Top Gear as we know it now is in its 16th season of automotive mischief, hoonage and – somewhere in there – journalism. What we tune in for now, though, is a reborn version of a show that soldiered on from 1977 to 2001 before being cancelled and once again exhumed.
The original show only resembles the current version in two ways: the theme song is Dickey Betts' Jessica and Jeremy Clarkson is one of the hosts. Beyond that, it's a whole different animal. Looking at these videos, it's a wonderful thing that TG rose from the ashes of its former self into the show it is today. Looking at clips of the original series, it's a wonder it lasted as long as it did.
For the most part, there a batch of dour presenters with bad hair and worse suits giving us the goods on the latest version of cars like the Lancia Beta or Rover 216. In some places, the future lunacy of the show pokes through, but for the most part it's a very tame, and, yes, boring show.
Still, the clips of historic TG are entertaining, if for no other reason than Clarkson's hair and denim jacket collection. Here's hoping that Top Gear USA will itself enjoy enough time to metamorphosize into something bolder, funnier and harder-hitting as well. Thanks for the tip, Ryan!
[Source: BBC via YouTube]