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Top Gear Tuesday - Mobility Scooter Challenge

What happens when Clarkson, Hammond, and May hop up motorized wheelchairs to go off-roading

Super Street Staff
Oct 29, 2019

As entertainment, Top Gear has always been suited for a variety of car people, its segments appealing to everyone from the jaded know-it-all to the newest of greenhorns, but one of the beauties of any show produced abroad that resonates internationally is its window into other cultures. This is to say specifically a show like, say, Monty Python wouldn't nearly be as funny to us Yanks if it wasn't uniquely British. When it was hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and Jamey May, for sure part of Top Gear's magic was the presenters' wit and slightly off-kilter worldview informed wholly by their Englishness.

Mobility Scooter Challenge Clarkson May Hammond Photo 13/13   |   Top Gear Tuesday - Mobility Scooter Challenge

On a previous outing, the trio challenged themselves to do "caravanning" the Top Gear way (which is sort of analogous to RV'ing here in the States), with hilarious results, and in early 2012 during Series 18, Episode 4, the gents took a similar look at "rambling" in the UK, which seems to be just taking long walks in the wilderness with a group of friends. But this was not rambling for the ambulatory; inspired by a lack of "off road-looking" mobility scooters and their high price tags in general, TG producers had Clarkson, Hammond, and May each build a scooter for less than the going market rate, then meet in Wales for a series of tests.

Clarkson showed up with an 8-wheeled beast fashioned out of two Pro Rider Road Kings, rigged with binoculars for bird watching ostensibly. May rolled through with a motorized wheelchair outfitted with coffee dispenser, iPad holder, and racing seat. Hammond's machine looked like a tracked trike, namely because it was a trike married to a gasoline-powered wheelbarrow (to which May responded upon seeing it, "It's supposed to be (A.) electric, and (B.) not for invading France. ")

Mobility Scooter Challenge Hammond Clarkson Photo 13/13   |   Top Gear Tuesday - Mobility Scooter Challenge

First, the squad had to see if their scooter builds could function like actual scooters in a real-world city environment, mixing with pedestrians, accessing services for the disabled, and basically getting by in the hustle and bustle of every day. Then, our hapless trio has to face three soldiers from the British Army on their own, unmodified mobility scooters, racing to the top of a hill across dirt roads and fields—the ensuing shenanigans is some of Top Gear's finest. We won't spoil the ending, but will say "Captian Slow" May lives up to the nickname, prompting Hammond to ask rhetorically at one point, "Do we, in these unique circumstances, merely leave him, or shoot him and leave him?"

Mobility Scooter Challenge Hammond Photo 13/13   |   Top Gear Tuesday - Mobility Scooter Challenge

Relive it all or discover it for the first time by visiting Motortrendondemand.com and check out the MotorTrend app that gives you essentially the entire classic Top Gear library, as well as fresh content, specials, spin-off series' like Richard Hammond's "Crash Course" and James Mays' "Cars of the People," along with a deep well of video content from topics like motorsports, off-road, restoration and so much more! Still not convinced you need the Motor Trend app in your life? Then give it a try absolutely free for 14-days and then you'll understand exactly what you've been missing.

By Super Street Staff
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