Motoring news and views. Jeremy, Richard and James immerse themselves in the world of classic cars to find out if they really are more fun than modern machines.
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Tonight, I wear some goggles...
Richard falls down a small slope...
and James says hello to a man!
All right, mate?
Hello. Good evening. Thank you, everybody.
Thank you. Thank you!
Now as we know, the real world where we all live is full of dreary cars
like the Renault Scenic and the Toyota...
-whatever this is.
Which is why, in the fantasy world that is Top Gear,
we prefer to feature things that are a bit more exciting,
a bit more dinosaurish.
..it's the natural home of the quad cam 84-litre carnivore.
-From the massive Murcielago
-..to the agile Ariel Raptor,
we have them all.
We even have a keeper capable of taming them.
The Top Gear test track?
-It's Jurassic Park!
This week, though, there are no T-rexes.
There are no raptors. There are none of those...
Pssp! ..spitty things.
This week, Top Gear has gone all Springwatch.
This is the new BMW Z4.
It's not mid-engined.
It isn't a fire-breathing monster that runs on
brimstone and baby owls. It's just a common or garden sports car.
I didn't like the old Z4.
I though it was too ugly and mostly driven by people
who spent their evenings wife-swapping.
I don't know why I thought that.
It's just whenever I saw someone with a Z4, I thought,
"Those car keys. I bet they spend less time in the ignition
"than they do in a pot round at Muriel's house."
Given the choice,
I'd have bought a Mercedes SLK instead.
In fact, I did.
This, however, is the new Z4 and while it may not be much of a looker
with the new aluminium roof up...
..it is fantastic with it down.
It's sort of...
Uma Thurmanish -
perfect, but you can't really explain why.
It's the same story with the interior.
It's very different to any other car,
and that's good - and so's this!
That long, priapic bonnet
houses a three-litre engine which is boosted
by two turbo chargers.
Actually, it doesn't feel like a pair of turbos.
It feels like a pair of testes.
Big, meaty ones!
Obviously it's not a raptor,
but since I'm now doing
..it's not a cow either.
The best thing about this car, though,
is how it feels to drive.
The old Z4 was too hard.
Getting into it after a hard day at work was like getting home
and flopping down on a sofa made out of Chuck Norris.
This one, though,
they've done what Lotus did with the Evora and Jaguar with the XF -
they've softened it down.
Don't think, however, it's become a hopeless wallowing herbivore.
That intrinsic BMW-ness is still there.
It's got that wonderful sense that when you turn into a corner,
that the whole car is pivoting around your hips.
Who'd have thought I'd come right down the food chain this week?
I'm in Kate Humble's hedge and I'm loving it!
Today, I'd buy a Z4
over a Mercedes SLK in a heart beat.
In fact, I'd rather have one of these
than almost any of the Top Gear dinosaurs.
It is that good!
'Before we move on, though, there is another new car
'in the Springwatch section of Top Gear's wildlife park.'
(Look! Look! There it is.
(That is a brown Datsun.
(I realise, of course, that you might think...
(that here in the whole world of pterodactyls and peacocks
(it's a bit of a hen, but you should see what it can do.)
I'm hanging its tail out.
I'm revelling in the short wheelbase,
the taut rear-drive chassis.
I'm on the straight and I'm UNLEASHING
Eat my exhaust fumes, dinosaur!
This is the new Nissan 370Z GT...
..a shortened, lightened, more powerful version of the old 350.
Prices start at £27,000, and that makes it very cheap,
especially when you look at all the equipment it has.
I've even got something called a "Synchro Rev Match system".
OK, so I'm in fourth gear, yes? Want to change down to second.
-You hear that?
It revs the engine
so the road speed is matched to the revs - makes the change smoother.
That's very simple and very clever. I like that.
As a heart starter, this thing eats the BMW for breakfast.
It's got 26 more horsepowers for a kick-off.
It's a lot more... exciting as well somehow.
And even this GT version,
with leather seats and the rev-o-matic gearbox,
is five-and-a-bit thousand pounds cheaper.
THIS is a RACING hen!
There is just one problem with it, however.
It's very nasty.
It's fine here on the track,
but on the road it's so hard and harsh.
It's also VERY noisy
and it's not a nice noise either.
VIBRATING LOW HUM
I'd rather listen to my own firing squad.
The worst thing about this car, though, is that if you had one,
you'd never get invited to a wife-swapping party.
People would think you were a bit...
-What do you mean?
-It's not good enough. It isn't.
-..I love it!
-It's got something.
Honestly, if somebody said to me,
"You have to have one of these for the rest of your life," I would be delighted.
-I love it.
-It's a brilliant car,
however, we must now find out how fast this, and indeed the hen,
go round our track, which, of course, means handing them over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that on Thursdays he becomes incredibly bulbous...
..and that recently, pigs in Mexico have started to die of something called "Stig flu".
All we know is he's highly contagious.
