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The Top Gear USA Cast Spills The Beans on Season Four And More!

This week, I had the opportunity to participate in a telephone press conference with the cast of Top Gear USA, courtesy BBC Worldwide.    It was a bit of organized chaos but My Life at Speed got unfiltered, inside information from Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood, about the fourth season of Top Gear on History Channel.  More importantly (in my mind) the cast answered questions posted by My Life at Speeders on our Facebook page!

“The episode premiering on September 3rd 2013 at 9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT is called Coast to Coast. Adam, Tanner and Rutledge race from New York City to Los Angeles on an epic 3000 mile road trip, determined to prove that their chosen ‘supercar’ is best.  Adam drives the new SRT Viper, Rut the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Stradale and Tanner, the McLaren MP4-12C Spyder.” – BBC Worldwide

This series premiered on History Channel in 2010 with the episode Cobra Attack.  Despite good ratings and continued growth in fan numbers, the show remains steeped in ignominy, for the crime of not being Top Gear UK.  It’s very rare for a spin-off from a beloved TV series, regardless of the genre, to survive for very long; but here we are, almost three years later and Top Gear USA is still going strong.  Despite their detractors, the chemistry among the three presenters is a major key to the show’s success.  It wasn’t long into the call before it became obvious that these guys have spent a lot of time together.  Like long-married couples, they tell stories in tandem, can finish each other’s sentences and of course, argue.  Boy, can they argue!

You couldn’t get three men more unalike from each other.  Their ages, backgrounds, personalities and professions all differ; but they assuredly have one thing in common – a love of having fun with cars.  As we all got connected Adam, Tanner and Rutledge chatted away almost blissfully unaware that we were on the line too.  After some initial tomfoolery that will not be divulged here, the spokesperson from BBC Worldwide finally got the ball rolling on the topic of the new season’s premiere Coast to Coast.

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Left To Right: 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo, 2013 McLaren 12C Spider, 2013 SRT Viper GTS In Manhattan. (Photo Credit: Rupert Smith © 2013 BBC Worldwide Ltd. “All Rights Reserved”)

Coast to Coast: a tunnel, a horse, a cop and Intercourse

Adam: Rutledge frightened a horse

Rutledge: I did and I don’t know if you guys know this – I’m a huge fan of Intercourse!

Tanner: (laughing)

Adam: Yes, we all love Intercourse (laughing).  We actually have t-shirts that say “Team Intercourse.”

Rutledge: Yeah they say “I ♥ Intercourse” and then real small next to it, it says “PA” as in the lovely town, Intercourse, Pennsylvania.  We had a great time.  You know, that was a really, really ambitious trip.  We were flying across the country and we got pulled over in Missouri…

Adam: In the rain.

Rutledge: …in the rain, and that’s maybe, that was the time where Adam and I at least were very candid.  The cop walked up to me and he said, “What’s going on?” and I answered not trying to be a smarty-pants but very honestly, “Oh not much, what’s up with you?” He did not…

Tanner: Is it too late for flapjacks?  Is it too late for flapjacks?

Rutledge: Is it too late for flapjacks?  Adam…the guy said, “What’s going on?” and Adam just said, “Yeah, you just want to talk to those people up front.  I’m really not your guy here.

Tanner: (laughing)

Adam: Yeah, go talk to the people with the English accent.  They know everything.

Rutledge: It was – I tell you the coolest thing for sure, and you know, Tanner can tell you more about it but, when we shut down the Eisenhower Tunnel…

Tanner: Oh yeah! That was the highlight for me for sure.

Rutledge: That’s top ten – coolest things I’ve ever done in my life.

Tanner: You know the Eisenhower Tunnel – background – been around for forty years, built in 1973.  Living in Colorado, if you’ve ever been skiing to Vail or whatever, you’ve driven through it.  It’s like one of the busiest tunnels in the country, and it was the largest…the longest tunnel in the world, when it was built; and we shut it down and went over 160 miles an hour through it.  The fastest recorded cars ever to go through that tunnel in forty years.  It was amazing, it was like the ground rush from going through a tunnel that fast, and the sound and everything is awesome.

Adam: You actually felt like a torpedo just coming out of a tube, at that speed, just breaking through the tunnel with the sunlight coming out.  It was really, really cool.

