Top Gear USA has asked the question, “Can cars float?” before by dabbling with crossing bodies of water before but never on this scale. This week their goal was to cross Lake Ontario from Buffalo, New York to Toronto, Canada in cars that have been modified to be watercraft. This sounded perfectly acceptable, unlike their claim that the work was done overnight, as in from dusk to dawn, from bedtime to breakfast time, from your last trip to the bathroom of the day, to your first trip to the bathroom of the day. Now pardon me while I take two shots and move along, because this is Top Gear and you’d think I would be used to this poop by now. Time to channel Olivia Pope (when her life isn’t in shambles) and get this show on the road!
They assembled at a waterway in Buffalo to present their vehicles. Rutledge Wood fused a 1999 Volkswagen Cabrio and Sea Ray pleasure boat into something that best represented the challenge: part car and part boat, eh? Tanner Foust went in a very different direction but misguided as it was, made me feel warm and fuzzy. Shut up, pervs! He chose a 1986 Plymouth Conquest which looks exactly like a Mitsubishi Starion, Jackie Chan’s hero car in Cannonball Run 2.
“The nice thing about this is it’s red so when it sinks the Coast Guard will be able to find it.” – Adam “No surrender” Ferrara
I watched that movie so many times as a kid, that although it probably caused permanent psychological and definitely moral damage – I still love it to this day. The similarities between the Plymouth and Mitsubishi are best described in this Hemmings Daily article. Tanner’s intention was to make his car race across the water like a jet ski. Well, the road to hell is paved with the best intentions isn’t it? Speaking of hell, now we get to Adam Ferrara. By the way, Funny as Hell is still available on iTunes and Amazon. Bless his military-obsessed heart, he showed up in the unholy union of a 1987 Jeep Wrangler and V6 Airboat. It looked a Jeep-sized hole was cut out of an airboat and then the two were Hulk-smashed together. Mind you despite all my fat chats the thing did work. Like a Don Quixote-esque WWII landing craft, #AdmiralAdam stormed the shore. It would have been nice to call it a day, but at only five minutes in, there were many more shenanigans to be seen.
“Ring the bell, you mansies.” – Tanner “Secretly Asian” Foust
The first test of their seafaring vessels was to see if they could still cut the mustard on land, by doing timed runs on the Buffalo Skyway. All they had to do was get up to 50mph turn around and return to the midway point. The Skyway is a fantastic location, but then the idiocy of these three whatchamacallits trying to race along it was a perfectly ridiculous paradox. Okay two whatchamacallits and a Turboat, with its huge rear wing and life preserver that miraculously managed to stay attached. Don’t ask me how. Build quality was then tested by a slalom course on a cobblestone street. Who would have thought a historical district’s road surface would have caused this much hilarity and stupidity?
“I don’t want y’all to sink mine just ‘cause your ideas were terrible!” – Rutledge “The Captain” Wood
They cast off the next morning from the US side of the lake and there was craziness immediately. Eventually we were watching three dudes in one semi-marine vessel and then one of them jumped ship. Don’t worry about him, as he got picked up by a camera crew boat, and ticked off a lot of ladies on Twitter (and my sister too) who couldn’t believe that he left his bros on a 50% car in almost the middle of a lake without any snacks. Not even some free energy drinks, for pity’s sake? I’m just kidding because there’s probably a perfectly reasonable explanation, but unfortunately it’s not nearly as entertaining as acting like a d-bag.
One of the more noticeable aspects of this episode was the soundtrack. They used several marching band numbers for Adam’s scenes and other stirring numbers for their ultimate triumph. Actually, all the military music they dig up for Adam is a running joke, with no end in sight. Shooting in far flung places on land must be a challenge, but this time they did it on water. Although much of this team has worked on Top Gear UK which is an achievement in itself, this show undoubtedly presents its own challenges and unforeseen circumstances for them to deal with. As a group, including the silly boys in front of the camera, they put on one heck of a show. When that crazy thing touched on Canadian concrete, we were cheering for them. Well done, all of you!
Live-tweeting the episode was a barrel of laughs as always. Sincere thanks go to the Top Gear USA team for sharing cool behind-the-scenes photos of their adventures. The next episode is called Fully Charged and according to their History Channel website:
“Adam, Rut and Tanner drive three of the bestselling electric cars on a journey through Michigan to determine which is best and showcase some surprising features. The unusual tests include a reverse high speed challenge, a race indoors, and a stealth mission. The winner gets to drive the new all electric sports package Tesla Model S.”
I cannot wait!