I’d argue that Top Gear peaked in December 2009 when Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May traversed Bolivia in a trio of old off-roaders. It might have been controversial at times, but the ambitious (but rubbish) Top Gear of the 2000s introduced generations of viewers to the joys of driving. And after its dramatic demise in 2015, many were left with a car show-shaped hole in their lives.
But if you really want to find a show that can ignite a passion for cars in a new audience, you’ve got to look elsewhere. You’ve got to tune into an episode of Catie’s Amazing Machines.
Oh, you’ve not heard of Catie’s Amazing Machines? Well, it’s a show on the UK children’s TV network CBeebies, which apparently is for kids age six and younger – but we’ll glance over that.
In the show, Andretti United Extreme E driver Catie Munnings gets to hoon about a bunch of “Amazing Machines”.
Each episode sees her pick out three machines across a different category. Munnings then drives each craft around a track, field, runway or even a quarry to show what they can do. At the end, she picks a favorite.
Oh, and Munnings also has her own “pet amazing machine”, a remote control car called Speedie.
The first season of the show covers things like Big-Wheeled Machines, Building Machines, Farm Machines and Fancy Machines. And in it, you’ll see Munnings get behind the wheel of a stretch limo, monster truck, racing catamaran and a fire engine.
There’s 19 episodes in the first season, and they’re each just 15 minutes long: Perfect for anyone with a short attention span who you might want to instill some automotive passion in.
And, if all that wasn’t enough of a reason to check the show out, the whole thing is sound tracked by early 2000s glam rock band The Darkness. Magnificent.
Now, where can I get my hands on a box-set?