Top Gear USA Eisenhower Tunnel
Adam Ferrara points out their exit point from the Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado. (Photo Credit: Adam Ferrara)

Rutledge: It’s also I think the longest, you know when we’ve done stuff before with supercars, they’re really fun and then at the end of the day you get to go park them, in that thing we’re trucking for days and days and days – and I definitely wore out my butt’s welcome in that Lamborghini seat, which was carbon fiber and fixed back.  But the good news is Tanner was in extreme comfort the whole time in his McLaren.

Adam: Yeah, as long as Tanner rides in air-conditioned comfort with suspension, we had to hear about it.  I showed up in the Viper with the posture of a jumbo shrimp.

(Everybody laughed)

Rutledge: Poor Adam’s crunched leg in that Viper.  I mean you could be…each time Adam walked with his left leg, it sounded like an old screen-door creaking open on that trip.

Adam: (laughing) Yeah! Pedal box is pretty small.  We had so much fun doing that.  It really beat us up, and I think there’s maybe a half-hour of Intercourse, Pennsylvania jokes that didn’t make it.

Rutledge: (laughing) Or how ‘bout when we were wearing our straw hats and calling Tanner, Boy George?

Adam: Yeah, that didn’t make it either.

Tanner: And actually sang quite a few lyrics to some Boy George.

Adam: (laughing) Yeah, singin’ ‘em, yeah!  That didn’t make it either.

Rutledge: I forgot about that.

Adam: And we arrived in New York City in a helicopter, which is really, really cool!

Rutledge: That was cool.  If you guys have questions, just jump in and interrupt us, otherwise I’m afraid we might just blab all day.

“Well basically when we leave the set this is what happens: Tanner drives because if he doesn’t, he’s a pain in the ass, and he drives quick and Rut navigates; and I sit in the back and sleep.  If Rut drives home, he goes too slow; and if I drive home, I get us lost. – Adam Ferrara

Rutledge: I love that right now, Chris is live-tweeting this call; and on Twitter put “On next episode of Top Gear the guys say they shut down Eisenhower Tunnel for high speed run. Also, they scared a horse.” Now that’s good documentation!

Adam (laughing): They scared a horse!

Autoblog Tweet 28Aug2013a
Chris from Autoblog wasn’t playing around. Well, maybe just a little bit.

Rutledge: You know the Top Gear US haters out there, the fanboys like right now’s like, “Oh, they shut down the tunnel?  I could do that.  Wait, they scared a horse?  Ok, maybe now I’ll watch.”

(Everybody laughs)

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2012 Lamborghini Gallardo with horse and buggies in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Dan De Castro © 2013 BBC Worldwide Ltd. “All Rights Reserved”)

Rutledge Wood’s Ready to Race “The Golden Child”?

MH: Rutledge, I have a question.  Rut, since you won the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, are we finally going to see you take on Tanner, in a supercar race, like Adam did with the Chevy?

Rutledge: That’s a great question.  You know what I was so happy about, obviously being in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race was huge for me just to get invited.  The fact that I was in there last year and I drove like I didn’t want to be the first guy to wreck; and that probably is why I finished fourth and I had started fourth, last year.  But this year, I decided that I would drive like I wasn’t so frightened and that I knew what I was doing, and when I got the pole – that was $15,000 towards Victory Junction, which is a camp I support in North Carolina that my friend Kyle Petty built, in memory of his son Adam.

When I won that I thought, “Oh my gosh, this is it!  Like I can just go do one better, it doesn’t matter what happens in the race – I’m going to do all right.  And then when I won the race, I think it was the first time that people realized, “Hey, maybe you’re not a terrible driver but just that in perspective – Tanner is so good that you and Adam seem like you’ve never seen a car before, by comparison?” (Adam chuckling)  So for me, that was huge.  I will say, I did teach Tanner how to do a standing burnout.  So, let’s be fair, he is an amazing driver.  He does not know every redneck trick in the book though.  I did have to teach him that one, ‘cause I guess I have normal-sized feet and he has little child’s feet, so he couldn’t figure out how to roll the pedals just right, to get it to launch; but now he can just do them beautifully.  I’m ready!  I’m ready!

Tanner: I think I need to learn, I need to learn some other things from you, Rutledge.  I need to learn how to hold onto the roof of the car while it’s going round left-turn.

Rutledge: Yes, I can do that.  Yeah!  Also, you’ve got to work on your delivery of “Hey, hold my beer.”

Tanner: Yeah I always…I need to get “cold beer” in there somehow, “Hey, hold my cold beer.”

