World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Top Gear (series 5)

Article Id: WHEBN0015831218
Reproduction Date:

Title: Top Gear (series 5)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Top Gear test track, Top Gear (series 17), Tom Boswell (television presenter), Andy Wilman, Top Gear home video releases
Collection: 2004 Television Seasons, Top Gear Seasons
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Top Gear (series 5)

Top Gear (series 5)
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 9
Original channel BBC Two
Original release 24 October 2004 (2004-10-24) – 26 December 2004 (2004-12-26)

The fifth series of Top Gear began in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2004 and concluded on 26 December 2004. The series contained 9 episodes. The series was subsequently followed by one "Best Of Top Gear" special, which aired 2 January 2005, charting the best moments from Series 4 and 5.


Total No. Title Reviews Features Guest Original air date UK viewers
40 1 Series 5, Episode 1 Porsche 911 Carrera S Can an ice cream van jump a bouncy castle? Best Muscle Car on sale (Vauxhall Monaro VX-RChrysler 300CJaguar S-Type R) Bill Bailey 24 October 2004 (2004-10-24) 3.35

Review: Clarkson reviews the Porsche 997 Carrera S. He declares that it is the laziest design job ever, which he proved when he accidentally drove the old one because of its similarities. However, he also says that this is a car for keen drivers; a 911 from the old school. The Stig sets a power lap time 1:28.9, on an extremely wet track.

Restoration Rip-Off: May introduces James Dean's Lotus Ten, one of only seven made.

News: Top Gear is up for a National Television Award; the new Ferrari F430 is shown.

Skit: Clarkson made a bet in an earlier episode that the new Vauxhall Astra would not look like the concept. When it was shown in the studio, it proved to truly be like the concept, meaning that Jeremy had to eat his own hair. Chef Antony Worrall Thompson was brought in to do the job, fixing up a hair omelette for Clarkson, which he ate at the end of the show.

Star in a reasonably priced car: Bill Bailey sets a time of 1:53.4 in the Liana, on a wet track.

Challenge: An old ice cream van attempts to jump over four bouncy castles. The van manages to clear none of the castles.

Review: May reviews the Vauxhall Monaro VXR, and Clarkson reviews the Chrysler 300C. On face value, the two colonial cars are excellent, so they are met at Pendine Sands with Hammond's Jaguar S-Type R to decide which is the most fun to drive. The Chrysler is panned for money-saving features like poor brakes and a soggy suspension, coming very close to a successful sports saloon but failing. Clarkson and May agree that the Monaro is the best of the three, though Hammond still prefers the Jag.
41 2 Series 5, Episode 2 Ford FocusVauxhall AstraVolkswagen GolfJaguar XJ220Pagani ZondaEnzo FerrariFerrari F40McLaren F1Porsche Carrera GT Mountainboarder versus a rally car Geri Halliwell 31 October 2004 (2004-10-31) 3.81

Review: Hammond looks at the Ford Focus, comparing it to the Vauxhall Astra, and the VW Golf. He decides that the Focus is still the best of the three, apart from the bland new styling.

News: May goes on a rant about Bill Bryson; Ferrari gives the Pope an F1 Car; the trio discuss the new BMW 3 Series.

Restoration Rip-Off: May introduces the Adams Probe 16 from A Clockwork Orange, one of only three made.

Review: Clarkson reviews the Enzo Ferrari. He declares the Enzo to be a masterpiece. He muses that supercars today may be approaching engineering perfection, but the cars from fifteen years ago are more fun to drive. The Stig sets a lap time of 1:19.0.

Star in a reasonably priced car: Geri Halliwell goes around the track, in the wet, in 1:55.4.

Challenge: A world champion all-terrain skateboarder is pitted against a Group N Mitsubishi rally car. The car loses soundly. They then switch out the rally car with a Bowler Wildcat, and the Wildcat wins by a considerable margin. The cars were driven by "professional racing driver Ben Collins" (who was also acting as The Stig at the time).

Cool Wall: The Vauxhall Monaro is declared to be Cool despite the fact that neither Clarkson nor Hammond could find anything cool that is Australian; the Porsche 997 is Uncool due to the fact that it is for the sort of chap who wants his children to be Bullied; the Mercedes-Benz SLK is Seriously Uncool as Wayne Rooney has bought one for Coleen Rooney, and the Enzo Ferrari is also Seriously Uncool as not too many Cool People could afford one.