SQUEAL OF TYRES
And they're off! I have to say, these cars aren't really comparable.
The Nissan is loud and aggressive, the BMW more day-to-day,
but they both look tidy through the first corner there.
Yep, no problems at all.
Oh, dear, it sounds like two sets of bagpipe music there.
Hard to tell really with bagpipes. Anyway...
we're round Chicago nicely. Coming up to Hammerhead.
The BMW might be having a bit of understeer there. Yes, it is!
But at least he's OK with the gear change,
because the Stig's in the automatic, which BMW say is actually faster.
BAGPIPE MUSIC CONTINUES
So to Follow-Through.
My word! Now the BMW's got an oversteer!
I've never seen that there before!
The Nissan has no problem at all. Two corners left.
The BMW kicking out its tail again!
The Nissan rather boring in comparison.
But... Oh, now look at it! It's showboating! And there they go!
-Across the line!
Mmm? Now...here we have the Nissan, look.
The Nissan did it in 1 minute 27.5, and the BMW...
1 minute 28.2.
So that goes...
there. So what we're saying here,
really, is, er, buy the BMW, because it's slower,
less exciting, more expensive and less well-equipped.
And now the news. And the big news this week - the government wants to put up signs on the motorway
telling drivers to pull over at the next junction, get out
and swap their car for public transport, which is kind of puzzling.
Why, when you're in the car already, would you want to stop
and then get on a train?
It's like going to the cinema and a sign on the screen saying,
"Have you thought about reading a book?"
-It's too late!
-I'm in the cinema!
-What are the signs going to say?
"Don't need to be on time or near where you want to go?
-"The railway station is next left."
"Something missing from your commute?"
A foul smell from a stranger sitting next to me. Is that what they intend for us to do?
I tell you what. You know the government announced earlier this week that 60,000 people
are going to be laid waste by swine flu? What they ought to be telling us
is under no circumstances use public transport.
-That's the point.
-The funny thing is...
-swine flu is getting a bad press.
-Have you noticed?
-It is. They're saying it's bad for the economy,
because no-one will buy anything and there'll be a lot of absenteeism,
but parking spaces for the rest of us will be easy to find.
LAUGHTER That's a good point.
Now, there's a new Range Rover. We had it in the studio last week, OK?
It's got a new bumper and new engine, but that's not important.
What's important is it's got cameras in its headlamps looking forwards,
one in the back looking back, and two on either side looking down.
It's for off-roading, so you can see tree stumps and bears in your way...
They feed the picture to the screen - sat-nav screen -
but it doesn't turn off when you're going along on the road.
-And you've all different cameras on?
You're sitting in there, you've got five different feeds coming in,
-but you can choose which one you want. It's like being a sports director at Wimbledon.
I'm coming to the crest of a hill. I'll have that one. Nice.
Reverse. Go to the back one. Get the exhaust noise.
-It is FANTASTIC!
Isn't it a bit distracting?
-God, it's unbelievable!
You're not allowed to talk on a mobile phone these days,
but you can direct Ben-Hur while you're going along. It's just...
I haven't got to the best bit. In London at Holland Park, a very pretty girl in the car behind, yeah?
Very pretty! Switched to rear camera...
..and then I found you can zoom in
on parts of the girl in the car behind!
So it's got lech-o-matic?
It's perv-vision. The traffic lights are going red, green, and I'm...
It was just fantastic!
Last week, a piano was accidentally dropped on a Morris Marina as we were filming.
Last time this happened,
the Morris Marina Owners Club,
which is like the provisional wing of the Morris men,
-were absolutely furious.
-They went berserk.
There's been a lot of internet activity on the Morris chatroom.
"I'm going to send an e-mail to the BBC and I don't care if they don't read it!"
-Now, that's what they said last time, OK?
This time it's getting worse.
They said they'd get physical. I'm quoting now. One of them says - and I'm not making this up -
"If I see Jeremy Clarkson in the street, I will poo into my hand and throw it at him."
What?! They'll poo into their own hand?!
What a stupid way of getting someone. It's like an assassin lining up on the target
and shooting them through his own head!
The thing is, last week when we were making the film, you probably saw, out in France,
there was doubt as to who owned the car that you ended up driving.
Was it the wife of the president of the Morris Marina Owners Club or the wife of the President of France,
who is, of course, Carla Bruni? That was cleared up this week,
because Carla Bruni went to Nelson Mandela's birthday party in New York
where she sang a song which clears everything up.
MOCK TRANSLATION OF SUNG FRENCH:
APPLAUSE Now we know.
Now, we are constantly being told, mostly by people who wear slacks,
-that classic cars are more fun than modern ones.
There was a yes over there. The thing is, though,
we weren't sure, so the producers gave each of us £3,000
and told us to go to a classic car auction in King's Lynn,
which is famous for being nowhere near anywhere else in the world.