Rutledge: Well normally Tanner’s like “Hey, can someone hold this white zin, I’m going to go over here and do something impressive with a hot rod (?).  Hold this wine cooler, I’ll be back in a tick ‘cause I remember I started it (Adam giggling).  Marsha, the question is, that’s a great question.  I will gladly take on Tanner any day of the week it’s just I have a better understanding of, I think of our limits; and that’s one of those things like we always joke that Tanner’s one of the smartest guys I know but he is a real dummy when you think about it; because he does stuff in cars that smart people go, “You know what?  This isn’t a good idea.  This doesn’t seem safe.  I’m going to bow out.” And Tanner has pushed past that line so many times, that his line of what’s sketchy is so far over from normal people that he seems insane, when in fact it’s really methodical.  He thinks about everything.  He knows what he’s doing.  It’s just he’s kind of an idiot by comparison of normal people.  Compared to the two of us, well he’s still an idiot, but he’s our idiot.

Tanner: I think we need to see what Chris’ tweeted about that whole monologue.

Adam: When it comes to cars, he’s truly, truly gifted.  I’ve seen him do things like it’s not a steering wheel, it’s a wand.  He’s like an idiot savant, without the savant.

Rutledge: You remember when we were doing that, the cars that we bought, oh the unsafe cars?  Tanner at lunch break saw a ramp and said, “Can we borrow that ramp?  I’m going to figure out how to drive on two wheels while you guys are eating; and sure enough, Adam and I sat there and watched him.  Twenty minutes of hitting this ramp right and just over the lunch, just figured out how to drive on two wheels.  That was impressive.

Adam: Yeah, with no paper, no pencil, just his little butt dyno.

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Rutledge and Tanner in Amish Country. (Photo Credit: Rupert Smith © 2013 BBC Worldwide Ltd. “All Rights Reserved”)

An Education: DirtFish Rally School and Badass Bucky Lasek

MH: There were some pictures on Facebook from DirtFish Rally School.  Did you guys have a good time hooning around there?

Adam: I had a blast!  I really, that was, that was so much fun.  They treated us so well up at DirtFish; and me and Rut actually got a glimpse into Tanner’s rally world and we didn’t want to leave.  I mean they were like, “Ok guys, you’ve got to slow down.  The sun’s going down, you can’t drive anymore.”  And we’re like, “Come on, not fair!”

Rutledge: There is to me, there is a lot of great driving schools that you can go to in the country; but there’s really only a handful that do what DirtFish does and Tim O’Neil’s another one that I can think of up in Vermont, but that’s one of the coolest places to go, and to just get to beat on something and understand those limits and do it in a safe place.  You know, if you get sideways, you run into more gravel, maybe a tree – not people; and you’re not in your car that you’re driving to work and all those things but, DirtFish is insane.

Bucky Lasek came up there and beat around with us; and man, Bucky is mean in a car, especially a Subaru – that’s what he races, but that was awesome.  I kinda want to go back in December with my friends.  My buddy Kyle Petty has always wanted to go up there and my pal Eddie Gossage, that’s the Texas Motor Speedway president.  We’ve been trying to get to DirtFish for like two years, but our shooting schedule’s a little crazy, turns out.

Tanner: Well I mean, I guess I’ll add is DirtFish that, you know on-set we get to drive a lot of cool stuff but a lot of times, Rut and Adam don’t necessarily get to go off into an open skid-pad and play and learn; and it’s, where I’m lucky is four days a week I’m doing something like that uou know, for the last seventeen years.  I kind of forget sometimes how important that is and so, when we’re up at DirtFish, and hopefully we do more stuff with Dirtfish or Tim O’Neil or the winter driving school in Steamboat or something where you literally just get a chance to go practice your skills.

And for any drivers out there, ‘cause I’m sitting on the highway right now with a couple thousand people and probably one of them has ever done a driving school like that; and the benefit you get for your driving is immeasurable.  It’s unbelievable.  And so we got a little taste of it there; and so hopefully Rut and Adam and I get to play in more places like that.

Adam: And the thing is like when me and Rut were at DirtFish, we were there like a little bit before Tanner, so we got to play around.  You learn so much about the car.  You get a sense that you really, okay this is what it means to be connected to the car and you’re feeling really good about yourself; and then after lunch, Tanner shows up and just blows that all to shit.  I mean, he comes in and whatever good feeling you have, he just steps on and “Yeah, watch this!”  I think he actually taught the Subaru to read.  That’s the magic powers he has over a car.

