Top Gear episode
Series 2, Episode 1
Original airdate 1 May, 2003
Guest stars Vinnie Jones
Episode chronology
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Series 1, Episode 8 Series 2, Episode 2

Series 2, Episode 1 is the name of the first episode in Series 2 of Top Gear. It is most noted for the first appearance of James May


Being the first episode in the series, it began with a montage of clips from Series 2.


Jeremy begins reviewing the Smart Roadster, comparing it to a pop video. He quotes; 'It's the kind of car that makes people go "Ahhh"'. But he states that 'pop' cars like that need a real world application or there would be no point in buying them. In other words, it needs to be a proper sports car, which doesn't seem likely because it has a microscopic 3-cylinder engine, a small top speed and an unresponsive gearbox. However Clarkson says that the  Smart has a convertible roof, which gives it some cred. It's a shame that it can hardly be used due to typical British weather. Jeremy also states that the Smart feels 'alive', which makes it put an enormous smile on your face. Finally he gives in and says that it's 'so fun and so exciting that it's fantastic.' Alongside other things he says that because Mercedes-Benz makes the Smart, you can say that you own a rear wheel drive, mid engined Merc. Back at the studio, he says that he wouldn't buy it because an extra 5000 pounds is added on to the Smart's cost after it has been converted to left hand drive. However, he says that you can't buy the Beetle or the StreetKa for the fact that the dash is too far away from the windscreen and that you can't buy the car if you are a man, respectively.

Cool WallEdit

They continue by seeing where the cars would go on the Cool Wall. Firstly comes the VW Beetle, whereupon Richard wants it in Cool but Jeremy in Uncool. Eventually Richard gets his way. Next comes the SportKa, where they unanimously deem it Cool. And finally came the Smart Roadster, where Jeremy puts it in Sub-Zero but Richard states that he could be wrong because the Renault Avantime, which Jeremy recently put in Sub-Zero, only sold 263.

Love/Hate WallEdit

Jeremy introduces the Love/Hate Wall, a collage of things he loves and hates. The Hate section includes things like stereos with a 'hello' message when they come on, paddleshift gearboxes and personalized registration plates. Richard then reveals that he made a list of his 5 worst cars ever which include in descending order the AMC Gremlin, the Peel P50, the Vauxhall Vectra, the Suzuki X50 and the Nissan Sunny

Destroying a SunnyEdit

This segment links on to the Love/Hate Wall segment, where Richard stated that the worst car is the Nissan Sunny. He says that the reason it was so bad is because of its blandness, calling it blander than celery. Richard then moves on to a Pontiac drag car, saying that it is difficult to get in to and that it has no reverse gear. However, he says that it does have one redeeming feature, which is the fact that the fire coming out of the rear can destroy cars, so he uses it to destroy the Sunny.

Star in a Reasonably Priced CarEdit

Actor and footballer Vinnie Jones is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, posting a time of 1:53 in dry weather.

James May ReviewEdit

Jeremy started off by introducing James May, who he called a 'blithering idiot'. James started off by saying that for the price of a Mondeo, you could purchase a Bentley (namely the Bentley T2). But he also says that you would have to be an idiot to do so because the cheaper ones are a 'bag of bowls'. James then says that the top dollar ones are much better and they are still the price of a Mondeo. He then says that he likes it due to the fact that it's daft and has lots of chrome and polished wood. However, he says that it's rubbish to drive and is monstrously heavy. He says it ruined his life because it costs 80 pounds to fill up and can't fit in his garage. It was 'bloody rubbish'. His conclusion was 'For the price of a Mondeo you can buy a Bentley. Don't'. Jeremy says that it wasn't his sort of car, but respectively it was James'. He says it was the coolest car he'd ever seen.


Richard begins by talking about the new 206 GT and the 206 GT Estate, saying that the Estate is 'pointless' and James says it is 'idiotique'. But Jeremy suprisingly likes it because it can fit a dog inside. He then moves on to the new cars, including the Renault Kangoo of which he likes, the Saab 9-3 which he says is a rebadged Vauxhall and finally the new Lamborghini Gallardo which has a 5 liter V10. James says it might have a problem, which is the fact that Lotus wants to copyright the shape of the Esprit, which is a problem because the Gallardo looks awfully similar. But James thinks the solution is to ring up Lotus and say that 'it's a piece of double gloster'. Richard moves on to talk about a man who styled a Toyota MR2 to look like a Ferrari F355 to escape insurance costs and then ran away because Ferrari could catch on to him. Richard labels him as a British hero.


Richard says that for the program he was tasked to find a cheap thrill, but failed and instead opted for the Bowler Wildcat, based on a Land Rover and with a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds. He says it was the 'best off roader in the world', comparing it to a Ferrari. He begins driving it on an off-road track an says that even though its price is around that of the M3, it has true racing pedigree. Richard says 'its fast in a whole new way'. He then goes on to quote 'I am a driving god!', which becomes one of the most famous quotes in Top Gear. Richard then takes a ride with Bowler racer Jim Wheely, who is an expert in the Wildcat. Richard was amazed how it could survive such rough territory. According to him, it's a true supercar. Jeremy later mocks Richard for saying that he was a god. The Wildcat later posts a time of 1:39.4, which is rather slow. Richard defends it by saying that it's still an impressive time.

Destroying a CaravanEdit

We return to the Top Gear Track, where Richard is again using the dragster from earlier on to scorch a caravan. The dragster burns it to shreds, where it is met with a round of applause.

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