Review: Clarkson compares two trios of supercars: three older supercars, the Jaguar XJ220, the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F40, and three newer supercars, the Pagani Zonda, the Porsche Carrera GT and the Enzo Ferrari, coming to the conclusion that the simplicity of some of the older cars makes them more fun, even if they are slower around a track. Clarkson is very critical of the attitude of current supercar makers, claiming that they "held back" with cars like the Porsche Carrera GT, but is also critical of the McLaren F1, saying that driving it resembled trying to ride a nuclear missile á la Dr. Strangelove.
42 3 Series 5, Episode 3 Dodge Viper SRT-10 Drive a Land Rover Discovery to the top of Cnoc an Fhreiceadain in Scotland • Find the craziest car in the world • Top Gear survey 2004 results Joanna Lumley 7 November 2004 (2004-11-07) 4.41

Main review: Dodge Viper SRT10. Jeremy can only briefly knock the barn-door engineering because he loves it. Sets a time of 1:28.5 in the wet.

News: The £140,000 Bugatti Veyron wristwatch is shown off, which Clarkson claims needs a butler to put on.

Challenge: Clarkson tries to drive a Land Rover Discovery up a mountain in Scotland to prove that it can handle the task, a job that no car has ever done before. His journey leads to him initially doing well, before having to go down into a valley to climb back up, where he managed to get stuck twice and needed help getting out. He finally reached the summit of Cnoc an Fhreiceadain (Watch Hill), above Coldbackie and planted a Top Gear flag on it. (The mountain was not Ben Tongue as widely reported at the time.)

Feature: Hammond attempts to find the world's maddest car, and does so in Switzerland, visiting a specialist car maker that creates weird and remarkablely designed cars, such as one that can shrink of grow in length. The maddest car, though, that he finds is the Rinspeed Splash, which becomes a hydrofoil boat.

Restoration Rip-Off: Keith Moon's 1938 Chrysler Wimbledon, which was originally a British staff car during World War II, but later driven into a duck pond.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Joanna Lumley does a lap of 1:51.5.
43 4 Series 5, Episode 4 Pagani Zonda S RoadsterAston Martin Vanquish SFerrari 575M Maranello 24 hours in a Smart Forfour • Playing conkers with caravans. Jimmy CarrSteve Coogan 14 November 2004 (2004-11-14) 4.44

Main review: Pagani Zonda S Roadster, which Clarkson says Hammond fell in love with and that girls who came there showing their bare midriffs there were wasting their time

Review/Challenge: Hammond and May spend 24 hours in a Smart Forfour to see if the claim in the car's brochure that it is 'designed like a lounge' can be proven to be true. They find it handles well, it's styled nicely, and it turns heads well enough to get people to buy them food, but it's simply too expensive for what it is, with both stating this when back in the studio.

Restoration Rip-Off: 1978 Range Rover previously owned by Princess Diana. The Range Rover had just 58,000 kilometres but the engine needed complete repair.

Challenge: Hammond and May attempt to play conkers with 6 caravans, appearing to take great skill in their choice of caravans for the game. Hammond ends up as the winner of the game.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Jimmy Carr, who was describe by the Stig as "the worst driver we've ever had and the luckiest man alive", did a lap of 1:46.9.

Review: The Aston Martin Vanquish S, which Clarkson tests in a race against Steve Coogan in a Ferrari 575M GTC. The Vanquish has been improved greatly, but it is still no match for the Ferrari on the track. However, as an all-rounder, with looks and comfort taken into consideration, Clarkson and Coogan would rather have the underdog Aston than the big-headed Ferrari.
44 5 Series 5, Episode 5 Mercedes-Benz 300SL People carrier racing • Break 10:00 around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a diesel car Christian SlaterSabine Schmitz 21 November 2004 (2004-11-21) 4.69

Main review: Morgan Aero 8 GTN. Jeremy and James constantly mock it because of its aesthetics. Lap time: 1:25.9, although it did cross the line sideways.

News: Hammond finally gets a Dodge Charger, though more precisely, he got a 1969 model.

Restoration Rip-Off: The Fender Stratocaster guitar and the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing both celebrate their 50th birthdays this year, so as a result, instead of talking about a restored car, May talks about the reasons why the Gullwing is the first supercar, with songs performed with the Stratocaster playing in the background including Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Sultans of Swing, China Girl, Layla, Get It On, and Wind Of Change (the single song in the set that is from Germany, as is the SL300 Gullwing).

Star in a reasonably priced car': Actor Christian Slater talks about being in a real police chase and driving a Hybrid, he takes the Liana around with a lap time of 1:51.4.

Down to Earth Board: The presenters show the excellent characteristics of the Subaru Legacy.

