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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Top Gear's Heros and Villains of the Motoring World

http://www.topgear.com/content/featu...ries/09/1.html
Suggestions to the list are still being accepted, there's a link in the original article


Some highlights from the current list of

Heroes:


McQueen, Hopper & Dean
The kind of Rat Pack you'd really want to hang out and sink a few beers with. A lot less of the crooning and bullying Sammy Davis Junior, a lot more of the thrashing motorbikes through the desert and being both individually and collectively the coolest people in the whole world without exception.

Valentino Rossi
All-conquering biking legend with seven world titles to his name. Uncanny pack-carving ability on two wheels, also not far off Schuey during Ferrari F1 tests. One of the best motorsports men of all time, notwithstanding a haunting likeness to a monkey impersonating Leo Sayer.

Luca di Montezemolo

Swoopy-haired maestro behind modern Ferrari splendour, both on the road and the track. Got his eye in sorting the 1990 World Cup, went on to make the Prancing Horse stronger than even fiery old man Enzo could manage. Ability to look perfectly cool in a Fiat 500 is an added bonus.

Flavio Briatore (plus one)
Coolest modern F1 team boss by a country mile, who also proves that being stylish and magnetic to girls needn't get in the way of success. Hand reared massively browed protégé Alonso to break Schumacher dominance. Extra points for being completely incomprehensible at all times.

David Richards

Enduring motorsport bossman. Title-winning rally co-driver chores for Ari Vatanen, and his decision to enter 2008 F1 bearpit with his own Prodrive team evidence of big kahunas. Copybook blotted only by a deeply unfortunate wino's beard and Dave/David name-based non-casualness oscillation.

Travis Pastrana
Multi-talented motocross trickster. Sustained various excellent career injuries doing wild things on bikes, and still ballsy enough to pull off the first-ever double backflip in competition earllier this year. Ability spreads to rallying, too, even beating mercurial grumpster Colin McRae.

Ayrton Senna

Responsible for a thousand unforgettable moments, from qualifying at Monaco to ripping up Donington in the wet in '93. God-like genius in the car, enigmatic and spiritual out of it. Almost certainly the greatest driver ever. His death meant we never saw him put Schuey down.

Wendelin Wiedeking
Single-handedly saved Porsche. Reportedly he introduced 'just in time' production by personally smashing up the parts stores with a big hammer. Has overseen the launch of a bunch of fantastic new Porsches, true to the marque's heritage and spirit. For that, we'll even forgive him the Cayenne.

Richard Noble & Andy Green
Gentlemanly Brit duo of land-speed record holders. Unbelievable levels of bravery to battle mind-boggling, steering wheel-twitching physics of high speed. Extra points to Green for being sole calm voice of TV-pundit reason in immediate aftermath of Hammond's jet-car accident.

John Lasseter

CGI maestro who loves cars as much as rendered toy cowboys. Hence, the genius of the Toy Story films et al were really just a holding operation for latest masterwork, the rather excellent Cars. He made the mistake of letting Clarkson and Schumacher have a go at acting, but we'll forgive him that.

The Stig
Eats raw snakes and once punched a lion. Some say Simon Le Bon wants him dead. Also faster round our track than any man, beast, machine or F1 driver. He really is that good. Nobody knows who he is because he never says anything to anybody and he doesn't give a damn. He just is.

Tony Pond

Completely ripped up the Isle of Man TT course in a Rover Vitesse, and not even the hairy-chested, rear-wheel drive V8 one. This hard-charging legend made moustaches and Triumph TR7's cooler than they had any right to be. Nobody like him before or since. A hero's hero.

Alex Zanardi
Followed the horrific loss of both legs in a high-speed oval CART accident with period of convalescence... then a frankly astonishing period of getting back into a racing car. He started back at the very track where he had his crash. And he was still on the pace. Brave isn't enough of a word.

Barry Sheen
Charisma-sodden biker, who backed up cheeky chappy persona with riding brilliance and the trophies to prove it. A great friend of James Hunt, which says it all really. Equally famed for reconstructed legs and, in Australia at least, brutally honest TV commentary. A top geezer and a great rider.

