What were you saying to him?
-Er... No, no, no, no, no, no, no repeatedly.
-So, as we explained, if you run a government car in Cuba...
..then you have to pick up hitchhikers by law. So if someone...
Someone puts their hand out, you have to stop.
I'm trying to persuade this guy to let us, you know,
join in the Cuban spirit,
and I pull up alongside what was a pregnant woman and her mum,
I thought, and thought, you know, I'll do the right thing
and pick them up, take them somewhere,
then these guys run out of the bush from behind her and ambush me,
basically, with their two cocks...
-Cocks just out?
-Coming at me!
-Wasn't a good look.
Couple of things to add to that.
First of all,
the fighting cocks...
I'm going to say something on national television I'm going to regret forever, but...
Rory didn't like them, but they were actually quite calm
when they got away from him, and the guy that had them...
These things, they're really, really proud of them, aren't they?
A bit like their cars,
the fighting cock is something they're very proud of.
And they pluck their arses.
I can tell you now that one of the most pleasurable things
I've ever felt on my arm is a plucked chicken's arse.
When you sit it on your bum...
-Sorry, when you sit it on your hand...
-When you what?!
You feel... It's very warm,
and it's a very pleasing thing to sit on your hand.
And they are beautiful creatures, they really look after them,
You wouldn't say that if they were trying to peck the hell out of you.
While you were over there we saw a lot of different mods
on all the cars,
but there was one in particular which was kind of unusual.
I think they were trying to put you off in the drag race, Chris.
Let's take a look.
Dear Lord, that Ford in front was making some noise there.
ENGINE REVS, RATTLING
He also has a pair of testicles
dangling down from the back of his car.
I love the way they've gone to the detail of having veins as well.
Those things, I've been subsequently told by a North American friend,
-are called Truck Nutz.
And apparently they are a bit of a fad.
Although I gather they've now been banned in Florida.
But you can still buy them...
or get them in Cuba.
I mean, so the very worst of American culture's
still making it in. I think the Castro family need to sort that out.
If I was them, I'd ban Truck Nutz quite quickly.
Well, it's that time again, Chris.
Why don't you tell us what you've chosen
-to take round the track this week.
Tonight we saw Matt thrash the Mercedes AMG GTR around Dunsfold.
Well, now it's my turn to do the same,
but this time in a Nissan GTR Nismo.
Bit of a GTR theme this week,
so we thought we'd give what I still think is the original GTR a chance
to have some of the action on Extra Gear.
This is the Nismo edition.
I'm led to believe these things are quite sprightly.
Feels very flat and physical to me.
Something about these cars, I just love them.
So we've got nearly £150,000 worth of GTR,
that's about twice as much as the standard car,
so you can imagine the work that's gone into this thing.
600 horsepower now,
480 foot-pounds of torque
but it's all in these fancy lightweight wheels,
these tyres, this suspension.
I reckon it might have the legs on both the Merc
and the Porsche round here.
There comes the oversteer.
You can still fling it around, though.
I love these cars,
I can't believe that this R35 model is coming on nine years old now.
And it still feels fresh.
Still feels exciting.
I'm going to have a lift there.
Oh, that's fast.
The way you can trail brake it in,
and feel the diffs juggling all the power and the brakes around.
Love that feeling.
And then over the line, with no sliding this time.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
That was surely the fastest thing you've driven on Extra Gear, right?
Oh, yeah, that's a weapon, that thing. You saw how flat it was.
It looked edgy and grippy, didn't it?
You're cynical about how much it costs,
and then you drive it and you think, yeah, it's a £150,000 car.
-It's THAT, that good.
Well, I think we might need another view on the Nismo.
What do you reckon? AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yes.
Let's bring out Ross Noble!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Ross, how are you doing, mate?
-Have a seat.
-Have a pew.
-Welcome, Ross, welcome to Extra Gear.
-It's nice to be here.
What do you think about the Nismo?
Is that what it's called?
-That red thing? Yes.
-Oh, that thing? Oh, sorry, the Nismo.
-I thought you meant the Nissan.
-That is a Nissan.
-Yeah. The Nissan Nismo?!
Clearly you love it.
-I went what?
-He's a big fan!
Do you care that little about fast cars?
Be honest, be honest.
It's... It's nice, isn't it? Look at it!
It's got all, like, shiny bits on it and...
You know about this stuff, don't you?!
The fact you said Nissan Nismo...
When you said Nismo, I went,
"He doesn't know how to say Nissan."
So what I've done is I've projected my own stupidity onto...
I really like that, I think it's really nice, yeah.
What do you like about it?