Motorsport Race: Hammond starts a people carrier race series, with the inaugural race featuring two Renault Espaces, a Toyota Previa, a Toyota Spacecruiser, a Mitsubishi Space Wagon, and a Nissan Serena. Hammond in the Espace wins the race easily, because of his more powerful engine.

Challenge: Drive a diesel Jaguar S-Type around the Nürburgring, in under ten minutes. After much practice, Clarkson managed a time of 9:59, though his instructor, Sabine Schmitz, was not impressed and exclaimed "I could do that in a van". She then took the Jaguar out and recorded a lap time much quicker on her first try, at 9:12.
45 6 Series 5, Episode 6 Volkswagen Golf V GTI How much Porsche can you get for £1500? Porsche 924, Porsche 944, Porsche 928 • Blind man doing a power lap Cliff RichardBilly Baxter 5 December 2004 (2004-12-05) 4.87

Main review: Volkswagen Golf V GTI. Clarkson compares it to the previous hot versions and especially to the fabled Mark I, claiming that the Mark V is a return to "the true spirit of the GTI." Though it is down on power compared to the Honda Civic Type R and many other hot hatches, Jeremy finds it as the best because it's "all things to all men."

They also set it up against its main rivals:
Honda Civic Type R 1:32.8
SEAT León Cupra 1:32.9
Volkswagen Golf GTi 1:33.7
Renault Mégane 225 1:34.0
Mini Cooper S 1:34.2
Citroën C4 VTS 1:35.8

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Cliff Richard achieved a time of 1:50.

Restoration Rip-Off: A racing Mini Cooper previously owned by Paddy Hopkirk. This car is the last contestant to be introduced.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car Take 2: Army veteran and blind land speed record holder Billy Baxter was led by Clarkson, orally, around the track and came in at 2:02. His name on the board was written as "Blind Man".

Cheap Car Challenge: The presenters each have to buy a Porsche for less than £1500 and put it through a series of tests to see who's got the best deal. Hammond buys a Volkswagen van-engined 924, May buys a 2.5 litre 4-cylinder 944, and Clarkson buys a broken-down 928.

The first challenge is to get from Canary Wharfe in London to the seafront of Brighton. Hammond and May managed this with only minor problems, but Clarkson ended up arriving on the back of a rescue truck. Next, they were told to use whatever money they had left over to restore their cars for an inspection by the Porsche owner's club. May correctly predicted that they would be judged by Concours standards and focused on restoring the engine, easily scoring the most points. Hammond fared badly, after giving the car a cartoonist paint job, and was penalised heavily for not going with an approved colour. Jeremy did even worse still, having no money to fix the engine, or do anything beyond giving his car a matte black job.

After that, the cars were required to beat a lap time of 1:35, gaining a point for every second under, and losing one for every second over. May again did the best, at 8 seconds slower, while Hammond and Clarkson were both 10 seconds slower. The final driving-related part of the challenge was to make "number elevens" with their cars, and this time Hammond did best, narrowly beating May. Clarkson couldn't make any, as his car was an automatic, leading to him scoring zero. Finally, the presenters are told that they must each sell their car for a profit.

Back in the studio, it's revealed that prior to selling their cars, Richard was leading on 29 points, James was closely following with 27, and Jeremy was well behind on -122. James made a loss of £100, leaving his total as -73. Richard couldn't sell his car at all, consigning him to last place with -1471 points. To James's shock, Jeremy reveals that he made a £300 profit on his car by dismantling it, selling it for spare parts and turning the remaining parts into furniture, giving him a score of 178 points and a clear victory.

46 7 Series 5, Episode 7 Lamborghini • Top Gear Awards 2004 A four-door Lamborghini. Top Gear Awards 2004 Roger Daltrey 12 December 2004 (2004-12-12) 3.39

Main review: The James Kaye, the British touring car champion. It was shown that the Lambo could not shake off the Evo after several laps. It came down to the final lap where the Lambo spun out. Afterwards, the Stig posted a time of 1.24.8 for the Evo. Clarkson, however, prefers the old Evo FQ340 because the more powerful FQ400 has a bone-shattering ride, a hopeless clutch, ridiculously poor fuel economy, a tendency to fall apart at high speed and massive turbo lag.

Challenge: The long age answer of 'which boxster is the best' is answered. The Porsche Boxster or the Mercedes-Benz SLK 350? In the end, the Boxster won by a large margin.

Restoration Rip-Off: James May in a quick summary reports about the Restoration Rip-Off Project.

Star in a reasonably priced car: Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who, drove the fastest mildly moist lap ever, of 1:49.7.

