Weekend Edition: Top Gear £100 Car Challenge (2004)

One of the cheap car challenges BBC Top Gear did best, and one that speaks to Hooniverse-esque people the most, is the original one from Series 4. Given a seriously modest £100 budget and told to perform various tasks in questionable cars never fails to entertain, and it’s something I would like to try again and again.
The cars featured in the challenge were a Volvo 760, an Audi 80 and a Rover 216 GTi, all in various states of beaterness. Ever since seeing the episode, I’ve been tickled by the idea of getting something as cheaply as possible. It’s likely the purchase of my 350 euro Peugeot 205 was influenced by this, and I would like nothing more than get three seriously cheap cars with my petrolhead friends and try to see how long they could go with only token maintenance. When a Top Gear episode is fuel for adventures, it’s doing the same thing as a rock album would for a guitar strumming hopeful. It’s why all the Facebook car advert groups even exist, for people to foist terrible vehicles on each other. “You need this in your life!”

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  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    … and one that speaks to Hooniverse-esque people the most
    Exactly my thought when I saw the lead image. These challenges have always been the most interesting and down-to-earth part of Top Gear to me. The quasi-scientific conclusions the three could pull out of an utterly ridiculous setup like this were very entertaining. It’s easy to relate to the whole endeavour. While driving, they always found time to present their cars with some industrial, social and brand-contextual background. A bit of everything – true Top Gear spirit, if I was to judge.