(Everybody laughs)

Famous Fans and Busting Ken Block’s Balls

MH: Over the years, you’ve had some very cool guest competitors: Cam Sinclair.  You’ve also had some celebrities show up like Dax Shepard with the double-decker BMW’s.  Are we going to see any celebrity guest race car drivers this season?

Rutledge: I can jump in for that.  The coolest thing for us is hearing how many people, you know we’re all very lucky to go and do things.  You know Adam, our little superstar for Nurse Jackie, Tanner our X Games and then me the roundy-round guy.  We’re really lucky how many people want to be on the show and be part of the show.  The coolest thing for me is hearing how many fans want to be on the show and you know, go do some sort of fan challenge.  We’ve talked about that a lot and so, the three of us definitely want to make it happen; but I knew we were doing something right when Clint Bowyer walked up to me in the garage and said, “Hey man, I saw the show.  I want to jump something.”  I said, “What do you mean you want to jump something?”

“Let’s jump a river or something.  Let’s find something we can jump, maybe a lake?”  (Adam giggling)  And, I think a guy has one of the coolest jobs in the world: to be a cup driver and Clint’s having a great year.  I thought that was really cool, to hear that.  You know for me, I’m still, I can’t believe how much fun Adam and I had when Dax Shepard and Sean Hayes were on the show.  Dax is just such a genuine car guy and car nut.  He’s been emailing me about my stepvan that I’ve built because he wants to take a ride in it.  He wants to put that same engine in his Roadmaster station wagon; and for the record, you know I bought one after Season 1.  I love that Roadie wagon – white with the tan, and the tan wood.  My wife thought it was creepy, didn’t like riding in it, and then Dax got one and she thinks it’s charming now.  So (everybody laughs – except Rutledge) that feels like a little bit of b.s. to me, but who did I say – I’m having such a brain fart – came by?

Adam: Bucky.

Rutledge: Oh yeah, Bucky came by Dirtfish.  There are going to be some celebrities you’re going to see in the first show.  I don’t want to give it away…pretty big names…worth watching; but yeah we’re still, we’re kind of always brainstorming, the three of us about, because we’re lucky to have lots of friends that want to be around the show and part of it.  We’re thinking about inviting Ken Block on but then Tanner would just beat him again on the show and so I feel like if he beats him in real-life and on the show, it won’t be as much fun for Ken.

Tanner: Ouch, that’s brutal!

Rutledge: I’m sorry, I thought we were in the Tree of Trust.  I mean, we’re not in the Trust Tree?

(Everybody laughs – except Rutledge, who’s on a roll)

Rutledge: Remember that time Ken invited you to the Gymkhana thing he paid for and then you won, and he got out in the first round?  That stunk.

Tanner: In 2006 and 2013.  (Everybody on the call broke out with laughter)  I’m just kidding.

Rutledge: We only kid because we care, Chris.  I know you’re noting this, but yeah Marsha, we do want to have lots of other people on the show and it’s something that we talk about.  Sometimes it’s hard for schedules to be in sync because all these fancy-pants people we know are always off shooting and we’re also doing the same but in weird places, you know.

Adam: It’s fun to have a lot of people ask us.

Rutledge Wood Tweet 28Aug2013
Hey Rutledge Wood, the Head Hoonigan may want a word with you.

Tanner: There are some racers that are super serious; and it’s their business and they crank out results and that’s cool.  And there are some guys that you just know by every interview they do, everything that they do that they just love driving cars and it’s just the most fun thing they’ve done since they were a kid.  And those are the guys that are just great to have involved with the show.  That’s what the show’s about.  It’s about having fun with cars, and it’s something that we all have in common.  So in the racing world, from the very top to the very bottom rung of racing, there’s these guys that just live, breathe and just love driving anything – from a tractor to racecar…and they’re just fun to get on the show and have fun with.  Ken is one of those, so I’d never have a problem having Ken Block on the show; but there’s a lot of those guys out there so it’s always fun when they get out, and Bucky was cool to have on a couple weeks ago.