They said we could buy anything we wanted as long as it was built before 1982
and then, when we had cars, there would not be the usual series of small challenges but one big one.
'After a 2,000-mile drive, we arrived...
'at the wrong place
'and then the right one
'where, inside the shed...' All right, mate?
'..there were many cars to choose from.'
"The Teesside Yesteryear Motor Club."
How much do I not want to go out for dinner with anyone who's a member of that(?)
Yeah, a '68 Daimler.
It's V8, but a tiny capacity, so a busy little engine and too expensive unless it goes cheap.
You never know.
'As the start time neared, we took our seats.'
This is the first time I've ever been to a car auction.
-It's fantastically exciting.
-We could leave with anything.
At auctions in the past, normally I'm the one at the back, drunk out of my mind,
-bidding for signed rugby balls.
Ladies and gentlemen,
-we will now get the first car in.
-Here we go.
-Here we go.
-What is that?
-A London taxi.
-A Lanchester LJ 200.
-"1953. No documents. Condition - three."
Who'll start me? 500? Quickly!
500? 500, thank you, sir.
-500, I'm bid.
-What are you doing?!
-Getting on with it.
It's the first one.
-I'm doing what they did in nightclubs in Yorkshire.
-700, I'm bid.
-I'm going ugly early. Go in, get the first one you can.
-It's a car. I'm after it.
-Give it to me.
Thank you, sir.
-You bought it?!
-Look at the back of it(!)
-What do you mean "go ugly early"?
-You go in...
I did it in nightclubs. When I was in Ripon, you'd walk in
and the first girl that's breathing, you go to her and go, "Hi, love, how are you doing?" You've pulled.
Your mates, thinking in a minute Ursula Andress is going to turn up, and she didn't, were stuck.
'The next lot was a tasty Ford Cortina.'
Hang on. Hang on.
On my right, 220. 220. 240. 260. 280? 280.
300. At 320. 320...
-You're still in it.
I'm not sure. I want a convertible.
Oh, have it! If you chicken out now, you won't get it.
Go on! Come on!
..530. Quickly! 540.
No, I'm hanging on. I'm hanging on.
'Several terrible cars came and went.'
What the hell's this?
-It's an Austin 7.
-I'm not interested.
'Then, finally, a convertible arrived.'
'And Top Gear's auction new boy went mad.'
At 3,000. At 3,000.
-You're making a mistake.
-What are you bidding on?
-Have you thought...
-Holy BLEEP! I've bought THAT!
-How much have I paid for it?
-I've got 600 of my own money in that?!
Oh, my God, what have I done?
'Well, at least he'd done something,
'unlike James, who, as car after car went by...'
'..still refused to buy.'
You will see. My patience will be rewarded.
-Come on, you want a Spitfire.
-No, I don't.
James, it's in budget. You like the colour.
'James was being so stubborn, I decided to bid on his behalf.'
-Did you just bid on that, you halfwit?
-With your number.
James, I'm warning you, if you don't buy something in a minute...
This is mine. It's a Bristol,
but it's got the wrong engine, so it's not worth much. Watch this.
Someone start me 5,000. 5,000 bid. At 5,200.
-That's you stuffed, then, isn't it?
I wanted that.
-So, Captain Cautious, what are you gonna do now?
You're starting now to look like you're in trouble.
-There's plenty more stuff coming through.
-We're now coming up to the last lot.
-The very last lot.
-I don't want that.
Seriously, what do we do, because I don't want a Citroen? I don't want it!
-550, 600, 700...
-You've got to bid, mate.
You've got no choice.
-You've got no...
-You've got to buy it, mate.
-It's a lovely colour.
At 1,500... The name, sir?
Worth every penny!
'It was time to inspect what we'd bought.'
Look at it in here.
It's like driving around in a radiogram.
Listen to that... Oh.
-This has not got an MOT, has it?
-I'll book it in.
The first thing they're going to say is you're running on...
-An odd number.
-Three. That's good.
We'll get the fourth one going, and it'll be fine. I'm confident. This is a classic.
'And it was a damn sight bigger than Jeremy's classic.'
This is going to be a remarkable thing, watching you fold yourself into a Midget.
-It isn't a Midget.
-It's an Austin-Healy.
-It's a hairy-chested man's car.
-No, that's the big Healey.
This is a little tiny Healey built in the same factory as the MG Midget.
The only difference between this and a Midget is an MG badge.
Let me help you.
There, you see!
Let's do this scientifically. There's the top of the windscreen.
'Still, at least my car wasn't medieval.'
In 1977, you couldn't drink the water in France, and they hadn't heard of an ignition key.
How about that?
What a dismal racket.
'It was time to receive our challenge.'
"You have been entered in a classic time trial rally
"on the sunshine island of Majorca."
Ah! Majorca means...?
Bad food, prawn shells in everything...
-Driving on the other side of the road.
-They drive on the wrong side of the road.
-My steering wheel's on the wrong side of the car.