I like the name!
I've actually, after this afternoon,
I have actually got a little bit more of an appreciation
of what a sports car would...
would be used for, you know?
Do you think you might go and buy one, now?
No, I don't think so.
You're more into your big machinery, right?
-You know, I just... I like playing with things.
And I think the thing with the sports cars is it feels like
on the road you wouldn't be able to play with them.
Is that fair to say?
I don't know, I think...
I think they still feel fun.
The key to it is taking grip out of the car.
-The GT86 that you drove...
..shows that if you take some grip away, suddenly everything...
loosens up and becomes fun, you can feel the thing moving around a bit.
I mean, I did...
I had a Golf GTi for a while and that was like that, that was...
You'd literally get every single...
You could just go vroom, and it...
LAUGHTER That doesn't sound healthy.
Are cars not meant to do that?
It would go like this, right? It would go...
Oh, no, sorry, no, I didn't have a golf GTi, it was...
Ivor the Engine.
Jalopy, I had a jalopy. That's what I had!
We saw you tonight with Matt.
-That looked like quite a lot of fun.
I guess you've never thrown a jet ski into a shed
with Matt LeBlanc before?
Well, certainly not this week. It's...
Yeah, no, it was great, when I saw the jet...
Cos they had a big pile of stuff, and when I saw the jet ski...
I went, "Oh, just pick it up!"
In fact, when the cameras weren't filming,
I actually spent quite a lot of time picking up a canoe,
and just putting it on top of a shed,
and then I picked up a fridge and balanced that on the canoe.
And then... And then I was just piling them all up
and I think, I mean, I think both of us could probably...
We would still be out there now, I reckon.
Did you get his number at the end? Because you looked like...
It was really nice to watch,
it was like watching two people with a very rare medical condition
finally meeting. "Oh, you've got it, too!"
You know what's bizarre about it is the fact that, you know,
you watch him,
watch him in Friends or Lost In Space, or whatever you're a fan of,
and at no point would you think that is a bloke who loves diggers,
do you know what I mean?
It's just such an unlikely...
And it's real, we can assure you.
There's no fakery going on there, he loves heavy plant.
But I think there's a real...
You know, you don't have to go out and buy all this stuff,
-but, you know, you can hire it.
At low, low prices, from a reputable dealer.
What's the local hire place for a big digger going to be saying
-when you order the thing...
-They don't ask questions!
-Are you sure?
They don't ask questions.
"What are you going to do with it?" "Play with it!"
Is there a bit on the form that says,
"Will you be placing a shed on top of a fridge?"
I reckon if they said to you,
"Are you going to do, you know,
"important ground works at your house?" And you go, "Yes."
They would say, "Well, are you qualified?
If they say, "What're you going to do with it?"
"Put a canoe on a shed." "Yeah, all right, then."
No-one's going to get hurt, you know?
-So I heartily recommend that to anyone...
-Have you done that?
Have you... Have you rented something to play with it,
-or do you always buy it? Come on, be honest.
For me, if I want to do something, you know,
if I want to build some jumps, or to build something...
So there is a purpose to it,
but ultimately other than riding my motorbikes over,
around or through the thing that I've built, there's no practical...
There's no practical endgame to it.
Honestly, just go out,
even if, you know, say you live in a block of flats,
-just rent one...
-Knock them down!
Wait until it's dark, nip out there, move people's things around.
-Shall I tell you about my van?
-Oh, got to hear about the van.
-I've got a van!
I've got a Peugeot van and it's...
It's half sort of garage at the back so I can get the bikes in,
it's got a little living area with a little bed in it
and it's got a three-metre awning that comes out
so, from the outside, people think, "Oh, look,
"there's an elderly gentleman on his way to the Cotswolds,
"doing a bit of caravanning."
Boom! Open the back door...
-It's you and Matt!
It's only a single bed, we might have to change that!
You have all these big toys, you got the Defender as well,
but I know you, like me, travel all over the country for gigs.
I guess you don't drive the Defender or a tractor, do you?
I do sometimes, I sometimes take...
-When you say Defender or a tractor, that's the same...
-Oh, here we go.
Well, sometimes, you know, I'll see a farmer's field, just go off,
help out with a bit of ploughing,
and then back on the road and continue,
like The Littlest Hobo of the agriculture world.
So have you got a car that you gig in,
or do you always hire?
My car is a car that I think you've got some pretty extreme views on.
Ross, what's your least favourite car?
-Have you got one?! Really?!
Is that your car?
-Ross, tell them what your least favourite car is.
You work on this show, and you drive a Renault Megane?!