Buffalo, the Bugatti on the bridge and fans from foreign countries

Adam: Yeah, Buffalo was great.  We closed The Skyway in Buffalo for a challenge which was really cool; and there was, people all down on the street, just watching us, looking up at The Skyway watching us.  So like after we would do what we were doing, go over to the rail and talk to them and wave and stuff, and kids waving back; and that’s really a lot of fun to see that.  To see it grow as much as it has.  We were actually shooting, we were out here in Beverly Hills when all the kids from Spain came out.

Rutledge: (laughing) That was awesome!

Adam: We were like a boy band.  We’re walking down the street and we hear, (with Spanish accent) “Top Gear!  Top Gear!  Top Gear!” and all these kids from Spain came rushing over.  We were looking around like, “What’s going on?” and it was us!  So it was pretty cool, take pictures with everyone from another country.

Tanner: It’s strange to travel around for X Games in Brazil.  In the beginning of the season X Games was out there, and the show airs in Brazil and whoever has my voice in Portuguese has apparently the sexiest, deepest voice in the world – which I am not blessed with.  But my best bet when girls would come up and want to talk was just to keep my mouth shut; and in other countries like in Sweden, I don’t.  I have a very wispy, high, tinny voice and so it’s a completely [different] demographic that comes up to talk; but it’s been very cool.

There’s this one bridge we tried to shut down, Rutledge if you remember, in Florida where we had the Bugatti; and we literally couldn’t shoot that day.  There were two hundred people, on each side of the bridge.  There were three news helicopters hovering there, waiting to see us go risk our lives on that bridge; and a big part of Top Gear is kind of doing it quietly.  So, we had to cancel the shoot there.

Rutledge: That’s one of those things that…we want the show to be really fun for everybody and really silly, but the downside is that it’s hard to get people right by the action ‘cause at the end of the day, it has to be safe or you know, we’re not going to do it, History’s not going to want to do it, BBC’s not going to want to do it.  So that’s one of those things that I think people thought, “Oh, now you guys know we showed up, we’ve been camping out here for hours…”  It’s one of those things that at the end of the day, we’re just three guys being silly but we’re not willing to put anybody at harm besides each other independently, in a safe way.

When we were in Buffalo that Adam mentioned, you know we shut down The Skyway – we made amphibious cars…and that might be the most insane show we’ve ever done because you don’t realize some of the challenges that exist for something like that, until you’ve built this thing that you know, any time you see us driving these crazy cars, it’s always the stuff that we come up with that you know, like Adam had sketched on a napkin once that he wanted the paintball turret, in the back of his El Camino.  Or for me, I drew up the Civic Wagon RV that I come up with.  You know it’s all these different and the size of the show; and when you see us and we say, “Yeah, we really picked this car.”

You know sometimes it’s us saying, “Ok, I want this Q45 and this, that or the other,” and sometimes it’s us on Craigslist going, “Hey, this is a car.  Go check this one.  If it doesn’t work, here’s a backup.”  It all kind of depends but when you’re doing something you’ve never done before like turn a car into a boat, but it still has to be both things – that is not our area of expertise to be totally honest; and that was an insane show.  I can’t wait to see that, or the second show is when we made our own convertibles in Alaska because Alaska has a tiny, tiny number of convertibles.  They’re so rough up there.

I was laughing so much doing the voice-over for that show yesterday.  I can’t wait for people to, that’s one of those ones where we’re just (Adam laughing) kind of lost our minds.

Adam: I like Rut said something yesterday to me that I think was brilliant.  We’re having such a good time, we forget this is going to be on TV; and then when we see the stupid shit we do – we’re like, oh wait a minute, everyone’s going to see that!

MH: Guys, is there anything you would not do on this show?

Tanner: Clearly not. No.

Adam: (laughing in agreement) Yeah!

Tanner: You know it’s funny that’s probably what the producers are asking themselves, in their cubicle in Hollywood every day.

Adam: Yeah, what won’t these idiots do?

Tanner: Yeah.

Rutledge: I don’t think I’d jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I can tell you that.

Adam: I don’t think I’d go back to the crap table like you did the first time.  We shot an episode in Vegas, and I taught these guys how to throw craps…and just teaching them how to bet, and throwing the chips out on the table.  I look down and we had about $800 just laid out on the table, on one roll, and that was probably the scariest thing I’ve had to come up with for this season.  But, I think Rut hit a hard six and it came in.

Rutledge: Horn high yo! Horn high yo!  O’er the bowl.

