Watch Jeremy Clarkson Explain Japanese Car History, Blow Up An Alfa Romeo And Ghost Ride An NSX

Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.

First of all, let me say that that's the best headline I've ever written for Jalopnik, and it's one I will be hard pressed to top someday. Second, let me make it clear that I want to make Sunday Matinee more than just old Top Gear-related videos eventually — even though I could watch that shit all day long, and I know you probably could too.

But this episode of Clarkson's Car Years from 2000 was far too entertaining and interesting to pass up. In it, Jezza gives us a run-down of the history of Japanese automakers after World War II, particularly how they came to Europe, the only place Jeremy Clarkson believes actually matters.


Among the highlights: Clarkson drives the 1965 Daihatsu Compagno Berlina, the first Japanese car imported to Britain; he blows up an awful Alfa Romeo-Nissan crossbreed with a hand grenade; then takes a ride in some of Japan's finest offerings from the 1990s, like the mighty R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R and the NSX, which he feels the need to ghost ride while pointing out where it's not as good as a Ferrari.

Make sure you check out Part 2 as well. (The video also closes with a song from Moby's Play, which gives me some very uncomfortable flashbacks to high school.)

Of course, no Clarkson video is complete without some Clarkson snark and trash-talking. Towards the end, he drops his theory on Japanese cars: the good ones are only good because they're "facsimiles of something that was dreamed up in Europe;" copies of the best cars from England or Italy.

I'm not sure I agree with that assessment; what do you guys think? Sound off in the comments.

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" the good ones are only good because they're "facsimiles of something that was dreamed up in Europe;" copies of the best cars from England or Italy."

Yes, the cars that Jeremy likes are the ones that are copies of the best cars from Europe. That makes sense because he's a European.* He simply doesn't like the JDM cars. He goes through a list of them and basically says their weird, even if one of them is the best selling car in Japan. But, every time he expresses disdain for something that isn't European I implicitly tack on " my British sensibilities" because that's really what Jeremy's saying. And, implicit in that implicit statement is "...because we're better."

*Yes, I understand that Jeremy is British and has *very* British sensibilities. However, from a larger world view, the British and Europeans have similar aesthetic tastes, as opposed to European and Asian tastes.