Ben Collins, or the Stig as he’s better known for these days, was hidden beneath a white helmet for years before anyone knew for sure it was the ex-Formula 3 racing driver, stuntman, and father.
There were however moments when Ben Collins left his helmet at home and came to work in just a racing suit. The first time was when he appeared as a member of the BBC Top Gear-Team during a 24-hour racing event where they drove a Citroen 2CV – Series 2 Episode 10.
The most noticeable moment, though, would have to be the parachute challenge where he drove his own Mercedes (also driven during the wig test), attempting to catch a parachutist falling from a plane.
After a few failed attempts and some cheating, they finally managed to pull off the stunt, celebrating with clouds of tyre smoke, donuts, and jumping and cheering from James May!
Did you know it was Ben before all was revealed via the awkward ending between Ben and the Top Gear crew? Yes, it was very awkward – he wanted to release a book about his life, which would of course reveal the fact that he was the Stig.
This is a story for another day, but the story surrounding the Stig has almost become myth, with each person having a slightly different take as to who the man was underneath the helmet.
Some say it was Ben Collins, some say it was more than one person. All we know is… he’s called the Stig.