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All We Know is, She’s called McStig.

I knew I had a problem when I found myself discussing the merits of a Bugatti Veyron with fellow passenger on a flight from Philadelphia to Seattle.

Don’t know what a Bugatti Veyron is?  Neither did I just a few months ago.   And then Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May entered my life.

We don’t have cable television – Comcast demanded half of our salary and our first male child in exchange for three channels we want and fifty we don’t care about, so we decided to grit our teeth and mourn the loss of ESPN and TLC.   Instead, we stream content through Netflix and Hulu; even though we don’t get to watch college football games live or witness Clinton and Stacy makeover another frumpy soccer mom, each month we only sacrifice the cost of approximately three fancy cocktails.

After making it through the circuit of shows on Netflix that we know and love, we decided to expand our TV palate and watch an episode of the British television show Top Gear.  Top Gear is a car-enthusiast program featuring the three aforementioned witty but knowledgable hosts.  I don’t particularly like watching, reading, or talking about cars, but I do enjoy the occasional Italian car show or vintage roadster parade.  But Top Gear held my attention for some reason.   The show is visually stunning – the cinematography is surprisingly elegant and sharp.  The hosts are talented; you can’t not appreciate the fact that they discuss the finer points of the car’s suspension while also drifting around corners.   The British version of the show has something critical to its appeal that the American version lacks – totally inappropriate British humor (most of the jokes they make would never make it past American FCC censors).  And I have an unexplainable crush on Richard Hammond – the 5′-6″ doe-eyed host is only one of the three with straight, white teeth.

Therefore, given these newly-discovered interests of mine (cars and short British television hosts), I would like to share my Top 5 List of Top Gear cars.  A warning for you true petrol-heads: you may disagree with my list.

Bugatti Veyron

Driver or Passenger? Passenger

Why: Besides being the fastest road car on the planet (top speed: 268 mph), the all-black Veyron is also pretty darn sexy.    Enough said.

Fiat 500

Driver or Passenger? Driver

Why: It’s so freaking cute.  But sadly, my love for the Fiat 500 has taken a beaten recently.  The Fiat felt unique and exclusive, European in a way that the Mini Cooper and Smart Car weren’t anymore.  Now the little cars are everywhere in Seattle all of a sudden, and Jenny on the Block is its spokesperson.  My esoteric heart mourns.

Range Rover

Driver or Passenger?  Driver

Why: I have no idea.  I know, I know, you’re shaking your head – but even before Top Gear, the Range Rover was the only car I ever lusted after.  There is something so elegant, yet potentially rugged, about a Range Rover – as if it knows it needs to give the illusion of grandeur, but really it just wants to go roll around in the mud.

Wiesmann MF 3

Driver or Passenger? Passenger, with a driving coat, some cherry-red lipstick, and my head scarf blowing in the wind.

Why: When I saw the Wiesmann, I thought it was from the 1950’s, not the 1980’s.  It has that Old Hollywood glamour (thus the red lipstick).  It’s the car I’d like to ride in with my honey on a sunny, carefree afternoon in the countryside.  Or arrive at a black-tie gala wearing a dress as sparkly as its gorgeous oversized wheels.

Volkswagen GTI

Driver or Passenger? Driver

Why: I HATE MINIVANS AND STATION WAGONS.  Sure, I would take a Volvo or Audi A4 station wagon if pressed.  But to be a really cool mom?  I’ll drive this zippy, hip little thing that still has room for the car seat and backpacking equipment.  And let’s be honest – I have  soft-spot for Volkswagens.

I know some of you may be fuming at this point.   But keep in mind that before Top Gear, I wouldn’t have known the difference between an BMW M3 and a 3 Series, where a Peugeot comes from, or how many wheels a Reliant Robin has.   So I think I’ve made quite a bit of progress.

Back to that flight: I may have gone overboard with the Bugatti Veyron talk.  My seatmate didn’t even know what it was, and he was a dude.  So much for street cred.

But his dream car was a BMW M3.  Score.

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Jpg Abuser #

    Nice post. I’m also a dude who was (prior to this reading) completely unaware of what a Veyron is. Hot photo though!

    January 3, 2012

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