5 way better things to watch than the Grand Tour Madagascar Special
Without Top Gear we wouldn’t have the great abundance of free, car related entertainment online. But now it seems the youtubers have surpassed the original imho.
Case in question, the trailer of the upcoming Grand Tour Madagascar Special. It looks, well, good. Visually. The rest comes across rather stale and predictable. A beautiful country, multi millionaires pretending to be angry at each other, pretending to do a treasure hunt, pretending it’s spontaneous. Pretending. Just a whole lot of pretending and very predictable content.
Do you yearn for the Top Gear of old? When Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond where actually doing something new? A more authentic feel? Camaraderie, animosity and just the sheer enjoyment of cars? You’re very much in luck. That content is more plentiful than ever. Here are 5 way better things to watch than the upcoming Grand Tour Madagascar Special.
£2000 Track Car Challenge – Car Throttle
Let’s start with my current favourite, the boys from Car Throttle. It’s like Top Gear The Next Generation. Absolute petrol-heads the lot of them (especially that madman Ethan!). Fixing old cars, doing new and actually interesting challenges and reviewing interesting cars. But most importantly Alex, Jack and Ethan have great on screen chemistry.
- Looking Rich On A Tight Budget Challenge
The title says it all. And it’s the birthplace of the choppy choppy.
- High Mileage Hero
Great series of videos about a very high mileage car. They test it, the comments named it (best name ever for a car), abuse it, and then totally refresh it.
- Here’s Why You Should Buy The ‘Unreliable’ Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo
It’s a review, it’s a love letter the forgotten Fiat Coupe. AndI happen to love the Fiat Coupe.
- Living with a Renault Twizy
Useful and funny review of the weird two seater electric Twizy. It’s such a funny video, Alex wearing a helmet all the time is just gold. Way, way better review than what Top Gear did (and probably 1/1000th of the production cost).
- The Car Throttle Podcast with special guest Mike Brewer
They guys also make The Car Throttle Podcast podcast, which justifiably grows rapidly in popularity. The car talk is great and their friendship and chemistry comes through again. Add great interesting guests like the former Stig, Mike Brewer, Edd China, Colin Furze and more.
Budget Bike Battle Italia – 44Teeth
I know, I know, it’s not cars. It’s bikes. But damm if the content doesn’t feel more like Top Gear than Top Gear has felt like for years. Chris Baron von Grumble (funny London commuting grumbling biker in days past) and Alastair Fagan (pro bike racer, looks like a short and stout Jason Statham) buy a budget bike, prepare it and go for a great trip to Italy. Funny, real and authentic. Highly recommended.
- Budget Bike Battle 5
The guys buy the absolute strangest motorcycles to do a trip (one motorcycle had a roof!
- Budget Bike Battle Alpine
Baron and Statham buy something quick and cheap and head for the Alps. What could possibly go wrong? Lots. Gear on bikes. Police. Cold. Snow.
TURBOS & TEMPLES 2 – Mighty Car Mods
The Australian friends Marty and Moog have been at it for a least 10 years. JDM cars, tuning, buying and mostly working on cars on Youtube. Especially recommended if you like to see the actual working on cars and if you like their real awesome friendship. They’re funny, they love cars, and it shows. That they produce their own amazingly good music for their shows is just icing on the cake.
FINAL BATTLE | $3000 Turbo Car Challenge
I cannot get the song they made for their 2SEXY car out of my head. It is so fitting to the theme, the car and just damm right catchy. But this whole series was great .
MOD MAX – Episode 1
My favourite car the guys have ever made for one of my favourite movies ever made; Mod Max for Mad Max Fury Road. A S15 Silvia with a V8, that is so Mad Max + MCM. And that sound…
250 CAR TIPS, Tricks & DIY Hacks EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW
This is really a video that delivers on it’s promise. 250 (!) actual, usable, shown, tips. It’s like Marty and Moog just shoved 10 years of experience into your eyeballs.
Sorted – superspeedersRob
Americans do things… differently. Matt Farah (The Smoking Tire), Rob Ferretti and Emelia Hartford take viewers’ tuned cars on a series of challenges. The scoring system is a bit complicated, but it doesn’t really matter, it’s about the fun with the tuned cars. First getting to know the cars episodes are good. Seeing the utter shock on their faces when they give it the beans is great. The episodes where Tanner Faust drives the cars on track are a bit less interesting to me, but your mileage will definitely vary.
Honourable mentions / bonus links:
New 2021 Fiat 500 e EV review – The Late Brake Show with Johnny Smith
If you love the old skool Top Gear car reviews, as in actual cars and not preposterous million dollar cars, you should definitely check out The Late Brake Show with Johnny Smith (previous Fifth Gear presenter known for finding cheapskate alternatives). Cinematography and editing have been steller for a Youtube channel recently and Johnny seems like just the kind of car friend you’d want to have.
The very expensive car channels
You do want preposterous million dollar car reviews? Well, I guess you could check out Harry’s Garage (loveable car uncle you’d love to have Harry Metcalfe) especially his real world reviews of expensive cars (like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKK9QvjwmEM ) and his great auction previews and good fun to watch.
And, of course, Daddy Doug DeMuro. He reviews the craziest, hyper, super or normal cars in his own, very detailed way. Keeping a scoring chart obviously. Doug is that kind of man. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAWt2yrGq98
I rather watch the channels listed above, since the very expensive doesn’t really interest me, but to each their own.
CarTrek Season 1 – Tavarish, Tyler Hoover and Ed Bolian
About as Top Gear as a not Top Gear show can be. Same premise, buy three cars, meet each other, drive to a location and do a series of challenges. Currently there are two seasons, with a Christmas special coming up. Personally the first season felt a bit more special than the second one, maybe because season two was all filmed from one location and the first felt more of a journey.
Merry Christmas everyone, enjoy the Youtubers and the Grand Tour Special (you’re gonna watch it anyway aren’t you?)!
DISCLAIMER I do still enjoy the old Top Gear, and I’ll probably watch a little bit of the Madagascar special anyway. Just to see the gorgeous cinematography, and perhaps, be very surprised with the contents? It’s that magical time of year, so who knows!