As we all know, Episode 1 of The Grand Tour Season 3 was filmed in Detroit. The trio took three of the fastest American muscle cars in the world and pitted them against each other at the home of muscle.
Nowadays, Detroit has become only a shell of what it once was. It was once the richest city in America. It was the strong beating heart of the American auto industry, but now, it’s empty, after resisting years of crime and loss.
Clarkson had been to Detroit before The Grand Tour’s filming. In 1997, during the filming of Top Gear, the team sought after an abandoned train station, and despite them being warned by the police of gang activity in the area, they found the perfect location.
“Jeremy was filming in a ruined railway station but was warned by cops not to go inside as there were warring gang factions operating,” an unidentified member of the film crew told The Mirror. “But he ignored the advice and was surrounded by gangs.”
“Somebody held a gun against my head in Detroit,” Clarkson admitted years later. “It’s a long, complicated story but we were trying to do some filming and some people thought we were trespassing on their turf. It was pretty nasty. And this time, 100 yards from where that happened, I was having dumplings in a goose broth.”
“I’m sure if you actually lived there you wouldn’t call it interesting, you’d call it dangerous,” Clarkson continued. “But the chrome shoots of rejuvenation are growing again so you can actually eat quite well there, you can stay in a nice hotel, you can go short distances from A to B without being shot.”
We’re sure this was an extremely scary moment for the big ape, and we’re glad he gained the courage to return to the Motor City. Thankfully he did, producing one of the greatest episodes of The Grand Tour yet!