Welcome back to our Scariest Moments series, in which we highlight some hairy moments from Top Gear and The Grand Tour in honor of Halloween. Today we relive the horror of the one part of America where even Hammond wasn’t comfortable: Alabama.
Since these three have such a propensity for getting things thrown at them wherever they go, it’s no surprise that it’s now happened on two thirds of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. In a typical challenge, Clarkson, Hammond and May were required to paint slogans on each other’s cars which would cause them to be beat up or shot. They did this a little too well.
The idea was conceived by longtime TopGear script editor Richard Porter (better known online for his blog, Sniff Petrol), after he had an idea for a similar segment in which a presenter would drive a hot pink Smart painted in similarly liberal slogans across Texas and see how far they could get before being lynched. While Porter had come up with a few ideas for the slogans, and though TopGear segments were staged all the time, the murderous Southerners who chased the presenters halfway across the state most certainly weren’t. In fact, Porter didn’t realize just how dangerous an idea it was until he was on vacation in New York while filming was taking place, and a Southern friend warned him how enraged the locals were liable to become.
The rednecks eventually gave up after chasing the film crew to the Louisianan border. Clarkson, Hammond and May made it out alive, and would go on to spark fury in such exotic locales as Burma, Mexico, Argentina, Albania, and Lincolnshire.