Tonight’s was a run of the mill episode. James drove a Pontiac Commodore around LA and waxed lyrical about Aussie motoring brilliance. His points weren’t entirely convincing, it has to be said.
He also took a new Nissan 370Z for a test drive. This should be the program’s raison d’être. The challenges and mucking around are a bit of welcome hit and giggle, sure, but car reviews are where it’s at for a Top Gear franchise. At least, it should be. James’s review wasn’t bad, by any means, but it wasn’t great. It wasn’t particularly memorable, like Clarkson’s pieces on the Porsche Carrera GT or Mk5 Golf GTI, for example. And, I hate to say it, but his review tonight had a touch of Glenn Ridge about it. Just a bit too nice, a bit too slick and not quite worthy of being taken seriously.
The rest of the show followed a similar path. The lawn mowing challenge with Steve and Warren was okay, but not brilliant.
Turns out the highlight were the two guests, Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones. The latter setting a new lap record around the TG Aus track.
TOP GEAR AUSTRALIA – SERIES 2, EPISODE 6
Monday 15 June at 7:30pm
In this episode of Top Gear Australia Steve Pizzati and Warren Brown challenge James Morrison to play a musical tune using car parts as instruments, it’s double the action on the Top Gear Australia track and we check out if Nissan has got it right with the 370Z.
Proving that Crocodile Dundee, Kylie Minogue and The Wiggles are not the only good things to come out of Australia, James travels to the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles, to drive the Australian-built Pontiac G8 GXP. And of course for a little nose-rubbing!
“The funny thing is the Americans get the engine and gear box in a crate, send it to Australia, we wrap a car around it and send it back,” said James.
Steve finds the Rolls Royce Phantom of ride-on mowers, the $24,000 Ferris, built with everything you need to mow the lawn including a cup holder. Warren is flabbergasted at the cost of Steve’s mower and sets up a challenge: that he can build a lawnmower faster and more than Steve’s for only $4,000.
Behind the wheel of his newly designed Toyota HiLux “drive-in” mower and geared up with all the essentials – AM radio, air conditioning and the “spinning blades of death” – it’s Warren versus Steve in the paddock as they prepare to duel.
The iconic 1960s Japanese sports car for the masses, the Datsun 240Z, lost its way over the past decades until Nissan got it back on track a few years ago with the Nissan 350Z. Then in 2009, it launched the 370Z. James checks it out to see if this is a step in the right direction.
It is double trouble when Brendan “I’m going to drive it like I stole it” Jones and Amanda Keller (Swift and Shift Couriers, WSFM) are the Stars in a Bog Standard Car.
“It’s funny watching you two, you’re like an old married couple,” said Warren.
“Well, exactly like an old married couple, there’s no sex,” said Amanda.
Catch Warren Brown, Steve Pizzati and James Morrison for your weekly dose of motoring entertainment, Mondays at 7:30pm on SBS.