-"You have two weeks to prepare your cars
-"and ship them there."
-For a classic time...
I know what they are. My wife does these.
They're those ones where you have to get from A to B on difficult roads
and you have to average a certain speed within the speed limit,
but you have to average it. We are talking some properly anal stuff here.
-How do you make a car ready for a rally?
-I don't know.
'To find out, we took our cars for a spin.'
So, faults. Let's just go through the faults.
That window won't wind up, no big deal,
and the hood here doesn't fit properly. Other than those tiny things,
it's ready to rally, this one.
Power - 32 horsepower, to be precise.
'While waiting for a booking at the MOT centre,
'I discovered something amazing.'
Hold on a second.
My granddad worked at Mulliners, the coachbuilders.
And in the 1950s, when he was there,
they were making Hillman Humber Standard
and Lanchester. This car's 1953,
so my granddad built this car!
This actual car, he was working at Mulliners and this is what he did,
he was a coach builder. He built this car!
'While Richard was having his Who Do You Think You Are? moment,
'I was not very far away,
'still not going very fast.'
0-60? I'll give you a few seconds to have an educated guess.
No. 31.7 seconds.
'Meanwhile, I was getting acquainted with Granddad's craftsmanship.'
Oh, God. Third isn't working. HORN HONKS
I can't get anything past second. HORN HONKS
No. Granddad didn't do the gearbox. That's a Daimler gearbox.
HORN HONKS Sorry!
This armrest is adjustable.
I'll adjust it up a bit... Oh.
My granddad didn't build that bit. That was somebody else.
Day off, maybe.
'Eventually, I made it to the MOT centre.'
ENGINE TURNS OVER
'Meanwhile, in the Healey...'
God, it's even got quick steering.
Everybody knows a horror story about someone who bought a car at an auction.
But what you have here
is a fairy story.
Quite by accident, I've bought a genuinely brilliant little car.
'Unlike Richard, whose MOT inspection was now finished.'
You've got a hydraulic pipe that goes to the floating master cylinder,
and that's leaking fluid quite badly.
-It's a wonder you got here with it.
The nearside front trunnion top and bottom is badly worn,
the other side is following quite closely behind it.
The brakes on the back are about 83% out of balance.
You're got a brake hose, which is floating,
which is pouring fluid out of it. The shackles on the back of the spring hangers
are in very bad condition as well.
Most of the shackle pins and bits and pieces are very badly worn indeed,
and there are pins missing. No headlights...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Come on, then, Hammond! Come on.
How bad was it?
That's what came back.
-I've had worse than that! Oh, blimey.
That's the actual list.
That is the list of everything that was wrong with Granddad's...
We'll pick that up later on, but now
it is time to put a star in our reasonably priced car.
Yes, it is, but the extraordinary thing is, I bet almost none of you have ever heard of him.
He is the lead singer with AC/DC.
Ladies and gentlemen, Brian Johnson!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Can't believe you're here!
What a star! You've come!
Have yourself a seat, Brian.
I am properly fascinated by how you've achieved it,
because everybody knows Jagger, Daltrey,
David Van Day, everybody knows the lead singers
with these big bands.
But Brian Johnson? How have you managed to stay anonymous?
I think the band... It's just the way we do things.
Stay under the radar.
You never see you on anything. You're never at a glittering gala do,
you're never at Elton John's... No, you wouldn't be.
When I said, "Brian Johnson's coming on the show" to friends,
they went, "The cricket bloke? He's dead."
-That's Brian Johns-TON.
-We enjoy keeping quiet.
We can live a normal life, you know.
Is this right? Black Hawk Down, obviously we've seen the film,
-but it was used as well, AC/DC.
the helicopter pilot that went down,
he'd been shot and he'd been beaten, and they put him in a cell,
and he thought he was finished. They kept coming and beating him.
His pals knew that AC/DC were his favourite band,
so they hooked a big speaker on the skid of a helicopter
and they played Back In Black and Hells Bells
and they flew over the city and he dragged himself up
and took his shirt off and waved it out the window
so they knew where he was and they went down and got him.
He's a good friend. We talk to each other.
It's good when stuff like that happens.
That is a fantastic story.
We could rap about AC/DC for some considerable time,
but you're here because you are a massive, massive car fan.
-Is that not...?
-Since I was a kid.
Me father knew there was something wrong with us
when I'd be walking down the street going, "Javelin, Dad."
It drove him nuts, so he went to the scrap yard and got a steering wheel
and he stuck a stick through it and put it through me bed head and put some pillows on it
and said, "There you go."
What, so that's a car?
That was me car. It was brilliant.
Although there was wallpaper there, I couldn't see it.
I just saw the rest of the world and I just drove for hours.
Obviously - we're talking here about good, honest, salt of the earth, working-class Geordie upbringing -
the original cars that you finally got once you were old enough, they were all what?
