For the gearheads.

Family viewing. My son begged and begged to watch the BBC’s Top Gear seasons that are available on Netflix. We finally allowed it, and we really have enjoyed the episodes that are on there.

My son enjoys cars, tractors, trucks, basically anything with a motor that moves. Watching the show allows for us to sit back and take in the great cars that are talked about in Europe. With a mix of humor, movie stars driving cars and some “can’t take your eyes away” scenery, the mix has been great.

It’s also allowed us to discuss in what ways it could be done here in America. Yes, there is an American Top Gear. The History Channel has the rights and it’s something we haven’t taken in, yet. I just did a search of our On Demand function of our local cable operator, but Top Gear was not an option. But we had some ideas just from our discussions. Our ideas:

  • We’ve seen how the Top Gear hosts take on bicyclists and even race handicapped scooters, but we’re in a land of tractors, at least in flyover country. This could go in a variety of directions because of garden tractor pulls, lawn tractor races, regular tractor pulls, a look at the steam engine tractors (yes, some are being restored and used).
  • Trucks. Reading through the episodes of Top Gear America, they definitely work on and review pick-up trucks, another necessity of what life in America is about.
  • The great automobile rally. OK, I realize Top Gear essentially does a bunch of rallies throughout their respective seasons, and around the world. But why not highlight the rallies that are taking place – the Bull Run or the Gumball Rally (it exists, I looked into it; and I am very interested) or a variety of other rallies.
  • Customization. Part of the great American car culture is customizing the ride. And that can be seen in so many ways from the streets to the car shows and many places in-between.
  • The racing. America is home to two major series and F1 has stopped by from time to time. Instead of just the F1 drivers taking to a track for a top time, comparing Tony Kanaan or Will Power to Jimmie Johnson or Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in a little compact would be fun.
  • The car culture. Introduce the audience to a different part of the car culture that exists. Is Mopar your thing? Highlight that. How about the Mustang drivers? The documentary I saw on Netflix on the Mustang and its anniversary was very well done. This also can expand into various car shows. And don’t forget about any cruises, especially the Woodward Dream Cruise here in Michigan.
  • Classic roads. The challenges for Top Gear in America should involve a little bit of a history lesson, and that’s using the old roads and trails of our country. That should include such things as U.S. 66, obviously. But I’d be up for a Dixie Highway challenge, or the Lincoln Highway. The Yellowstone Trail would be cool. There are many old motor routes that existed, and groups trying to keep their memories alive, where a classic road challenge would be remarkable.

I’ve read that Top Gear on History Channel is coming back soon. I’m looking forward to seeing how that show is done. If the past episodes are on Netflix, it’d be worth checking out.

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