America gets its very own “Top Gear” thanks to the History channel.
History channel? Why not.
NBC tried for years to bring an Americanized version of “Top Gear” to TV, with Adam Carolla and other hosts in trials, but the demise of “Knight Rider’s” remake put the kibosh on the car-centric series for the Peacock.
“Top Gear” premieres on History on Sunday, November 21 at 10:00 pm Eastern 9:00 Central.
Adam Ferrara is a well-documented obsession on Monsters and Critics; we love his stand up, we loved him as Chief “Needles” Nelson in “Rescue Me.”
And now we really love him test driving the hottest cars around and bantering with the likes of pro racer Tanner Foust, and racing analyst Rutledge Wood, two gents well matched to keep up with Ferrara’a Ferrari fast wit.
The History channel ordered 10 episodes without a pilot, and the American version stays close to the premise of the worldwide mega hit, UK Top Gear. The American test track is at El Toro, the UK show runs their trials at Dunsfold Aerodrome south of London. Both of the Top Gear’s each have constructed studio sets inside enormous hangars.
Then there is the enigmatic “The Stig,” a lead footed anonymous test driver who is reportedly part of this effort too, and segments “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” retooled for the Yanks to be “Big Star, Small Car.”
Some critics worry that the Americanized version lacks the tongue-in-cheek banter and snap of the UK version, which sees some real antagonistic male humor and even situational baiting (remember the Alabama Man Love road trip?)
Monsters and Critics spoke to Adam, Tanner and Rutledge about their new series for History:
Monsters and Critics: The Camaro being reintroduced into the American muscle car market again, I wanted to know your take on it and if it’s a good thing or bad thing in your opinion?
Adam Ferrara: Any time you can get a muscle car back it’s a good thing. It’s a great car. Backing up is a little bit of a problem because it’s tough to see out of it, the visibility. It’s a little chopped for me. But other than that anytime I can get my hands on the muscle car I will.
Tanner Foust: That would definitely be Adam’s take on it. I love the fact that we get these retro rods kind of back on the market. They’re very cool. There’s – you can’t really level out of the technology that’s in them though. It is hard to get excited about some of the electronics and some of the go fast bits on them.
But any time you get something as American as a rumbling V8 and throw it out on the road so with the warrantee it can’t be a bad thing.
That’s the charm of the muscle car. They have there’s no bells and whistles – – big engine, light car, go fast, straight line.
Rutledge Wood: And they probably I agree… it’s cool that there – that they tried to go back to sort of the roots in some of their hay day when they were a lot stronger as a company. So it’s neat to see the Camaro on the road kind of – to reborn and to revisit those times. And it is a fun car to drive for sure.
Monsters and Critics: I just wanted to know if any of you gentlemen owned a bitching Camaro?
Adam Ferrara: Are you a Dead Milkmen fan?
Monsters and Critics: Yes I am.
Rutledge Wood: Tanner did you ever own a bitching Camaro?
Tanner Foust: No I never have.
Rutledge Wood: No? Adam?
Adam Ferrara: No I never owned a bitching Camaro.
Tanner Foust: I had a motor out of a Camaro once in something else. But that’s it. We love T-tops though in this group April. We’ll tell you that.
Rutledge Wood: Well my uncle did have a ‘67 RS, you know, which wasn’t necessarily the fastest but it was kind of rare. And, a convertible. And it was a three speed on the floor. It was very cool to drive. I always sort of grew up wishing I kind of had one of those. But there’s…
Adam Ferrara: Yes that was the first year.
Rutledge Wood: Yes I mean it was cool. They weren’t fast. I mean they didn’t handle well. They didn’t stop well that’s for sure. But there’s just something kind of mellow about sitting on black vinyl in the sun in a convertible, you know, and rumbling along with the three speed.
Monsters and Critics: Of all the exotic cars that you’ve been presented with and the really far out European brands, what are some of your favorites and what would you recommend to someone who has that kind of coin if they were going to buy a really high performance exotic car?
Adam Ferrara: I would recommend to someone that has the money to experience the experience of giving to another and purchasing me a Bugatti Veyron. That will really make you want to give to your fellow man.
Rutledge Wood: Good ploy.
Tanner Foust: Wow. I mean…it’s a different thing for different people right? And there’s – I’ve always been a fan of Porsche’s to be honest with you, and there something about them.
I grew up when my dad had an old one in the garage. And there’s something about them that’s kind of multitalented. It’s one of those cars that you can drive on a daily basis but it’s also wickedly fast. It’s like multi talented. And it’s kind of good in any environment. And that’s always been the car – I’ve never been a fan of people having garage queen exotics that didn’t get driven.
And while Ferraris are great and Lamborghinis are awesome and amazing there also, they can get old to drive on a daily basis. So I think there something about a Porsche that lets you kind of live in it.
Adam Ferrara: Yes, they call that homelessness.
Adam Ferrara: If you’re living in a Porsche you don’t have a house.
Rutledge Wood: April, my favorite kind of exotic that I got to spend a little time in was a Murcielago Super Veloche Lamborghini. And I think the reason I loved it so much, as a product of the 80s I grew up with this poster of the old Lamborghini Countach on my wall. It was like ‘85…
Tanner Foust: I had that one.
Rutledge Wood: …or…
Tanner Foust: The white one?
Rutledge Wood: Yes Tanner had same yes the white one.
Tanner Foust: The white one exactly sitting on the grass, yes I had the same one.
Rutledge Wood: Yes it just was this gorgeous car and it just reason up represented this impossible dream. And the fact that Lamborghini let me ride around in one of those for four days with these knuckleheads as it rode through the desert. It was the most fun I’ve probably ever had in the car.
Monsters and Critics: Interesting, interesting. So Italians make very sexy cars in your opinion?
Rutledge Wood: The seat wasn’t sexy April. I’m 6’3” and it was painful. It was made for I would guess – I mean I don’t even know if Tanner’s short self, would be comfortable in there — no offense Tanner.
Tanner Foust: Hardly any taken. But it was – yes, so that.
Adam Ferrara: You guys are so polite when we have company. No offense Tanner no taken. Who are you fucking fooling?
Rutledge Wood: Yes, exactly. There’s…
Monsters and Critics: Adam, are you going to get Dennis Leary in a car…something exotic?
Adam Ferrara: I’d kind of like to get him and a truck. If I can get him in a truck of his -he’s probably up at the farm in Canada. I don’t know if he’ll come all the way out to – he probably will if we get picked up. He’s crazy enough to do stuff like that.
Our site friend (and friend friend) Kate O’Hare of Hot Cuppa TV scored an awesome invite by History (History channel, what are we, chopped liver?) to go to the track and report behind the scenes, you can read it hereNote the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.