Top Gear Team Advice

Top Gear Team

  ……On How to Buy a British Sports Car

British Car

1 Does the ad say “In factory condition”? Do you realise that this means “shoddy, wonky and with half an egg sandwich left in one of the door panels”?

2 Do you have a mental image of parping down a country lane on a summer’s day? Does it contain finding yourself standing in the country lane next to a stationary car spewing out steam and a mysterious green fluid? If no, then run away.

3 Inspect the car. Does it have any rust? If not, ask yourself, “How have they concealed the rust?”

4 Does the hood look like a tramp’s hat? Good, that’s normal.

5 Ask to start the engine. How long does the owner spend describing the delicate procedure you must go through to get the motor to turn? If it is less than 10 minutes, that’s good. If it is more, that’s still normal.

6 Blue smoke on start-up can tell you a lot about the engine. As it fires, can you still see the rest of the car through the smoke cloud? If yes, that’s a good sign. If no, that’s normal.

7 Take a test drive. How many attempts does it take you to get the car into first gear? Fewer than five is good, but if you are thinking of entering the car in concours events this will be considered inauthentic.

8 On the open road be on the lookout for loud knocking noises, screeching, dangerously vague steering and a sudden bang followed by total loss of drive. These are normal.

9 Have you considered a Mazda MX5?

New Mx5 2013

Click on the photo to visit the Mazda MX5 home page.

MX5 Named Most Popular Roadster

Most Popular

The iconic Mazda MX5, the world’s best-selling two-seater sportscar, added another award to its trophy tally yesterday – Most Popular Roadster – when the winners of the Awards 2013 were revealed at a special ceremony in London. The awards acknowledge and reward those cars with reviews that generate the most interest from site visitors and which users search for most on the Honest John website – which receives 1.5 million visits every month. This year there were 14 award categories, plus awards for Best Real MPG, Most Rated Car and Car of the Year.

Roadster Award

To win the title of Most Popular Roadster, the MX5 beat off four premium rivals (Audi TT, BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK and Porsche Boxster), to triumph in this new-for-2013 category.
Dan Harrison, editor of, said: “We may rarely see the sun in the UK, in fact we’re more likely to see snow judging by recent months, yet convertibles and roadsters remain very popular and that’s reflected in what our users are viewing. It may not be the newest two-seater open-top car on the market but the Mazda MX5 remains the most fun to drive and it’s very affordable. Our users clearly think so too. It proves that a good quality soft-top needn’t cost the earth.”

To read the full Honest John review of our favourite sports car, just click on the logo:

Honest Logo

The Need for Speed, French Style!

Still one of the finest aerobatic teams around, the Patroiulle de France give us a colourful preview of their 2013 display routine, watch it in full screen it is superb. Many thanks to my good friend Guillaume in Paris for the link. Click on the picture below to see more:


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