Me first one, which was fabulous, it was a Ford Popular sit up and beg,
which had a beige exterior and a salmon pink interior.
But it was mine, it was freedom. Brilliant.
-You presumably go through the Mini phase at that point.
-Mini phase was very important,
because then you didn't have to hide the Ford Popular round the corner when you went to parties.
The Mini was cool. Was it a Cooper?
No, I tried to make it look like a Cooper.
I put them little spready things on the back wheels and I put go-faster stripes on.
But it had sliding windows,
and they were very handy with the girls in the back.
You could get their...
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
-I know what you mean!
-Sorry. I'm sorry.
And obviously then AC/DC came along.
-So what did you get? Heavy metal band - heavy metal cars?
I love me classics.
I bought an old Triumph Roadster, 1948.
Now I drive a 1928 Bentley Le Mans 4.5 litre.
-That's got the throttle pedal...
-In the middle.
That's a bugger.
Sometimes, you know, when you're going round a corner,
"I'll just break... Oh, bugger!"
It can tighten your bottom a bit.
It makes your arse go like a rabbit's nose.
So what's your day-to-day wheels now?
Er, a Phantom.
Me favourite car in the whole wide world.
12 funnels of fun there, Jezza!
-It is the most fantabulous piece of engineering.
When I turned 60, I thought, "I'm gonna get meself something special."
-Are you over 60?!
-I'm 62 in October.
Hoo-hoo! I'm impressed.
I am very... Rock'n'roll has suited you.
Yeah, aye, but...
Obviously, we could sit here and talk cars, and I'd be happy to do that
literally all day long,
but you came down to do your lap. How was it?
The best time I've had since I started the tour.
I've been sitting in the back of a car getting driven everywhere.
I just had a great time.
Who here would like to see Brian's lap?
Let's play the tape. Let's have a look how you got on.
# Is you is or is you ain't my baby..? #
Let's see if this love of cars translates into an ability to drive well.
stabbing that one in nicely... Ooh, I say.
That was good.
Nice and easy, like gravy.
Wouldn't have thought gravy was easy, but there we are,
that's tidy as well. No real problems there.
Keep it cool, yeah, son.
Go on, son!
You're being smooth and violent at the same time,
which is quite an achievement. That's perfect.
That is bang on.
# Oh, you must remember this... #
No need to ask if you were flat out through there.
I'm guessing this'll be quick. It is!
And now we're coming up to the second to last corner.
That's beautifully done.
Gambon, is that going to catch you out?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Because it looks like when Ellen MacArthur came here -
not dramatic, but you just looked quick. So...
Where do you think? I wouldn't bother looking down here...
Anywhere in the second middle!
-Yeah, just about there.
With Hugh Grant and so on.
-That would be nice.
-I've got the time there.
So what are we looking at? Jay Kay is up at the top, 1.45.8.
Kevin McCloud, Simon Cowell, 1.45.9s...
So, Brian Johnson, the man nobody had ever heard of...
..you did it in, well... One...
You're killin' us!
You are the second fastest man!
Brian Johnson, everybody!
APPLAUSE DROWNS SPEECH
Exactly the same as Kevin McCloud off Grand Designs, Simon Cowell,
Jay Kay will have just babbered himself!
I've so enjoyed having you here today. I'm just amazed how many gifts God bestowed you with!
Great singing voice, nice chap, anonymity, and now can drive a car like an angel.
Ladies and gentlemen, Brian Johnson!
What a man! What a man!
Earlier on, we bought three classic cars from an auction.
A 1953 Lanchester,
-a 1977 Citroen Ami 8 and a 1969 MG Midget.
-It's a Healey!
-BOTH: It's a Midget.
-It's just a Midget!
Anyway, we then discovered, after we'd bought the cars,
that we had just two weeks and hardly any money to get them ready
for something called a Regularity Time Trial Rally, which was in Majorca.
Sadly, Hammond had spent all his budget, and lots more besides,
getting the Lanchester his granddad had built to work.
But for once, Jeremy had done a good job, and as usual, so had I.
However, before we could get going, we were given new instructions.
On a classic rally,
you need a co-driver to operate the timing gear and read the maps.
But don't worry, the producers have provided one for each of you.
-I'm not worried.
My betting is these co-drivers, whatever we've got in our mind now,
-I'm not certain...
-Is not what they have provided.
We weren't wrong. James had been given Madison Welsh, a glamour model...
-..who has no interest at all in classic rallying.
-Have you honestly never done it? Not as a hobby or something?
-I've never done it!
-For me, things just keep getting better.
Because this is my co-driver, his name is Joan Verger,
he is the president of the Balearic Motorsport Federation
and an ex-Seat works driver.
Presumably you know the roads in the north like the back of your hand.
Do you speak...?
-Don't tell me he doesn't speak Eng...
-HE SPEAKS IN SPANISH
No entiendo. No comprendo.
