Well, several months after Jeremy Clarkson punched a producer in the face, which ultimately got him sacked, Top Gear as we know it is coming to an end. Who knows what lays ahead for Top Gear with BBC Radio host, Chris Evans at the helm. We won’t get into whether or not Clarkson’s punishment is fair because like it or not, this is Evans’ show now. But to say goodbye, the final episode will be airing tonight on BBC2, for all of the lovely folks in the UK.
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I think it’s fitting, on the night of the final Clarkson, Hammond and May Top Gear episode, to talk a bit about the fact that it inspired so many of us to get into this goofy world of car enthusiasm. We’re a weird bunch, there’s no doubt about that. But watching Top Gear every Sunday made us feel like we were apart of such a big group. It made car enthusiasm seem less weird. It also brought people in from outside of our little world. I know of several people who say “I’m not really into cars, but Top Gear is a great show” or something similar. It made cars seem cool and fun and important.
As BMW fans, we know that there have been several episodes that give our Bavarian-colored hearts a great deal of happiness. As one of the premier performance and luxury brands for the last century, BMW has always been a big part of Top Gear. There’s at least one big BMW episode in every season. Some are hilarious, some awesome and some kind of insulting to the brand, like Clarkson’s X6 test. Yikes. But there has always something to bring us Bimmer fans back to the boys over in England.
One of my favorite BMW episodes didn’t even start off as one. All three presenters were tasked with buying bargain convertibles for under £1,500 and each one of them ended up with a E30 325i convertible of some sort. All of the cars were beat up and odd in their own way, with two being far worse than one of them. It was a genuinely hilarious episode.
Another great one was the E46 M3 CSL test by Clarkson on the Isle of Man. That was one of Clarkson’s best, showing how incredible the CSL can be given the right circumstances. It was funny, had awesome driving, great scenery and an incredible car. Simply one of the best road tests of a BMW ever, and the kind of road test that will be missed when these guys are gone.
So, to celebrate the best car show in history, tell us your favorite BMW-featured episode of Top Gear.