Top Gear/Season 3 Episode 8

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Season 3 Episode 8
Season 3, Episode 8
Airdate December 21, 2003
← 3x07
Season 3 Episode 7
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Season 3 Episode 9
Top GearSeason Three

Episode Eight of the third season of Top Gear, and is episode twenty-eight overall.

Guest Stars: Johnny Vegas



Mercedes-Benz 280 SL

Jeremy Clarkson takes a 1960's Mercedes-Benz 280 SL out for a test drive. A good one can be purchased for about 25,000 to 30,000 GBP (about 46,000 to 55,000 USD) and a bad one for about 10,000 GBP (about 18,400 USD). Mercedes still keeps parts for these old SL's an one can rebuild the entire engine for about 4,000 GBP (about 7,300 USD). Clarkson explains that this SL was manufactured back when Mercedes knew how to make cars — the paint alone weighs about 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds) — and there car doesn't come with much to go wrong with in the first place. The 2.8 liter engine develops 170 bhp, but it's just enough to move all the weight on the car and not much else.

Nissan Micra

Richard Hammond reviews the 9,000 GBP (about 16,500 USD) Nissan Micra. And he puts it up against a Boeing BBJ2 737, a 38,000,000 GBP (about 70,000,000 USD) private jet. But you can hire the BBJ2 737 for an hour for 9,000 GBP. The BBJ2 has moveable cameras on it allowing the passengers to view the outside of the plane whether on the ground or in flight. The Micra comes standard with keyless entry and keyless start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, CD player, climate control, electric windows, and four airbags. Hammond concludes that the Nissan Micra is better value than hiring a private plane for an hour. However, the Toyota Yaris is still a better car than the Nissan Micra.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

This week's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is Johnny Vegas, an English comedian. Jeremy Clarkson notes that Johnny Vegas doesn't have a driver's license. Johnny Vegas takes the Suzuki Liana around the test track in 1.58.6.

Aston Martin Lagonda

James May reviews the Aston Martin Lagonda — the most shocking car in the world in 1976. The exterior was daring, to say the least, and the interior was outright wreckless. May exclaims that the interior had more blinking LEDs than a Casio factory, and there were touch buttons everywhere. The problem, however, was that none of it actually worked. And the price was beyond belief at 50,000 GBP (about 92,000 USD), which would be about 180,000 GBP (about 331,000 USD) in today's prices. In twelve years Aston Martin only made 645. However, today you can buy a working example of the Lagonda for 15,000 GBP (about 27,600 USD).

Classic Wall

First up in the Mazda MX-5 (known as the Mazda Miata in the U.S.), which is placed in the Crock section as it's not rare or very interesting.

Next is the Nissan Bluebird (known as the Nissan Stanza in the U.S.). James May thinks it's interesting and beautiful, much to the chagrin of Richard Hammond and the audience. May places it up on the Classic section.

Next is the Peugeot 405 Mi16. Hammond thinks it's a classic because it was rare, interesting and beautiful.

Next is the Subaru Impreza Turbo. Someone in the audience yells that it's common, prompting Jeremy Clarkson to find him in the audience and tell him to shut up. May says it's interesting, not rare, and not beautiful. He puts it up in the Crock section.

Next is the Ford Fiesta RS1800. Hammond sticks it up on the Crock section.

Aston Martin DB9

Jeremy Clarkson takes a brief look at the Aston Martin DB7's replacement — Aston Martin DB9. It has the same engine as the DB7, a 6 liter V12 developing 450 bhp, but everything else is new. It's priced at 104,000 GBP (about 191,700 USD). Clarkson thinks its looks are absolutely fantastic.

Audi TT 3.2 V6

Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Audi TT 3.2 V6. Its flappy paddle gearbox has the next gear set to go, so gear changes only take 0.02 of a second. Clarkson says it's the only flappy paddle gearbox that actually works. However, there is a price — the Audi TT 3.2 V6 costs about 30,000 GBP (about 55,000 USD) which Clarkson believes is just too much. Back in the studio, James May notes that the Mazda RX-8 is about 7,000 GBP (about 13,000 USD) less than the Audi and the Nissan 350Z is 5,000 GBP (about 9,200 USD) less.

The Stig takes the Audi TT 3.2 V6 around the test track in 1.32.7.

Top Gear Generation Game

Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond had a disagreement about old cars vs. new cars. Clarkson believes new cars are getting slower, while Hammond disagrees. So they've decided to pit cars from their respective generations against one another on the test track in a 1/5 of a mile drag race.

VW Golf Mk. I vs. VW Golf Mk.IV:
The VW Golf Mk. I beat the VW Golf Mk. IV, giving a point for Clarkson.

Old Toyota MR2 vs. New Toyota MR2:
The new Toyota MR2 beat the old Toyota MR2, giving a point for Hammond.

Ford Escort Cosworth vs. Ford Focus RS:
The Ford Escort Cosworth beat the Ford Focus RS, giving another point for Clarkson.

Peugeot 205 GTI vs. Peugeot 206 GTI:
The Peugeot 206 GTI beat the Peugeot 205 GTI, giving another point for Hammond.

Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo vs. Nissan 350Z:
The Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo beat the Nissan 350Z, giving Clarkson the win.


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