The Inimitable Jeremy Clarkson


Jeremy Clarkson


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I searched all threads and was shocked to find that a forum like TAI does not have any dedicated thread on Jeremy Clarkson - the most unique, most eccentric, most hilarious, most opinionated automotive persona the world has ever seen, and probably the last such persona it would ever see. So here it is, a thread on which all of us could discuss about this 6 ft 5 in car tester cum destroyer cum lover cum presenter cum journalist and what we like/dislike/love/hate/abhor/despise/drool about him. Adding a poll too to make things a bit more interesting. So come on TAIndians, let's rip ! Attaching a wonderful, wonderful,wonderful article that would give the uninitiated an idea about how he thinks cars should be.

Starting off with some of his witty quotes (Yes, I am an unabashed fan!) :

(On Mercedes dealers): Pol Pot wasn't a Mercedes dealer but he certainly had the right credentials.

(On the Vauxhall VXR Bathurst) : Of course, it is a very big car. So massive, in fact, that very often those on the left-hand side are going through quite different weather from those on the right.

(On the Ascari A10) : The A10 is daft, for sure, and not at all relevant in the modern world. It consumes oil and smashes up its environment. But elephants do that as well; they destroy their habitat and drive themselves to extinction. And I bet you’ll be sad when they die out.

(On the Autodelta 147 GTA) : Driving a front-wheel-drive hatchback with 328bhp is like playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.

(On the Fiat Panda) : Driving an underpowered car on the motorway is one of the most dangerous things a man can do. It’s up there with sticking your middle finger in the bottom of a sleeping tiger. It’s very nearly as dangerous as driving through Alabama with “Hillary for President” written on the side of your car.

(On the lack of space inside the Jeep Grand Cherokee) : Inside, however, there is one piece of Jeep tradition that has not been lost. No space at all. The new Grand Cherokee may be 5in longer and a wee bit wider than the old model, but climbing inside is like climbing into the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. You’d need to be legless to fit in the back and the only dog that would fit in the boot is one that had been run over.

(On the Swedish - in the Koenigsegg CC review): Anything anyone can do, the Swedes can do better. Only a few years after someone failed to assassinate Ronald Reagan someone shot the Swedish prime minister, Olaf Palme. And, unbelievably, they still haven’t caught him.

(On the quality of German vs. American cars) : When Daimler-Benz merged with Chrysler, the American engineers realised after a short while that the Germans at Mercedes were paying five times more for their seats than they were. So they sent some Chrysler seats to Stuttgart saying, “Hey guys. We think you’re being overcharged.”
Having spent a few weeks examining the Chrysler seats, the Germans replied, “Nein. Ve zink it is you who are being overcharged.”

(On the Mercedes Benz E- Class) : This, then, is a car you buy with your head. But human beings have hearts, too. That’s what gives us passion and makes us lunatics. That’s why I’ve ordered a Ford GT, and why my friend has a Mini Cooper station car. It’s why another chap I know has an old Mercedes 600 Pullman that his wife doesn’t know about. And it’s why we scan the second-hand columns of this newspaper dreaming about Astons and Ferraris.

(On Fiats): You climb into a Fiat and even though the headlining has fallen off and is draped round your head like a nun’s hat, and the engine sounds as if it’s being fuelled with gravel and there’s a smell of melting glue, you always think: “This is fun.”

(On Alfa Romeos): 1. They (Alfas) melt our hearts and our souls, but only the very foolish will actually spend £25,000 on a car that will go wrong every day and suffer from supersonic depreciation. They are like Russian hookers: insanely pretty and willing beyond the ken of man, but you’re going to get a rash.
2. The thing is, though, with the exception of the simply appalling Arna, I’ve loved all Alfas. In fact I’ve argued time and again that nobody can be a petrolhead until they’ve owned one. It’s a rite of passage. Think of it as the great sex that leaves you with an embarrassing itch.