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Rutledge, Tanner, and Adam standing in front of McLaren 12c in New York. (Photo Credit: Dan De Castro © 2013 BBC Worldwide Ltd. “All Rights Reserved”)

Rutledge Wood Loves To Show People His Donk

One of the upcoming episodes in this season according to BBC Worldwide “will have the cast travel alongside the Mississippi in the biggest cars the USA has ever produced.”  Rutledge bought his chosen ride, which was a donk.  Honestly, if any of them was going to choose a donk – it would be Rutledge.  Here’s what he had to say.

Rutledge: …the guys all picked what they thought and they said to me, “What would you get?” and I said, “I would get a donk!”  And they said, “What’s a donk?” And I said, “Well classically, it’s like a ’71 to ’76 Chevy Caprice, that’s lifted on gigantic wheels; and so I started sending them examples.  They looked all over the country.  They found one in Orlando, Florida – a candy green, ’76 Caprice, black round-top lifted on 24’s.

It might be one of my favorite cars of all time.  It’s so ridiculous that you pretty much can’t drive it without smiling and kind of just constantly laughing; but people look at you, especially in the South as a white guy riding around in there?  Like it’s so weird for people to see me in there and they just kind of can’t figure it out, like it feels very weird but I love every minute of that car.  It’s amazing.

Tanner: Do you still have it?

Rutledge: I do, I do.

Adam: Does it have a transmission?

Rutledge: Transmission blew up after we brought it home, so yes it’s got a new transmission but I didn’t put a tag on it.  I did drive the El Camino taxi around the other day and people look at you really strangely in that.

(Tanner laughs)

Adam: D’ya ever think, Rut…did you ever think it’s you?

Rutledge: No, I don’t think, I don’t think – no, no.  I think it’s the yellow El Camino painted like a taxi, with the taxi-light still on the roof.  That people go, “That seems like a terrible taxi.”

“I’m surprised that your wife hasn’t called Adam and I, for some sort of like used car intervention.” – Tanner Foust

The Cast Answers Questions from our My Life at Speeders

As aforementioned, when we got invited, one of the first things we did was get questions for the guys from our My Life at Speeders.  We got three and they’re really good ones.  The first two are from Thomas Engrav who asked, “Will they ever get to do a challenge against the UK Top Gear hosts?

Adam: I always wanted to.

Tanner: You saw what they did with the Aussie guys, right?  So, I mean it’s not going to go well.  There’s going to be some payback for the Boston Tea Party or something like that.

Adam: That’s what I want to do!  I want to do the revolutionary war in cars.  We’ll go to York Town because you know, we’d win and it’s a home game for us.

Tanner: Now we’re talking!

Rutledge: That’s a brilliant idea for the record.

Tanner: Heh, now we’re talking!

Rutledge: You know, we’ve talked a lot about it.  You know they only do eight shows a year now.  They’re not doing nearly as many as they used to; and you know for us like we mentioned before that Adam’s got Nurse Jackie and stand-up, I travel with NASCAR, Tanner races all over the world so our own schedule is hard enough to worry about.  So it’s even harder to think about theirs, but it’s something we’d all love to do some day.  But we’ve always said that because we know they’re going to cheat and they know that we’re going to cheat, that I think the only way to do it is to park like two aircraft carriers next to each other in the Atlantic and shoot it right there.

Adam: That’s good!

Rutledge: Or we could go somewhere nice for once like the Caribbean?  Costa Rica?

Adam: Yeah!  Why can’t we do something in Hawaii?  We’re always in arid deserts or glaciers.

Rutledge: Iceland was fun though.  Let’s be honest.

Adam: Iceland was a lot of fun.  Although I’m not eating fish, butter or cheese ever again!

(Everybody laughs)

Thomas’ second question which I paraphrased was “Will we see you guys compete in a public race like the 24 Hours of Lemons, which he thinks is perfect for you for Top Gear?”

Rutledge: We would, I’d think we’d like to.  You know there was a show that Carolla did on SPEED and they raced in one and then cancelled the show, so that’s our first fear.

MH: Ah!

Rutledge: Just kidding.  You know it would really be fun and we’ve talked a lot about it, and there’s the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, stuff like that.  The hardest thing about us getting it to be a part of that is, it truly takes so much effort to make the kind of quality show that History and BBC are making with our show; that it’s really difficult for them sometimes to work around other people’s time restraints.