JEREMY BURSTS OUT LAUGHING
Richard, meanwhile, had been given a keen amateur mechanic called Brian Wheeler.
No, it does that, it's fine. Imagine this in a rallying situation.
The idea is we get points deducted for being early or late,
-at the checkpoints we have to get to.
-I can't see.
Granddad didn't think of that when he built it.
The co-drivers didn't fill us with much confidence.
And then we saw the cars we'd be up against.
There were Lancia Stratoses, Mustangs,
Corvettes and endless Porsches.
-10 911s, 11, 12...
-I've never seen so many 911s.
-This Mustang is in our category.
-Oh, my God, how am I going to compete against that?!
And then we got even more bad news...
-You've had a great day?
-Well, when did it start?
Last night was the first stage, and this morning at 8.30am, we were out there. So, yeah.
-Five stages, yeah.
-OK. Thank you for that.
-What were they saying?
I don't know how this has happened. I imagine it's James's fault,
but we thought the rally started tomorrow morning. It turns out it actually started two days ago.
So, even before we'd started, we knew we had no chance of winning.
-At the very least, we are competing against each other.
-Why don't we just make it a private race?
-Whatever it is, it requires precision and patience, so you won't win.
-I bet you £25
-that I beat you.
And so, the next morning, two days late, with the wrong co-drivers and the wrong cars...
Does anybody here know how to zero the trip on an Austin Healey Sprite?
..we set off.
We've got no gear.
Not got a lot to talk about.
We had to arrive at various checkpoints at specified times
and then complete a number of special stages on closed roads
at a precise average speed. This wouldn't be easy in the Healey.
This is ridiculous.
My speedometer is saying I'm doing 60mph when I'm doing about 30...
no, 20. How are we going to be able to do average speeds when this is saying 60mph?
When we stop at the next bit, I'll write down some speed and distance formulae for you
so you can work out average speeds. There's only two you need to know. How fast we've been going,
how fast we need to go or how long we've taken so far.
You can use the two stopwatches,
-so you can say for ten minutes...
Does this car smell... healthy to you?
Actually, there is a slightly, um, oily smell.
So the roundabout is at 127, so add another 1km...
MOBILE RINGS RINGTONE: "Barbie Girl" by Aqua
'Still. Could be worse.'
Granddad didn't do the cooling system, so it can be a bit...
It's all falling out.
-So how long should we wait?
-About half an hour, for it to cool down.
-So we'll then have to go faster to make the...
-We will have to go a lot faster and, um...
-break a few rules, I think.
-It can't go much faster.
JAMES: 'Jeremy, meanwhile, was getting into the spirit of amateur rallying.'
We then arrived at the first closed-road stage,
which we would have to complete at a specified average speed.
-Si... The speed.
This...at what speed? Quanto...
-Which one's too tight?
Are you sure?
It's difficult to do this without actually getting hold of the work of the divine potter.
-No, what? 50?
50... No? Um...
I decided to just do it flat out.
Down into second... Clip the apex!
'This made Joan very angry!'
-No, rapido, no!
What's that mean?!
-Plus lentement? Rapido? Tranquilo?
'Meanwhile, in the Open University...'
When we get to this next one, stop that stopwatch and start that one at exactly the same time.
You then have a record of that one and that one is then timing it to the next one.
In fact, don't. That'll confuse us, because we have to take it away.
Leave that one running. Jot down what the time said.
We still weren't at the first stage,
and Brian was less than impressed with Granddad's Lanchester.
-Suspension's good, then.
-I hardly felt it on this side.
It's good, yes? Finish?
What time? Show me the time.
Time! Time, Manuel!
Can't see, can't... I've no idea.
I've just done something and I don't know what it was.
'As it turned out,
'what I'd done is go way too fast,
'which meant Joan had to do yet more sums.'
Can't talk to him. He's doing... literally sitting a maths exam.
But I bet the conversation in the bar at night is fun.
"I did more maths than you today."
"No, you didn't,
"I did more maths than you."
'In fact, the only person enjoying this less than me
'was James' co-driver.'
-Divide 60 by 55.
-Why do you keep saying that?
It's a 60 thing, like the Assyrians had.
There's not 100 seconds in a minute, there are 60,
-and that is a decimal...
-Times 0.85 by 60.
-Do you just like saying different numbers?
-What do I do at this roundabout?
-What do I do at this roundabout?
RICHARD: 'Brian and I had finally arrived at the first stage.
40 miles an hour.
So I'm driving about half the speed my car can go in order to win.
£25 is riding on this, Joan, £25, which is about 25 euros...
thanks to Mr Brown.
'To be honest, though, right now, my money was pretty safe.'
There would only be other cars here if they were lost in exactly the same way as us.
Left or right?
-Do you know that or are you just guessing?
There is a left somewhere. Is it only...?
There's hundreds of lefts in it.
I prefer you do too.
Don't do... Please, don't do that.
-Now! Go, go, go, go!
