Jeremy Clarkson is not by any means a quiet or gentle sort of person. In other words, he’s never been one to keep his opinions to himself. He’s always got a line to dish out to someone. He’s always got something to say about each and every car to pass through the show. He’s often got some harsh words for some big-name cars. But there are those times where he seems to get so attached to a car that he basically falls in love with them.
Below is a list of some of Jeremy Clarkson’s favourite cars. Some of which he’s only just played with on either Top Gearor Grand Tour and some of which he actually owns (or has owned). There is a very interesting collection of cars that I really would not have expected. I keep forgetting how much he loves those damned hot hatchbacks.
15. ’69 Ford Cortina
“I didn’t know there were other cars. I was raised in a Ford Cortina, only ever went anywhere in a Ford Cortina so I thought I better buy a Ford Cortina then.”
That’s it right there. That’s the very first car that Jeremy Clarkson ever had. I’m not sure he knew or cared much about what kind of car he got back then. He only got it because it was the type of car his parents always had. That’s a surprisingly sentimental reason for Clarkson to get a car.
“I got it in 1977. I just loved that thing, extra [spotlights] on the front … extra brake lights, fur-lined doors, race seats. I went to town on it”
I’m sorry. I get that it was his first car ever. But fur-lined doors? Race seats? Extra lights? In a Ford Cortina? Come on now. That is not a car to deck out like a racing machine.
14. ’86 Alfa Romeo GTV6
That’s a very interesting choice from Clarkson. Considering he also throws a Ford Fiesta in with the Lexus LFA and Lambo Aventador, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. And I guess I should be happy that at least the Alfa Romeo GTV6 is a bit better looking than a Fiesta. But still…it’s not like it’s a particularly great car. And that’s just from looking at it.
“The best and the worst I owned. It simply never worked but I loved it to death. It was like a really badly behaved dog.”
How could you be in love with a car that doesn’t work? I’d get that if you were in the process of rebuilding a classic Mustang or something, but if the car should work and doesn’t, I don’t think I could love it.
13. Ariel Atom 2
Clarkson loves this little car. He even talks about how while he was driving it, he couldn’t help but burst into spontaneous laughter. Even while the car was seemingly trying to kill him and the wind was smashing his face and ruining his hair.
“This car — if you can call it that — is motoring nirvana. Because there is no bodywork (actually, because there is no anything) it weighs less than 1100 lbs, which in automotive terms is an ounce.”
I have to say that I wouldn’t want to go very fast in the Atom. The “windscreens” (if you can call them that) hardly cover anything. It’s no wonder Clarkson commented on the intensity of the wind. “We’re talking motorbike performance here. But…it won’t fall over when you leave it, you don’t have to wear a helmet, and fetish clothes are not de rigueur.”
12. BMW M2
I do have to admit that this is a pretty car, and it’s definitely got some punch that might make James May a little nervous. Speaking of which, I love that Clarkson goes out of his way, even when writing an article for Driving.co.uk to poke fun at how James May might react to the power or speed of a car.
“Even when you’re turning left at a busy junction in a town centre, you know that you’re at the wheel of something that is way, way better than the sum of its parts.”
I have to say though that if I was just turning left at a busy junction in town and I felt some great amount of power from this car…I might also be a little nervous. Turning at an intersection isn’t exactly where I want to show off the power of my car.
11. Ferrari 458 Spider
I have to admit that this car is pretty damn sexy. It’s one hell of a supercar. It might not have the same poster quality as a Lambo typically does, but I wouldn’t say no to a Ferrari 458 Spider in my garage.
“As I write now, there are shivers — and I’m not kidding — running up and down my spine as I recall the way it felt on roads near my home. The lightness. The savagery. The noise. The beauty.”
I would probably hardly ever take it out and would have to go without a car for three seasons of the year, but I would definitely love to take it for a little tour every now and again.
“Then you have the gearbox that changes down not in a few milliseconds but instantly. Bang. Stand on the brakes — bang again. And again. Turn. And POWEEEERRRR!”
10. Lexus LFA
“You fire up the engine, snick it into first, move off and … whoa! The noise beggars belief. This is not a car that shouts or barks or growls. It howls. Like a werewolf that had put its foot in a gin trap. I have to say I loved it.”
I think it’s accurate that Clarkson compares the LFA to a mythical character. After all, the car is priced at $375,000 which means it may as well be a mythical creature.
“It’s an intelligent car, built by intelligent people. In some ways it’s raw and visceral; in others, it’s a lesson in common sense. Engine at the front, two seats in the middle and a boot you can use.”
It’s pretty sad when you have to clarify that a sports car is both sexy and fully functioning. Too many really expensive cars are just not practical. I guess at least the LFA is, even if it’s way out of most people’s price range.
9. Lamborghini Aventador
“This is a car that doesn’t feel like an extension of your very self. It feels like a big, excitable dog, endlessly tugging at its lead.”
That’s one way of putting it, but it doesn’t make for a very good metaphor. People get annoyed of over excited animals pretty quickly.
“Its brakes are not good and the only way you know you’ve exceeded its limits of adhesion is when you crash into a tree. And yet it is such a spectacular thing to behold that you will forgive it anything.”
