Top Gear in America
February 12, 2007 15 Comments
Last Sunday, Top Gear aired a 1-hour special of their road trip in the Southern United States. Their challenge was simple: buy a used car for less than $1000 in Miami and drive it all the way to New Orleans to sell it. During their road trip, they had a series of Top Gear challenges and one of them was to decorate each other’s car in a manner that would get them arrested or shot while driving in Alabama.
This is what happened:
Jeremy had decorated James’s Cadillac with slogans such as “I’m BI”, “NASCAR SUCKS” and “HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT”
James wrote “MAN-LOVE RULES OK” in Pink on Richard’s pickup and painted the headlights in pink
Richard wrote “Country & Western is Rubbish” on Jeremy’s Camaro
They were harassed on the road, but things went horribly wrong when the gang stopped at a local petrol station for refueling.
Statements like “I’m bi”, “NASCAR Sucks” and “Hillary for President” are worn like badges of pride, until a stop for gas in a self-described “hick town” turns ugly. Words were said, rocks were thrown, and somebody’s “boys” were called in. The Top Gear crew fled for its life, though not after the quickest jump in history gets Mays Caddy turned over, and the chase ensued on the highways of the rural South. The boys wise up and decide to pull over and scrub off the incendiary taunts with some towels and Coke.
The gas station they stopped at is:
State Line Pride
32485 Us Highway 90
Seminole, AL 36574
+ 1 (251) 946-2080
The Petrol station fight actually took place in rural Alabama, which is populated generally by Americans without passports, secondary schooling at most, and populations that never ever saw a real foreigner in their lives.
Their Yahoo! locals page has received more feedback since the episode aired. One would think that the owners would respond reasonably when they see a camera crew filming and threaten to sue instead of sending a group of rednecks to stone both the presenters and crew and even chase them down rural roads. It got to the point where the crew stopped filming for fear of their lives, stopped by a side of the interstate and used coke to wash off all the paint from the cars.
People would think it is actually a stupid idea to anger some locals in a deep Republican state in a historically backwards part of America. This is the region that pioneered Segregation against Black Americans with Jim Crow laws, where the Bible is taken literally, secession from the North is justified, and is the birthplace of NASCAR, which originated from the local tradition of moonshiners evading the police.
Then again, there are foreigners who don’t believe that there really are ignorant, stereotypical Americans in the United States. I am under the impression the producers thought all they would get are just homophobic or racist jibes for the decorated vehicles or trouble with the local police but nothing like a group of inbred rednecks trying to pelt them with stones and lynch them. If people think George W. Bush is a fucking idiot, what does this say about his voters, such as the rednecks from Alabama.