RICHARD: 'Finally, we were doing our first stage. However...'
-Where do I go now, Brian?
Can you see out of the car exactly where we're going or not?
-Well, I can see sort of the hills and the sky.
-I'll tell you what's happening in front of us.
-I can't get this gear.
-It's a very big steering wheel, isn't it?
-Granddad liked to make sure you had good, proper-sized wheels.
-It makes you look smaller.
Well, now, erm... OK.
Oh, God, look at the steam coming out the bonnet.
Oh, my word!
'Realising he'd got off to a bad start,
'James was now trying to charm Maddie
'with some romantic conversation.'
It's not actually an overdrive, but you need to treat it as one.
It's actually a ratio of 1 to 1.
-It simply locks the input shaft to the output shaft.
-I don't know what you're talking about.
Do you actually do anything to your hair?
I wash it occasionally.
-SHE GASPS You should wear a hair band.
Oh, why couldn't we get one of them?
That's a nice car. I bet that don't overheat.
RICHARD: 'Just after lunch, we made it to the lunch stop,
'where Jeremy explained that Brian and I
'had amassed the biggest number of penalty points in rallying history.'
So, I've got 3,600 points, the lowest points worth.
You've got 41,897.
And you've got 44,000.
-It's quite close between you two.
RICHARD: 'To punish Jeremy for his smugness,
'we decided to modify his car.'
That is now the heating jammed on?
-Yes, the only way to turn it off is to stop...
-And open the bonnet.
Lose vital seconds, or hours in his case,
because he won't be able to work out how to do that.
'But as we headed off to the afternoon stages,
'strangely, it was in the Citroen where things were getting hot.'
-I think it's in there.
-I can feel it.
-Yeah, it's a little tube.
-Ooh! That's little!
You can't have cracked lips.
RICHARD: I changed from first to third
in my gearbox, which means technically, I short shifted.
When I say short, I don't mean that... I'm not being rude.
You keep saying short, don't you?
No, I meant I short shifted. I wasn't being clever.
In the Healey,
my lunchtime smugness was starting to look premature.
GEAR SHIFT GRATES ROUGHLY
'This meant I'd have to choose one gear for the stage
'and then stick with it.' Here we go.
GEAR SHIFT GRATES ROUGHLY
SCATTERED APPLAUSE AND CHEERS
It's all going wrong for us this afternoon!
Also, I think the heater is on. Do you know how to turn it off?
'But Joan wasn't going to let anything mess up his maths.'
-IN SPANISH: Dale, dale!
-Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
We've got one gear, I can do nothing!
Vamos, vamos! Va, va, va!
I can't reach 50 kilometres an hour on this. It's impossible.
-Bueno, bueno. Fast, fast, fast!
-Yes, yes, yes.
Your handbag's in the way. God!
-They're laughing at the car.
-They're not. They're cheering us on.
OK, if you say so.
Why don't they speak English?
Because they're Spanish.
RICHARD: 'Following the shambles of the morning,
'Brian was now in a right mood.'
-Anything to let me know about?
-What about this massive tight left-hand bend here?
-I haven't got a map of the route.
I haven't got a map of the route.
Come on, you should talk to me. There should be a constant stream of instructions issuing from you.
Left turn coming up.
In a hairpin.
You're just telling me things you can see out the window now you've got a cushion!
HE GROANS WITH EXERTION
-Vaya a la derecha.
-We're losing the brakes.
-I'm losing the brakes.
-Perfecto. Vaya, vaya.
'Because the Healey was in such a bad way,
'I managed to cross the line in a slow enough time for once.'
-Is that good?
-Is that good?
And the Love Boat finished on time as well.
-Yep. Spot on.
Meanwhile, back in PC world...
I didn't mean Jeremy's car was rubbish because it's a Midget.
I just meant that's what it is.
It's an MG Midget...
It... I'm sorry.
Brian, it's making a bad noise.
And a bad smell.
This is... I think I may have to stop for a moment.
'This meant Richard would miss the final checkpoint of the day.
'James and I had no problems, though,
'because all we had to do was stick to a motorway.
'It was therefore impossible to get lost.'
-Are you sure?
Yeah, let's go there, it looks pretty.
You don't go there because it's pretty.
Well, there should be signs and there isn't.
Can you not work out...? Please can you take your hat off.
Please. Sorry, it's really lovely, but I can't see the cars coming.
-Now I've got flat hair.
-That's not important.
No, I want it in the front.
'Mind you, it wasn't exactly plain sailing for me either.'
Come on, please, traffic. Please, please.
How can they have a rush hour in Mallorca?
Nobody does anything.
Get up, throw a donkey off a tower block,
sit in a plastic chair by the side of the road, go to bed.
Where does the rush hour come from in that?
'Day one, then,
'of our first classic rally hadn't been a total success.
'However, day two sounded promising, because we were at a track.
'No more maths, no more stopwatches,
'just hour after hour of pedal to the metal action.