That’s kind of scary to think about. How could you forgive it for anything if you’ve already crashed into a tree with it? I know that he’s sort of joking, but the Aventador is not a slow car, and the chances are that if you’re crashing into a tree with it…you’re going super fast. It is a supercar after all. And it’s very pretty. This is definitely a poster-worthy car, and I think that’s the closest I ever want to get to it.
8. Ford Focus RS
Here is Clarkson with one of his, for reasons I’ll never understand, favourite hot hatchbacks. It’s not all that bad-looking a car, to be as fair (aside from the spoiler on the back), but it’s still a hatchback.
“Ford rather lost its way. [But], with the new Focus RS, you know after about 100 yards that it has created something very special…it feels like a Nissan GT-R.”
And about spoilers, I always thought that they were definitely properly named. Why? Because they more often than not spoil the look of the car they’re on. And that’s just sad. Either way, Clarkson has a love for these hot hatchbacks. I’m not sure how many people understand that, but there it is.
7. Ferrari 488 GTB
“When you drive a Ferrari 488 GTB round a corner on a racetrack, it doesn’t feel like a tool that you’re operating. Or even a comfy, well-fitting glove. It feels like an extension of your very self.”
I would love to experience that feeling even just once in my life, but I very much doubt there will ever be an opportunity for me to even get into a Ferrari 488 GTB, let alone an opportunity for me to actually drive the beauty on a racetrack.
“If a car doesn’t make you excited every time you climb inside, then it’s just a tool. And if it’s just a tool, you may as well use the bus.”
You know, this could be why I walk and cycle everywhere. I know Clarkson would hate to know that I cycle places, but I don’t have the money or clout to get the sort of car I wouldn’t think of as just a tool.
6. Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.6
This is a car that Clarkson loves. I think it has to do with being manufactured in Britain, but it’s still a Ford Fiesta. Sure, it’s fairly affordable and quiet…but it’s a Ford Fiesta!
“Yes, you can get a roomier Far East box for less, and you would do just that if you lived in a house made from bamboo. But you don’t…it’s much more comfortable and quiet than you have any right to hope for.”
This is hilarious. I actually struggle a bit to believe that the above quotation is actually from the mind of Jeremy Clarkson. But it is. I don’t know if I can think of a single person I know who would go out of their way to say that they can’t wait for the Ford Fiesta that they’re saving to buy. I know someone who would much rather a PT Cruiser.
5. McLaren P1
After looking at the P1, I believe every word that Clarkson wrote in his review of the McLaren supercar. It just looks like it wants to kill you.
“I’ve spent the day in the McLaren and I still can’t quite believe that the thing’s for real… for sheer “Oh my God”, sweaty-pawed, heart-racing, wide-eyed, hair-on-end, ball-shrinking terror, you simply can’t beat the P1.”
I have to say that the spoiler on the back of the car really does just go to show how fast it must go. If the thing has to be that bloody big, just how much force is it trying to control to keep the car stable? I think I can live without ever being in this car. I’ll leave that to Clarkson.
4. Mercedes AMG GTS
Jeremy has a strong dislike of gullwing doors. The SLS was a beautiful car and the AMG GT is not very different-looking from it at all. Aside from the doors, there’s not a lot that’s changed on the surface.
“The SLS AMG was a stupid car for stupid show-offs, which probably explains why I liked it so much. ”
I think the best version of this car is the electric version. Of course, because of the power of the car it can’t actually go very far as the battery is drained super quickly if you drive fast…which you would definitely do if you had the chance to drive such a car as this.
3. Mustang GT Fastback 5.0 v8
“Incredibly, this 410bhp, 155mph American icon costs less than I paid for a Volkswagen Golf GTI. It’s billed as a sports car…It just isn’t. It’s too heavy. What it is, is a muscle car. And you sense that in the second yard.” There’s something about the Mustang that does get to me. I hope to have one at some point in my life.
“This is a machine that wants to turn its tires into smoke and go round every corner sideways. You’ve seen the film Bullitt. Well, it’s that.”
I would rather have a classic Mustang like the one used in Bullitt which is a ’68 Ford Fastback. However, I would certainly settle for one of these, regardless that main reason Clarkson likes it is because the drivetrain was changed so that he could drive from the right side of the car (but not the correct side).
2. Range Rover Evoque Prestige SD4 Auto
Clarkson has a very interesting way of looking at the Evoque. I have to say, right away, that I think there are many other better-looking off-road cars out there, and there are some that are not as big and therefore easier to maneuver.
“Anyone who wants such a car and doesn’t choose the Evoque is so mad, they will have lost their driving license.”
I think it must be the fact that the Range Rover Evoque comes from the U.K. that Jeremy Clarkson so loves it. That’s not to say that it doesn’t work as an off-road car. They prove that well enough on Top Gear. I’m just saying there are better and cheaper off-road vehicles out there.
1. Volkswagen Golf GTI
I know that Jeremy Clarkson is a big fan of the “hot hatchback” but I think that they are almost all ugly cars. Maybe the Dodge Calibre isn’t too bad looking, but I can’t typically stand them. It’s kind of strange to me that he’s always wanted one.
“I do have a VW Golf GTI. This is my first one. It does everything, that thing. It’s cheaper than the Golf R and you spend less time explaining to people what it is.”
I’m sorry…I just can’t take this seriously. I guess if you spend every day around Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfa Romeos, Porsches and more then you must just want some drab, normal-looking car like the Golf GTI, but it’s not for me, that’s for sure.