(On his GTV6) : Then there was the complete lack of quality. Nothing worked. And when you got one thing fixed something else would break on the way home. Once it tried to murder me. The linkage from the gearlever to the rear-mounted gearbox fell off and jammed the prop shaft, causing a sound not heard on earth since Krakatoa blew up, and the rear wheels to lock.
But behind the oyster-like impregnability of its ergonomics and hidden in the sea of snot were two perfect pearls. The styling. And the howl from its V6 engine. In a tunnel, at 4000rpm, it was more sonorous than any music. It was like having your soul licked by angels.

(On car brands): Advertising men will tell you that when it comes to cars they need to attach a single word to the brand. So if you want a “safe” car you buy a Volvo. If you want a “reliable” car, you buy a Volkswagen. And if you have a small “*****” you buy a BMW. It’s not just brands either. There are single words that describe the national characteristics of a car too. A German car is “engineered”. A French car is “soft” and an Italian car is “exuberant”.

(On the Aston Martin DB9) : Having a DB9 on the drive and not driving it is a bit like having Keira Knightley in your bed and sleeping on the couch. If you’ve got even half a scrotum it’s not going to happen.

(On the Audi A6): I parked it outside a large Georgian country house last weekend and rarely has a car looked so right. It should be part of the Country Life check list: sash windows, wisteria, Audi estate car.

(On the VW Jetta - Hilarious, MUST READ review) : 1. I spoke to him (James May) yesterday. “I’m driving the most boring car in the world,” I said, and though he’s known as Captain Slow and practises the art of what he calls Christian motoring, he said: “Oh, you must have a Jetta then.”
2. I’d love to meet the man who styled the exterior, to find out if he’d done it as some sort of a joke. But mostly I’d like to meet the man who simply didn’t bother at all with the interior. Because looking at that dashboard gives you some idea of what it might be like to be dead.
3. What I’m most interested in is why on earth this car was made in the first place, because it’s actually a Golf with a boot. Or to put it another way, a Golf that’s a bit uglier, a bit heavier, a bit slower, a bit less practical, a bit less economical and a lot more boring to drive. To paraphrase Mark Twain, then, it’s a good Golf ruined.
4. Anyway, my point is that the Jetta is a £21,000 car. So why not buy a bigger, better and (marginally) more interesting Passat instead? Or why not save a few bob and buy a vastly superior Golf GTI? Or why not buy 2.1m penny chews?

(On Ferrari) : Have you driven a modern-day Ferrari? Because it doesn’t matter what you drive now, you would stumble from the experience reeling in slack-jawed, wide-eyed astonishment at just how good it had been.
In a current Ferrari you have a oneness with the machine that you simply don’t get from any other car. You feel connected, you feel assimilated. The steering, the brakes and throttle don’t feel like a collection of metal and wires and carbon fibre. They feel like they’re organic extensions of your fingers and your toes. This means you have no sense of man handling the beast, of taming the monster. And because everything you do feels as natural and as instinctive as breathing, you can go much, much faster than you dreamt possible.

(On the Skyline GT-R) : I dare say that if Michael Schumacher were to find himself in the eye of an Arctic blizzard, escaping from an exploding volcano, he might discover 10% of this car’s abilities. But you? Me? Here? Forget it.

(On the Mercedes SLR McLaren) : And the noise is extraordinary. No car sounds like this. It’s a big, dirty, bassy rumble. My daughter said it sounded like a big fart. She’s right. A massive, amplified fart from hell.

(On Jean Todt) : I don’t like the way Jean Todt sits on the pit wall every other weekend looking like his dog just died. I want to shake him and say: “Look man, you’re running the Ferrari race team. Lighten up. Go and set a fire extinguisher off in Ron Dennis’s trousers or something.”

(On preferring a Gallardo over the F430) : Ferraris are serious cars for serious people who drive around wearing a serious expression. The Gallardo can do serious, too. It has Audi electrics and Audi engineering. But as you career towards the next bend on a wave of extraordinary sound, half blinded by your own upholstery, you’ll be making the noise of a howler monkey and wishing you were naked.