'Or so I thought.'
Each group does two rounds of four rounds each.
The first round of each round
serving as a reference time for the following three rounds...
'It turned out we'd set a time on our first lap
'and then we'd win if we matched that time on the next three.'
-Is that clear?
-No, I've got a question.
If you break down on your first lap,
-do you have to then break down on the subsequent three laps?
RICHARD: 'I decided to break down before we started.'
Oh, God! Have you seen the oil raining off my chassis?
-It's just raining oil!
Come on, she'll do it. She's got to do it. She's a good old girl.
That's fallen off. That's all... Yeah, I meant that.
THEME TUNE TO "LOVE STORY" PLAYS
-Have you done the other side?
-You're going to sparkle.
If you or I had done that,
-he would kill us.
-Yes, he would.
'We then hit the track to set our benchmark lap times.
'And I decided, because the Healey was stuck in third,
'to keep things steady.'
Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.
Set a nice, smooth lap time.
'James, obviously trying to impress Maddie, was being more vigorous.'
TYRES SCREECH Whoa!
Like a cross-Channel ferry!
-Your teddy bear on the spare wheel is not entirely helpful.
RICHARD: 'In the Lanchester, it was business as usual.'
Was it a sort of boiling hissing sound?
No, it was a clunking sound.
Oh, the temperature's right up as well.
You've got to ease up, you've got to ease up.
Yeah, but we've got to get the time.
'Despite everything, though, even an official telling me to slow down,
'we were all starting to enjoy ourselves.'
I've seen more cars that I wanted to own today...
and you can come here and you can talk to people,
-use words like 16-valve and not be embarrassed.
-You can be who you are,
talk about cars, drive like a lunatic on a track.
It's quite nice to be a car person again.
'Back on the track,
'the Lanchester seemed to be behaving as normal.'
-Temperature's gone right up.
'I was therefore confident I'd matched my original lap time.'
We did that 29 seconds faster.
That's a disaster if we're that far adrift.
'In the Love Boat, James, unaware that Maddie had decorated his helmet even more,
'was having the time of his life.'
I think we're coming up to your first stopwatch point.
Two minutes 36.
-Right, reset, then.
There you go.
'Sadly, our efforts were a bit pointless, because all Jeremy had to do to win overall victory
'was run calm and steady.
'And he knew that.'
He who shall be slowest shall be first.
I've got a big Mustang up my trumpet.
I don't like being overtaken.
It's a sign of weakness.
Let's have him.
What's Jeremy doing?
Out of my way!
No-o-o, no-o-o, no-o-o!
'My little car may have been a bit broken,
'but I wasn't going to let it get beaten.'
Ah-ha! You weren't ready for that!
'Joan even forgot the maths.'
No, this is very bad!
Yes, what do you think of that!
'But then the penny dropped.'
What I've done, I think, is accidentally got involved in a race with a Mustang
and ruined my time.
'Back at the pits, there was even more bad news.'
-So James May was perfect?
Damn it. I don't want to hear that.
James, you might be in with a shout at beating me.
Have you got your lap times?
They're pretty consistent. But we're only doing it to the nearest second.
He was only doing it to the nearest second!
-he may have a flower on his helmet...
..but he's still James May, so...
Have you put a flower on it as well?
That's what I was laughing at, there's a flower on your hat.
-Have a look.
'We now had to wait to see if James had pipped me at the post.
'But either way, it didn't really matter,
'because our three King's Lynn crocks
'had made it to the finishing line.
'And on the way, they'd wormed their way into our hearts.
'In short, on this glorious island,
'all of us, in our own way, had fallen a little bit in love.'
APPLAUSE DROWNS SPEECH
This is the bet, £25.
-So, who do I give it to?
Who do I give it to?
You give it, Richard Hammond,
to James May.
-He is the winner.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Anyway, I have to say, all of us have fallen in love with the cars we had out there
to such an extent that for the first time ever,
after a film, all three of us have actually bought them from the BBC.
I had to buy the Lanchester, Granddad built it, it's part of the family.
I do have a bit of a disappointment for you on that,
because, you see, I discovered -
-before the rally began, if I'm honest, um...
How can I put this? This particular Lanchester was built by Barkers, not Mulliners.
-Which means that what you've done is bought at great expense
a car built by SOMEBODY'S granddad.
-LAUGHTER Oh, God!
-On that bombshell, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to end.
See you next week. Good night.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May immerse themselves in the world of classic cars to find out if they really are, as the anoraks claim, more fun than modern machines. Armed with a budget of £3,000 each, they attempt to buy a pre-1982 car at auction. Rather than undertaking a series of challenges to see who has got the best deal, they are sent off to Majorca to take part in one very big challenge, a seemingly unfathomable classic car rally.
Also, Jeremy drives with dinosaurs in the new BMW Z4 and Nissan 370Z, and rock god Brian Johnson is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.