The Renault Megane is the...
Like, look at that! I mean...
That's mine, that's the one.
-Is that your actual car?
-You can see the gaffer tape there.
-Have you gaffered...?!
-A repair that I did myself.
-Brilliant. You can hardly tell.
-What's wrong with Meganes?
-I mean, apart from the obvious.
-Yeah, come on!
-No, I'm not on your side here.
-Oh, my God, I can't believe...
-What is it? Is it the styling?
Is it the way they drive?
-Never been in one.
-Or is it the fact they represent giving up?
-Just on life.
I've never been in one.
It's horrible. They look horrible.
I mean, let's be honest. They are a hideous... That back...
-Any car that markets itself...
-Do you remember the ad campaign?
-# Shaking that ass? #
And it was basically just like the main word
that they were trying to say was arse.
That had to be made post-watershed cos it was too sexy.
If being too sexy is a crime,
then lock me up!
When you've got your Megane,
if you're reversing in, do people go "Oh, hello, hello!"
Yeah, they like it.
Do people pop just a £10 note just on the back of the car,
-under the windscreen wiper?
Yeah! I'm liking the back of the car!
It's a horrible...
The back looks awful, but the main thing,
I don't know if it's something to do with the...
-..the sort of field of vision on it...
That's the bit I'm looking for. The blindspot.
I don't know whether it's got a bigger, like,
-just above the buttock...
-Oh, yeah, I can't see anything back there.
-The seat pillar.
-Yeah, because for some reason,
Renault Meganes, if you're on a motorbike,
I would say four or five times,
Renault Megane drivers have nearly wiped me out by just...
just not looking, you know? I don't know whether they're just...
-Or maybe they know about your views.
Or they don't even want to look towards the back of the hideous car,
-That would be it!
-So I think there's...
I don't know if there's...
Were they notorious for being incredibly dangerous,
-Was there a...?
-They were Car Of The Year in 2003.
Oh, shut your face!
-You love it!
-He does love it!
-He's going to walk away from here a broken man.
-I swear to God!
He's given me both barrels.
Yesterday he was going,
"Oh, Ross is a big hero of mine, can't wait to meet him."
You have just shattered his dreams.
You could get your own back, though.
I mean, Ross does drive what some people consider to be...
an abomination. Yeah!
Yeah, Chris, tell us what you think of this.
It's quite weird hearing such strong opinions offered about a car
-when you've arrived in that.
I don't even know where to begin.
Look at it.
It's got... It's got extended rear wheel arches. What's that all about?
-Yeah, and the body kit comes out, doesn't it? Look at that.
That's handy, isn't it?
-Rory, I mean, in all honesty, you quite like this...
-No, I do like the car.
-Rory loves it.
That is just an aggressive look for me,
and also it transforms the Defender,
The Defenders look quite basic and agricultural,
but you put the kit on it, and suddenly it's this menacing thing.
But I will pick up on one thing.
You have gone for purple callipers, purple brake callipers...
which you can't see! What is the point?
It doesn't even have brake discs, I can't see them. It's...
-Yeah, because it's...
-They saw you coming.
That'll be £500, please, sir.
It's extra for the purple! Yeah, well, you know,
when I was having it done, they went... There's a list of things.
What do you want the seats to be like?
What do you want this to be like? And they went... Brake callipers?
But the inside's cool, you've got the quilted leather seats,
-bucket seats too, I noticed.
-Yeah, bucket seats!
You know I love the fully murdered-out look.
Murdered-out, is that it?
There's a whole load of things you learn about with Rory
-when you work with him...
-Black alloys, bodywork, windows...
Yours isn't fully murdered out, it's partially murdered out.
-What, cos it's got the purple on it?
-Exactly, that ruins the look.
I like to think it's manslaughtered.
-And to think what that thing cost!
-Yeah, I spent...
a stupid amount of money on it, and...
I'm fully aware it was...
You know what, it is possibly the stupidest...
It's the stupidest thing I've ever bought.
-That's why I brought it today.
We're going to have to wrap things up.
Can we get a round of applause for our guest, Ross Noble?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Cheers, Ross. Rory, what've we got coming up next week?
All right, well, Extra Gear goes behind the scenes
as Matt, Chris and I take to the high seas in Monaco,
and Chris gets behind the wheel of the brand-new Audi TT RS.
Can't wait! We'll see you next week for more Extra Gear.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In this week's episode, Rory and Chris tell us what it was like driving across Cuba together.
Chris gets his hands on the Nissan GTR Nismo and takes it round Dunsfold, and Ross Noble stops in to explain his love of large machinery.