(On the Maserati Quattroporte) : In a list of five most rubbish things in the world, I'd have America's foreign policy at number five, AIDS at four, Iran's nuclear programme at three, Gordon Brown at two, and the Maserati’s gearbox at number one. It’s that bad.
 

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In continuation:

(On the TVR) : An Alfa Romeo will try to woo you with poetry. A TVR will bend you over the Aga, rip off its kilt and give you one right there and then. A Volkswagen will make you a lovely shepherd’s pie and light a fire to make your evening warm and cosy. Whereas a TVR will come home and bend you over the Aga again. A TVR would nick the lifeboat charity box on the bar, empty it then shove it up your jacksie. A TVR would fight for its life, its honour, its family and, most of all, its pint.

(On the Tata Nano) : Of course, I hope a great many Indians buy the Nano. Partly because I want Tata to make lots of money that they can spend on more supercharged Jags, and partly because its success will infuriate the eco-mentalists who like people to be poor and downtrodden. I don't, which is the main reason I want the Nano to succeed. I want it to mobilise all of South East Asia. It's only right and proper that Johnny Cong should be able to afford a car.

(On the Porsche Boxter): Of course, the RS 60 Spyder name is designed to stick its hand down the trousers of every Porsche enthusiast in the world and remind them with a warm squeeze of some long-forgotten racing car that Fortesque Major took to victory in the Mille Florio of 1903. But it doesn't. What this car does - what every Boxster does - is sit outside your house reminding you that you couldn't quite afford a 911.

(On the Mercedes Benz ML) : I rang Merc and asked for a test drive. One day later, it was nosing through my gates, and a week after that, the rear end arrived as well. My word, it’s big. 5.3m big. And wide with it.

(On Americans) : We have an image of the American motorist, his big flobbery stomach, flobbering from state to state in a big, flobbery car with big flobbery suspension at a flobbery 55mph.

(On American car tuners) : My favourite was an orange Lotus Exige parked at the pumps in the middle of Death Valley. “Yeah,” said the rather serious-looking driver when I approached, “I’ve given it two degrees more camber on the back, fitted a 25 per cent softer compound on the front, uprated the supercharger...”
“So,” I said after I’d had enough, “you’ve ruined it”.

(On the Shelby Mustang) : Shelby’s given it (the Mustang) a bash with mixed results. There’s lots of power – 475bhp – but the handling, steering and brakes remain untouched. Which means you’re paying extra, simply to have a bigger accident.

(On European vs. American cars) : What’s more, a Ferrari is built primarily to go round corners. That five-way traction control and e-diff combo in an F430 is designed specifically to provide a simply staggering amount of grip, way, way more than any normal driver would ever have the balls to explore.
An American muscle car, on the other hand, is built primarily not to go round corners. So, its abilities are on a par with those of our own. This makes us feel heroic and manly as we wrestle to keep the back end in shape. While doing a safe 4mph.

(On Supercars) : Supercars have a huge allure. Their beauty. Those massive engines. The sense that you will never want for anything else, ever again. That you are stuck in a pantomime and life is just one big bag of sweeties and laughter. You dream of an Alpine road, and of dropping down a cog in the tunnels to amplify the noise still further. It's a lovely dream to have and it's why I'm a sucker for the breed. It's why I bought the Lambo 10 minutes after I sold the Ford and said, "Never again". And it's why, now, 10 minutes after I sold the Lambo and said, "Never again" again, I'm looking at the R8 with a cocked eyebrow and a head full of possibilities.

(On himself) : Having my photograph taken has always been like having extensive root-canal work done on my soul. I hate it with an unbridled passion. A photograph of me serves as a permanent reminder of the simple fact that I am just a stomach and a very large chin with a small piece of wire wool growing out of the top.

(On Vauxhalls) : I hate the Vectra. I hate the old Astra. And I really hate the Corsa. They are an affront to me in the same way that a poorly made sandwich is an affront to Gordon Ramsay. There’s no pizzazz, no passion, no point.

