Sunday, 27 November 2011

Top Gear Live

SuckSqueezeBangBlow spent the day at Top Gear Live at the ExCel on Friday. Having attended the show in its former guise of ‘The MPH Show featuring Top Gear Live’ since 2005, we went along to observe two important differences: firstly, the rebranding to make it an overtly Top Gearified event and secondly, how the show would work at the ExCel, having been held at Earls Court for so many years. The answer to the former would be that, well, it was largely thematically the same; barring a few extra Stig banners and what-have-you, the spread of exhibitors and spectacles was on a par with previous years, which is no bad thing. For the latter, it’s an easy one: if you’ve been to the MPH Show, imagine that but bigger and brighter. The main show hall was approximately the same size as the show of old – a healthy mix of modern supercars, classics, modified cars (we had a good chat with Elo from the London Motor Museum – lovely guy, who’d built the custom truck you see below especially for the event; those chrome spikes are Ikea curtain rail ends!), auction houses and trade stands – but with the added bonus of an adjacent indoor track, displaying Group B rally heroes, ‘star in a reasonably priced car’, and much other high-octane chicanery.
The jewel in the event’s crown was, as always, the live show. Hosted by Clarkson, Hammond & May, they drove in on a motorised replica of the TV show’s studio platform and introduced all manner of unpredictable entertainment: flaming Imprezas, leaping motocross riders, Focus RSs in stunt formation and, best of all, the destruction of a CityRover by a monster truck. And if that’s not a giggle, I don’t know what is...

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