Review: Clarkson reviews the Toyota Prius, and Hammond takes the Ford Mustang on a "road trip" of the A15.

Cool Wall: The new Smart Forfour is Seriously Uncool because a women's mother in the audience liked it.

Top Gear Awards 2004
47 8 Series 5, Episode 8 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Epic race: Ferrari 612 Scaglietti vs Jet Plane to Verbier • Showroom cars vs old race cars • Mitsubishi Evo vs bobsleigh • Stig attempts a sub-1:00 power lap of the test track in a Renault F1 car Eddie Izzard 19 December 2004 (2004-12-19) 5.06

"Car Vs. Public Transport" Race: Hammond and May, using a airliner plane, raced Clarkson. who drove a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, all the way from London to a ski resort hotel in Verbier, in the mountains of Switzerland. It looked good for Hammond and May, who not only arrived at Geneva miles ahead of Jeremy who was still driving through France, but also an hour earlier than planned. Clarkson had to stop a few times in the race because his car developed a buzzing noise, which forced him to use the radio to drown it out (the problem was discovered to be a bent windscreen wiper blade), and he was then stopped by the French police and fined, costing him time. Despite these issues, he made up time while the pair were stuck waiting for their next train since the one from Geneva, and then having to endure a slow bus. Clarkson, who began to reach the same winding road they were on, reached Verbier and won again, but only by minutes — he overtook the others on the road just a few hundred yards away from the finish line, much to the shock of Hammond and May.

Challenge: To find out if today's showroom cars are faster than race cars from "not that long ago", three pairs made up of one classic racer and one showroom car race against the clock in the Stig's hands:

Challenge: A Formula 1 car (specifically Fernando Alonso's Renault R24) attempts to get around the track in under a minute. Alonso wasn't on hand to drive, so the Top Gear team gave it to The Stig to drive. He drove it around the track in exactly 59 seconds; although the time was not allowed on the Lap Times Board, because of the rules for it.

"Car Vs Something" Race: A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Rally car is tasked with beating a bobsleigh, on a snowy dirt track. May was in the car, driven by rally expert Henning Solberg, with Hammond working alongside a professional team in the bobsled. The bobsled won with 59.68 seconds whilst the Evo came in at under 1.02.24.

Restoration Rip-Off: Phone voters elect Paddy Hopkirk's Mini Cooper as the winner of the Restoration Rip-Off Project. Money for the restoration was raised by the phone calls from voters.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Comedian Eddie Izzard, drove a lap of 1:52.

48 9 Series 5, Episode 9 Ariel AtomBMW 1 SeriesMercedes-Benz G55 AMG Find a 'pearl' among a collection of cars from the Pacific Rim Trinny WoodallSusannah Constantine 26 December 2004 (2004-12-26) 3.30

Main review:

Review: Hammond tests the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG. It is not as good offroad as its competitors, but in the urban scene it looks fantastic and has a more civilised demeanor. A supercharged V8 produces 476 bhp (355 kW), good for immense straight-line speed. Hammond calls it "the coolest car in the world".

Challenge/Special Race: Clarkson (in a Ford Fiesta ST150) and Hammond (in a Citroen C2 VTS) conduct a race on the Top Gear track to see what is the best hot hatchback for the 21st century.

Review: May tests the new BMW 1-series, and is pleased with the rear-drive but finds it too expensive, slow, and poorly made to buy.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Trinny and Susannah, both took to the track, with Trinny setting a time of 1:54.1, and Susannah setting a time of 1:55.6, with both set in the wet. They then fail to understand the importance of a good car to complement a good look.

Comparison: May and Clarkson go out to review a collection of cars from the Pacific Rim: Cars from Malaysia and Korea. Among these are the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent, in a 3-cylinder diesel version. They conclude that none of them are worth buying, due to being "built like white goods." This is followed by a demonstration of a custom vehicle constructed from used home appliances.

Best-of episodes

Total No. Title Featured cars Guest Original air date
SP The Best Of Top Gear 2004 #2 Sir Ranulph Fiennes & Joanna Lumley 2 January 2005 (2005-01-02)

Review: Porsche Carrera GT (From Series 4, Episode 4)

Challenge: The Minicabbing Challenge (From Series 4, Episode 7)

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Sir Ranulph Fiennes (From Series 4, Episode 9)

Challenge: Parachute Into A Moving Car (From Series 4, Episode 9)

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Joanna Lumley (From Series 5, Episode 3)

Feature: Vauxhall Monaro, Chrysler 300C, and Jaguar S-Type R on the Pendine Sands (From Series 5, Episode 1)


  1. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.