(On the BMW C1) : It's just that I think the C1 is the most stupid thing the world has seen. If it were to take part in a village idiot competition, it wouldn't even get there. BMW is at pains to say that this is the safest motorbike ever made. Which is like saying the AK-47 is the safest gun.

(On the Vespa) : I also liked the idea of a Vespa because most bikes are Japanese. This means they are extremely reliable so you cannot avoid a fatal crash by simply breaking down. This is entirely possible on a Vespa because it is made in Italy.

Enjoy and keep contributing !
 
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I watched the whole show, The India Special and I must say this. They've insulted and disgraced India and its people! [anger]Top Gear S17 E7 - India Special - YouTube Do press dislike on their YouTube link, if you think what I said holds water.[thumbsdown] Indians abroad in the U.K have sent me messages to do something like a campaign against them.

Jeremy Clarkson in row over Top Gear India special | Media | guardian.co.uk
Jeremy Clarkson in row over Top Gear India special | Media | guardian.co.uk
Top Gear: India Special « Tellysquawks
Jeremy Clarkson accused of 'racist' India toilet jibes after Top Gear Christmas Special | Mail Online
 
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Well Jeremy is a bold person I will hand that to him,he is also a chain smoker & I remember they had taken him around Good wood in a Porsche Carrera Gt when no other media person had got to ride in it before release ,but he was too drunk to remember anything.

Been watching Top Gear on BBC since I was a kid,that time most of the hosts of Fifth gear were in Top gear.
Oh & he loves Lancias cos of there Rallying Heritage & had a dislike towards Porsche(carrera Gt otherwise),I remember an old 90s episode where he destroyed one.
He use to love Ferraris cos he owned one as far as i remember(he mentioned it in an old episode),but seems to own more Merc Amg now days with a Gallardo Supperlegera inbetween,overall he is very entertaining & had terrible hair in the early 90s episodes
 
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Well Jeremy is a bold person I will hand that to him,he is also a chain smoker & I remember they had taken him around Good wood in a Porsche Carrera Gt when no other media person had got to ride in it before release ,but he was too drunk to remember anything.

Been watching Top Gear on BBC since I was a kid,that time most of the hosts of Fifth gear were in Top gear.
Oh & he loves Lancias cos of there Rallying Heritage & had a dislike towards Porsche(carrera Gt otherwise),I remember an old 90s episode where he destroyed one.
He use to love Ferraris cos he owned one as far as i remember(he mentioned it in an old episode),but seems to own more Merc Amg now days with a Gallardo Supperlegera inbetween,overall he is very entertaining & had terrible hair in the early 90s episodes
Jeremy Clarkson is rude and I wouldn't expect anything but insults from him. Unfortunately this seems to be what people drool over.

I had my personal experiences with him and if he had gone any further I might have re-shaped his nose. I have no respect for someone who makes a lot of money on humiliating others. And he can dish out but hardly take.
 
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@ drifter

Well he is not exactly Idol material but a critic,most of the things in the show are usually scripted,anyways how did you bump into him?
 
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He does has his own way of describing cars, people and situations. I do not think people would go out and buy a car based on his recommendation. He keeps shouting POWEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR but when it came to buying a car for his daughter, he bought her a 1.2 Fiesta ! Let's just take him for what he is, a humorous and insightful petrolhead. Attaching another wonderfully written article by him.
 

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@ drifter

Well he is not exactly Idol material but a critic,most of the things in the show are usually scripted,anyways how did you bump into him?
Working in the automotive development for over 30 years makes it impossible not to bump into people. I met him in connection with Alfa Romeo.

He does has his own way of describing cars, people and situations. I do not think people would go out and buy a car based on his recommendation. He keeps shouting POWEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR but when it came to buying a car for his daughter, he bought her a 1.2 Fiesta ! Let's just take him for what he is, a humorous and insightful petrolhead. Attaching another wonderfully written article by him.
Underlying racial remarks are hardly a way of acceptable describing nor are insults.

I can't see where he has a great deal of insight in the car market. He can't even drive properly. When Sabine outpaces him in a Ford Transit, which is a much less well handling car than the Jaguar then this shows how good are his skills. He pretends to have insight.