Richard Burns

Much-missed British rally champ, rightly famed for his smooth style and intense pace. Packed great success into just six years of top-flight rallying for Mitsubishi and Subaru before succumbing to a brain tumour. The star that shines twice as brightly, shines for half as long.

Taki Inoue
Comedy F1 pay driver extraordinaire. During just one season, Taki managed to get into a smash with the course car, was run over by a Hungarian marshall's Tatra and held a press conference at which he tried to blame his rubbish performance on "toothache". Dog slow yet always utterly briliant.
Here's some video highlights:



Sean Connery as Bond
Moore had the quips, Brosnan had the icy menace, Dalton had... erm, the theme song by A-Ha. But Sean Connery was Bond... James Bond. The classic photo of him leaning on an Aston Martin DB5 is now the official dictionary definition of the phrase 'Cars; cool things involving...'

Dale Earnhardt

Nicknamed 'The Intimidator' and it doesn't get much cooler than that. Many a wide-eyed NASCAR driver saw this moustache looming in their mirrors before being either overtaken or knocked aside. Died in 2001 when he hit the wall at Daytona. A large chunk of the spirit of US stock cars died with him.

Charlie Croker
Michael Caine's '60s' zenith. Drives an Aston Martin, very good at shouting. Waggishly justifies a wad of 'tiger-shooting' bounty with claim he "used a machine gun". Over-quoted crossness re doors/blowing off. Ably assisted by dandyish mate, much given to pink tailoring.

Sabine Schmidt

Professionally, Sabine scares tourists and humiliates 911 GT3 drivers by travelling at light speed in a BMW M5 around the Nürburgring. Personally, has a somewhat mucky laugh and no nonsense Germanic bossiness that makes young men feel a bit funny in the trouser department.

Gilles Villeneuve
Quebecoise hard-charging legend. Exciting, wheel-banging style and determined commitment, underpinned by quiet decency and devotion to family out of the car. He never gave up, even when his wheels fell off. Enzo Ferrari adored him. Still rightly regarded as one of the greatest.

Ian Callum

He's responsible for some of the most beautiful cars on the roads today, cheers mate. Accused of being a one-trick coupe pony, but what a trick it is. Think DB7, DB9, V8 Vantage - it's a good CV. And he actually knows about more than just sports cars: we hear that the next Jaguar S-Type is a stunner.

Evel Knievel
A stuntman's stuntman, able to defy gravity and, hence, also death. Started doing his own stunts to earn some money. Openly embraced marketing opportunities to turn 'some money' into 'lots of'. Evel's real last name is 'Knievel', which is great. But his real first name is 'Robert', which is not so great.

Tony Schumacher

No relation to Michael, or the other one, his brother, what's his name, but a mighty champ in his own right. Three-time top fuel US dragster title-holder, first man to top 330mph, fastest man ever in a dragster at a dizzying 337.58 mph. Very large testicles of titanium.

Villains

Kevin Howe

David Brent look-alike, MD-ed MG Rover until the bitter end. Questionable decision-making included laughably high pricing of the laughably rubbish CityRover and signing off the amusing but pointless ZT V8, seemingly because he wanted a nice company car. Bye-bye indigenous mass car making soon after. Cheers, mate.

Ken Greenley

One time British hot-shot, who has been reduced to the job of heading up the design team at Korean no-hopers SsangYong. Evidently very skilled in wielding a bloody big ugly stick. Hence, the dreadful, disjointed Rodius people carrier and an entire range of other cars guaranteed to trigger instant gag reflex.

Ken Livingstone

Cat-voiced newt enthusiast, bent on making London drivers' lives miserable. He introduced bendy buses to block entire roads and has been accused of fiddling traffic signals to justify the Congestion Charge. The one that doesn't apply to the RX400h 'cos huge 4x4s don't cause 'congestion' if they have an electric motor.

Jacques Villeneuve :
Annoying-voiced French Canadian whiner, trading on father's legendary name but clearly not his legendary talent. World Championship season gifted by having easily the best car, and still took ages to wrap it up. Stunningly ill-conceived attempt to become singer mopped up last few people in world who didn't think he was a tit.