And also you should know big picture, we don’t mind messing with each other and screwing up the three of our day; and we never want to do that to somebody else and Lemons gives you a little more freedom to where, you know you’re not out there to be vindictive and stuff like that.  But we just, that’s never something, we never want to screw up anyone else’s day and when we borrow cars from people.  I was in a car that I borrowed from Steve Saleen.  I was scared the entire time I was in it because – Steve Saleen.  That’s a big deal.

Adam: Yeah, I drove a different one of someone else’s cars like I had a Lingenfelter.  Lingenfelter gave us his Escalade that I was driving, and it’s still like – it’s when someone else’s car, someone else’s day when we go to Willow and someone’s getting a track day and there’s three idiots and you know, in a Mustang II.  You know, you don’t want to interfere with their day.

Tanner: Right but when they enter the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, there’s some serious efforts there and I’ve done that race and you get past the closing speeds of over 100 miles an hour, so the only time we’ve ever been in race cars is potentially when crashing.  Also, racing’s dangerous and it’s also a little bit dangerous for as well; but the racers that are out on the track spend a huge amount of money to be there and you don’t want to take ‘em out.

MH: Right.

Tanner: That’s for sure.  Lemons is perfect because if you’re going too fast they just to stop you anyway.

MH: You’re supposed to maintain a kind of crap-level in Lemons.  You can’t go too far, you can’t go too fast, your car can’t be too good.

Tanner: Sounds like torture to me frankly, but (Adam laughing) you know for a TV show, it probably makes a lot more sense.

MH: And you’ll be in costume.

Tanner: I’d love being in costume!  I think…

Adam: Oh with the toreador outfit.

Tanner: Yeah, let’s do that!  Let’s do that.

Adam: Let’s do that!?!

(Everybody busts up with laughter)

Tanner: Sounds great…oh, okay.

Rutledge: Let’s do that!

The third question is from Liza Smith was specifically for Rutledge (which I also paraphrased), “Would you consider racing a Super Lite truck again?”

(Adam and Tanner laugh riotously)

Rutledge: You two immediately start laughing – that’s really sweet.  You know what if you don’t tell my wife, yes.  That and Adam will vouch, taking flight in a vehicle that’s made to do that is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  It just…you know it floats.  When Tanner is out doing rally stuff and same thing, those cars are meant to go up and they’re meant to come down.  It’s not like when you hit railroad tracks going way too fast in your Dad’s car.  It’s awesome.  I absolutely loved doing that!  I’ve actually, believe it or not, as scary as it might sound would love to take like a Pro II out, that’s tuned down just a hair.

Adam: Too big.

Rutledge: But I would not hit the whoops the wrong way, and yell “Whoops” again.  That’s for certain.  That stunk.

Adam: That scared the hell out of me.  When he flipped over, that scared the hell out of me.  I actually took one of the minivans they drove in the back and they would yell at me, “You can’t go in there!” and I started yelling, “Call a cop!”  I was pounding on the ambulance door.

Rutledge: That is 100% true.

Tanner: I love that.

Adam: So in answer to your question – I wouldn’t let him do it!

Rutledge: Yes, over Adam’s dead body.

Adam: Yeah! (chuckling)

Rutledge: It’s totally fine.  We laughed later.  Once I got, once the X-ray guy let me go at the hospital, it was fine.  Adam’s biggest concern of the day was truly whether – our hotel rooms are right next to each other – and whether he’d have to come pull me out of the tub was his biggest concern.

Adam: Yeah.

We really hope you enjoyed this interview with the guys and extend our thanks to BBC Worldwide for inviting us to the party.

You can get ready for the new season with a marathon all-day Saturday, August 31, 2013 on History Channel starting from 7:00am to 6:00pm EST.  The show’s official Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/TopGearUSA and you can follow along on Twitter with #TopGear and @History.  Tweet the cast during the episodes: @adamferrara, @RutledgeWood and @TannerFoust.

We’ll have updates here too because at My Life at Speed, when we know, you’ll know.

Written by Marsha Haneiph

Born and raised in the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Marsha aka "One Opinionated Woman" has been a race fan from childhood. Despite a soft spot for rallycross, she finds interest in all forms of motorsport and enjoys learning about exciting, new varieties. Her personal blog 'One Opinionated Woman' focuses on fitness, food and fast cars.

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  1. Fantastic article Marsha!! NIce job!! I am certain Tanner, Rutledge and Adam appreciate what you do to connect them with their audience…and how much you really love their show! So glad that you are part of our team – CNaz.