The trio pull in at a service station, where Jeremy has to practically crawl from his car due to the “fantastically uncomfortable” seats and can’t get the gas cap to close. He employs a hammer and later Hammond (literally standing on the rear of the car) to hit it back into place. After that incident, they arrive at the former Jensen Motors factory, now a shadow of its old self, and wax poetic about what was. “It’s not that we don’t make sports cars anymore,” Jeremy says, “We don’t make anything.”
On the way to their overnight destination, Hammond fears he might be roasted alive in the Lotus, so he pulls over. Not wanting to publicly admit that, however, he declares it time for a picnic instead. James’ car makes a horrendous noise as he pulls it into the parking lot of where they’ll be staying. None of this inspires confidence, so of course, let’s bring on a safety test!
The following day, the boys have to drive their cars underneath a semi and see what happens. They quickly decide only one of them should do it, and volunteer Jeremy for the task. He and his eight-track tapes take off, and he clears the underbelly of the truck unscathed. Wow. They move on to Richard’s actual birthplace of Solihull, where they’re ordered to go through a petrol station car wash and see if their vehicles flood. Richard gets a little wet, but the worst of it goes to the Stig, in a Ford Escort. By the time he gets done, it looks like a fishbowl.
The team next gets sent to a garden center, of all places, where they’re challenged to see how much they can cram into their cars. This is pretty much an excuse to see what stupid stuff they can drive around with. James has a shed, Jeremy picks two trees, and Richard has found a garden statue of a naked woman (and an urn). The whole caravan heads for Blackpool and the old TVR factory, which gets them all sentimental just like the Jensen factory.
Of course, in typical Top Gear fashion, no one can agree which one is the best.
Star In A Reasonably Priced Car
Jeff Goldblum is tonight’s guest on “our poky motoring show,” as Jeremy puts it, and is immediately confounded by Clarkson’s British vernacular. They discuss Goldblum’s reputation for playing a nerd in all of his major roles, and Jeff plugs his current West End role in Neil Simon’s Prisoner of Second Avenue (which of course is long over by the time us US folk are watching this episode). He also tells Jeremy he’s still driving the free Mercedes-Benz W163 he got after that car debuted in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Jeff (and Doctor Who‘s Christopher Eccleston besides) apparently can’t drive a manual car. We know this because Jeremy tells him that he did his entire lap in third gear. Jeff tries to blame it on the Stig, but no one believes him. It’s not surprising that his lap time is 1:49:0, which is faster than only two people on the board, but at least it’s not dead last.
This is the last episode of this series of Top Gear, so I’ll be turning off the lights for awhile until the US version debuts on the History Channel later this month. Bring on series 16!