James Allen
Reedy-voiced F1 commentary stain, not fit to lick Murray Walker's carpet slippers. Smorgasbord of race-ruining irritation includes pathetic yelps of 'Gooooo!' at green light, relentless spouting of irrelevant facts, and charmless incorrect identification of cars ad nauseum. Brundle must have the patience of a saint.

Chris Bangle

Oft-derided beardy-weirdy BMW design boss. Everyone wearily accustomed to current range, and 5-Series might even be considered 'not horrible', but legacy reaches further than that. To wit, every other car maker now covering panelwork in slashes and scallops. Thanks for killing beautiful cars, Christopher.

Maurice Gatsonides
Dutch rally driver and subsequent poacher-turned-gamekeeper as inventor of the speed camera. Admirable aim to make police speed checks more honest. Less admirable use by money-hungry cops ever since. Hence, the daily prospect of getting nabbed for minor speed infringement on quiet, safe roads at 6am.

Bernie Ecclestone
Irksome micro person and F1 overlord. Somehow made top-level motor racing a business first and a sport second. Desire to ship GP circus off to new circuits in Middle and Far East suggests enthusiasm for those little things like soul, excitement and heritage second to enthusiasm for trousering huge amounts of cash.

Ralf Schumacher

Annoying-faced, second-most- talented son of Mr and Mrs Schumacher. Supernatural skill, innate motivational abilities, multiple world-title wins... all older brother Michael's job. Younger sibling takes care of other vital duties such as investing in sex toys and generally being rubbish. Complete and utter waste of the genes.



Geoff Lawson
Late Jaguar design boss. General affableness concealed his apparent inability to remember it wasn't 1969. Hence, saddled Jag range with unpopular National Trust-styling which lived on until new XK. X-Type, S-type and XJ continue with olde worlde looks, knackering sales, cash flow, and prospects generally.

Bill Ford
Touted as the boss man to pull Ford out of the mire. Job done suggests unable to pull a greased stick out of a cow's arse. Hard to think of good gutsy decision made in last five years. Proof positive of the Jason Connery Syndrome. To wit, having a good family name does not automatically make you any good.

Peter Wheeler
Gruff tab smoking businessman, kept TVR going far longer than necessary, to the delight of a handful of masochistic unreliability enthusiasts and no one else. Then somehow managed to flog the whole shebang to a Russian urchin, allowing the saga to grind on long after most people stopped caring.

Last edited by ffwf; 10-13-2006 at 03:44 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 04:57 AM
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Where is Michael Schumacher?


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¤ più forte non si può . WLF viva la figa
¤ In 2006 I lost because of bad luck; I still won the most races and was the fastest on track for most of the time... Last year I was sorry that
after so many successful years, some people thought Valentino was finished and Casey was the new Valentino. ~ The Doctor '08
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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I think he just wrapped up testing at Jerez.

ETA: They're still there, I think this is the last day of testing at Jerez.

Last edited by ffwf; 10-13-2006 at 05:45 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 07:50 PM
Rookie again
 
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Alex Zanardi,,,,,,,nuff said. Then maybe
Evel Knievel


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If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 08:24 PM
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the stig is high in my books.

Henry Ford would also rank highly. Won LeMans and pwnd Enzo on his first try, proved to the world that America was a force to be reckoned with in the motorsports industry.... Naturally Top Gear would leave that out.

Much as I hate to admit it. Enzo Ferrari should also be on that list. He worked wonders to make motorsport an acceptable "rich guy" hobby, if he had his way it'd be a blue blood sport like horse racing. That's not the solution I don't think, but the confederate flag waving NASCAR is definatly not the solution either.

HAIL TO THE KING!!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2006, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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No he wouldn't Enzo cared about one thing more than anything else Racing and winning. So Ford beat him good on them.

I suggest you watch this:
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2006, 07:40 PM
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eiiiiiiii, I watched that vid, sure didn't increase my opinion of him.

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