I used to think that Jeremy Clarkson was a thoroughly objectionable person. He didn’t seem to care about anything other than some seriously horrible cars, and for little else. Even when his co-presenters joined the show it seemed he hated them too and deliberately would go out of his way to belittle, abuse and anger them.
Then things started to change, it seems he’s mellowed and last night a huge turning point was reached. I’m agreeing with him.
I think it started when my Father pointed me to a newspaper article Clarkson had written about Private Health insurance. He had been discussing how expensive it is and when you added up all your payments through your life you could have paid for a whole list of operations multiple times, I seem to remember silly figures such as three liver transplants, etc. When it all came down to it, it was much cheaper to put some money aside into a savings account throughout your life, and if you ever needed healthcare and you wished it to be private, then pay for it.
That was the first ray of light, and ever since then I’ve been seeing a change in his attitude to his co-presenters and with his cars on Top Gear. I was starting to like him more and more.
Then last night the team were reviewing three sports coupes. The BMW M6, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and the Porsche 911 Carrera S. During their review the gorgeous Vantage was not doing well and I was concerned. The team placed much on the speed, acceleration and performance, seemingly placing little weight on the sheer good looks.
For me, driving a car you love is the key. When I walk towards or away from my Honda S2000 I always take a second look and smile. I love it. I love the shape, the colour, the design. There’s also the same feeling when I drive it. Yet the team seem to forget that I don’t get to close off a road when I’m taking it out. I drive to the shops, pick up friends, drive up to see the parents in Aberdeen across camera and radar ridden roads. I’ll never see the rear end of eighty-odd (if I’m lucky).
So what concerns me are those looks, both smile enducing and different, the comfort and the feel of driving that car at regular, legal speeds. That meant for me the corporate, sales fleet, and often aggressive, dangerous driven BMW is out. The Porsche is old, the styling is incredibly old and just hasn’t changed enough with the times. Plus it tends to be associated with people who have moved up in their lifestyle and want to pose to others…or those going through a mid life crisis!
That left the Vantage, and let me say it doesn’t leave the Vantage, it actually rises to the top. It looks beautiful, grand, and sleek. It’s a gorgeous looking car that would raise a smile even when you don’t own it. Never mind when the accelerator drops a little and you hear that animal roar begin. The Aston Martin oozes class, style, sexiness and good looks way more than the others.
So when the team sat down to eat their meal and deliberate for the cameras, I couldn’t believe that Clarkson fought back and chose it over the rest, and for the same reasons. The tide had most definitely turned.
Then, that very same episode, the Honda S2000 was declared the best car to own, and for the second year running. Being an owner I felt great, and then Clarkson took it further
it’s the best sports car, his co-presenters argued with him, but he wouldn’t back down and he firmly believed it. That was it, I liked him even more. With all that choice out there he was backing the S2000, something I’d heard he had said from a friend some time ago.
Am I turning into Clarkson? Who cares, all I know is he’s right. The S2000 is a great sports car (and the owners agree), Private Health Insurance is a waste of time (I’d pay premiums for my heart problems anyway) and the Aston Martin is awesome, definitely beating that competition.