In this episode of Top Gear on History, they revisited the taxi theme that was previously seen in Rut’s Show. I would like to nickname this Tanner’s Show and you’ll soon see why. Incidentally, the first car in the show was his review of a 2013 BMW M5. Ahem, did I just say review? Yes, a review…albeit a small one that was delivered simultaneously with two terrorised cast members in the back seat. They were supposed to be taxi passenger/test subjects. You can count that as the first scene where Tanner ran amok. In the real world, taxi companies can’t afford a fleet of driftable bimmers, and this is when their mission was revealed.
“It’s a taxi ride. You didn’t pull a bank job.” – Adam Ferrara
Once again Top Gear was going to benefit humanity, specifically the percentage of humanity that drives taxi cabs. Each host designed a vehicle that would not only make the long shifts bearable, but also score big money for the drivers from special features for the passengers. At the world famous Neon Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, the gents presented their gifts to the world. Tanner Foust arrived in a 2013 Scion XB that was lent to him by Rogue Status. Yes, that Rogue Status, so it’s a 500hp taxi cab. Rutledge Wood rolled in with a 1984 Chevrolet El Camino that would ensure his separation from his passengers, which may have been a good thing. Adam Ferrara arrived last in a 2002 Ford E350 Horton Type III ambulance, that was renamed an “Ambutaxi” complete with a gurney and IV bags. A Crown Victoria would have been a more conventional choice for him, but we saw how that turned out in Season Two’s The $500 Challenge.
“Sometimes when he’s doing that I want to be like ‘Oh, that was kinda cool!’ but I don’t want him to know.” – Rutledge Wood
At the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, their vehicles went through rigorous testing to ensure their efficacy as taxi cabs. On the drive there, each extolled his vehicle’s positive points and disparaged the others, as usual. In the speedway’s parking lot, there was a simple test of the vehicles’ capacity. All they had to do was drive two hundred yards to an inflatable family of four (Not that kind of inflatable!), put the folks and their luggage into the vehicle; and race back to the start/finish line. Like I say, it was a simple test but the execution? Not so much, and we can count this as a scene were Tanner ran amok, number two. It was spectacularly wild and highly entertaining. At this moment, I’d like to remember the victim of vehicular inflatable-man-slaughter. We will remember you always…with giggles.
“I’m going to put on some pasties first.” – Tanner Foust
Still at the speedway, the guys faced their next challenge, to see which taxi was the most comfortable. However, this time they would be each other’s passengers; and those passengers would be carrying huge drink glasses that were filled to the brim. Ladies and gentlemen who enjoy seeing the hosts get soaking wet, would have enjoyed this segment very much. Besides that, it was funny to see them defile each other’s taxis although all the accidents were…accidental and incidental. Oh and it gave us another scene where Tanner ran amok, bringing the tally up to three. Actually four if you count the scuffle in the Ambutaxi/Cabulance; or maybe five for his meltdown in/on the El Camino? That brings me to Rutledge who was in fine form, jumping all over the other guys’ nerves. There was even a Dr. Evil Shh-moment that probably began the downward spiral in his passengers’ mental state. When drink glasses become weapons, we know that something’s gone either very wrong or very right.
The final challenge was a winner takes all. They hit the Las Vegas strip and the host with the most tip money by the end of an actual shift, would be declared the winner. Unsuspecting passengers were hauled around by these TV guys and got to be on a TV show. There was yet another scene where Tanner ran amok but you could see it coming. This is apparently a naturally occurring event in his world, and we’re cool with that. To the show’s credit, the general public comprised a mix of partiers, performers, saucy ladies and strippers. The saucy ladies weren’t the strippers, because strippers aren’t always ladies; and I won’t say which host got them. Before I forget, Adam’s Ambutaxi/Cabulance/whatever pretty much stole that segment. Well done, dude. For the first time, I’ll talk freely about the last segment because Top Gear made history in this episode. History trumps spoilers any day.
Tanner reviewed the McLaren MP4-12C in Miami, Florida. That’s two proper supercars in a row! If they’re on a roll, then this is the best roll ever. It was a proper supercar review too, that even had a soundtrack that resembled the Miami Vice theme song. This made me feel very warm and fuzzy, but then the episode took a turn that got me hot under the collar. After thoroughly thrashing the McLaren around the Countyline Dragway, the location changed to Homestead-Miami Speedway for a showdown that probably had NASCAR fans squealing with delight. Tanner in the McLaren MP4-12C, took on another Ford Racing driver, Carl Edwards in the 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion stock car. By the way, NASCAR is the anagram for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and not the vehicle itself. Rutledge was on hand to give commentary and bridge the gap between the two racers. It was ten laps long via the road course; but take it from me, this Top Gear on History segment will be talked about for years to come.
“Do you have a helmet?” – Carl Edwards
From the first episode, fans have been asking for a NASCAR driver to make an appearance on this show for the ‘Big Star, Small Car’ segment. This season alone there have been several, but this race was probably much more than what anybody expected. They didn’t get just anybody for this. They got one of the sport’s biggest stars! It was beautifully done and pieced together, made for a very exciting film. However, there was one very distracting continuity issue. Tanner’s black gloves kept disappearing and reappearing in the interior shots. Besides that the McLaren held up well against the Ford, but it wasn’t easy. Edwards gave Tanner a really hard time. The two racers went at it because race car drivers don’t like to race. They like to win. They live to win but they had fun too, and so did we.
The stock car won, of course. There’s no way this show would allow a stock car to get smoked by a supercar on a NASCAR track. Honestly, the McLaren wouldn’t have had a chance if the race had been confined to the oval. This whole segment was also a Ford Racing love-fest. As aforementioned, both Tanner and Edwards are Ford Racing drivers. However, the Ford logo was featured at several angles. Yeah, the McLaren had no chance but it was still fun to watch, and gives hope that we’ll see similar challenges in the future. It was in all, a very good episode. The next episode in the series is Adam’s turn to shine because it’s his show. I’ll be unhappy to report if there isn’t a supercar in there for him to ogle over too. If Tanner’s going to drive the coolest cars, then make sure that at least the other hosts are there as well. They’re on a good trajectory and that tells me that future is looking brighter for this show.