This weekend's season 13 finale of Top Gear featured an HSV Maloo (the Aussie El Camino), Jay Leno in the reasonably-priced car and Clarkson saying goodbye to the super car — and perhaps to Top Gear itself. Let's watch.
In many ways, this episode of Top Gear was one of the most-Jalopnik ever — featuring a very American petrolhead, an El Camino and a poignant good-bye to super cars and perhaps to one of the most well-known auto journalists...in the world.
For starters, as we told you here first, Jay Leno was the season closer "Star In A Reasonably Priced Car." Pretty funny segment, but for the most part there wasn't any news. Sorry folks, Leno's not the fastest around the Top Gear track. But fear not — there's more than just big chins in this final episode of the season.
There's also some serious horsepower in the form of a head-to-head comparo between the Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst and the HSV Maloo.
Finally, if you are a petrolhead in possession of an electronic screen, you will no doubt have a list of favorite Top Gear moments, made possible by the show’s relentless pursuit of uncompromising cinematography. The images which play a backdrop to the Aston Martin V12 Vantage driven by Clarkson are perhaps the ultimate expression of the visual style honed to perfection over the years.
In this sparse, beautiful and Kleenex-requiring segment, the lanky libertarian Brit waves goodbye to all we love about cars, exemplified by this vaguely insane Aston, a front-engined all-vented portmanteau of their smallest body and their biggest engine. The ultimate expression of the car as—to paraphrase LJK Setright—the Liberator, freeing us from darkness, ignorance and impotence.
Speculation is already rife about Clarkson’s goodbye also extending not only to the super car but also to Top Gear itself. We’ll see about that in the fall, or whenever he gets his next contract sign, won't we? In the meantime, click play then go listen to something with a V12 engine.