A lot of specialists would not give a paise for his opinion. As a matter of fact I do not know a single performance tuner who actually likes him. I know over 200 tuners in Britain.
 
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I watched the whole show, The India Special and I must say this. They've insulted and disgraced India and its people! [anger]
Do we need anything more from the Brits. Hating this guy is actually going easy on him. I would want all Indians to boycott him.

I used to like Top Gear when it was about cars. Now it's total nonsense. According to this guy, any car other than an Aston Martin, TVR or Ariel Atom is total nonsense. Jaguars and Land Rovers were the ultimate cars. Now they are TATA owned, he's not interested. The jokes about Fiat & Skoda. What about the Rovers of UK? You won't be able to increase the value of a Rover even if you fill 10 tanks of fuel in it.
We are car enthusiasts and a car show should be about cars. For silly jokes, you can watch Rakhi Ka Swayamvar or some Ritesh deshmukh film with people running round in circles.
 
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He pretends to have insight.
Quoting his review of the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. This is exactly what they taught us during our MBA marketing classes:

Two or three hundred years ago I tried to make a living selling soft toys. Imagine Graham Norton working on a building site as a hod carrier and you’ll have some idea of just how bad I was.

God it was a lonely existence. All day I was in the car on my own with nothing to look forward to except a lonesome dinner and then bed in some godforsaken provincial hotel, electrocuting myself on the sheets while watching a regional news programme from a region I’d never head of.

I actually looked forward to asking people for directions just so I could talk to someone. And at night, in the hotel bar, I’d contravene every fibre of my Englishness and chat with other reps, even though most of them were overweight psychotics with sample bags full of severed heads.

As for the job itself, well, it was hell. We all know that the biggest problem with asking a girl out is that she might say no. We’ve all been there when the prettiest girl at school says she’d rather go to the pictures with a sack of manure. Well, that’s what it’s like being a salesman: you lead a Billy No-mates existence, being rejected eight or 10 times every single day.

Oh, I went on lots of Close that Deal! selling courses run by Americans in white suits, and I read books on human behaviour, learning that someone’s eyes are a window to their soul. Breathing is important, too: in order to build a rapport with the customer you need to match his respiratory patterns.

And so, armed all this psychobabble, I’d drive hundreds of miles to a toyshop in Swansea where the conversation would go like this:

“Hello, would you like to buy some of these soft dogs?”
“No.”

“Okay.”

And then I would check into the Ivy Bush hotel and watch Welsh news with 4m volts coursing through my legs.

I know there are good salesmen who really can sell coals to Newcastle. I read just the other day about a car dealer who invited two Jehovah’s Witnesses into his house; they left 20 minutes later with a P-reg Ford Mondeo.

And who can forget Swiss Toni from The Fast Show? His philosophy was sublime. “You have to make the customer think that his is bigger. But, in order to sell a car to him, you have to know that yours is bigger. You have to keep telling yourself, ‘I’ve got the biggest todger in the world’.”

But I couldn’t do it. I’d walk into a shop knowing, with absolute certainty, that the proprietor had wanted to spend the morning selling clackers and space hoppers, not shooting the breeze with a gawky teenager who was breathing strangely and looking at his crotch.

Most importantly, though, I knew he wouldn’t want the soft dog, partly because it was too expensive and partly because it wasn’t soft enough, but mostly because I’d tucked him up with half a dozen Captain Beakies the previous year that were still sitting there gathering dust.

This brings me on to the biggest asset a salesman can have. It’s more important than a Mondeo ST220, a chunky watch and big genitals. It’s more important than a one-size-fits-all minibar master key or a road map with no page folds. The single most devastating weapon in a salesman’s armoury is a decent product.

Selling BMWs, for instance, is the easiest job in the world. Whenever someone walks through the door of the showroom you know for sure that he isn’t considering any other make of car.

You know he won’t want a test-drive (it’s said 87% of BMW buyers don’t bother). And you know that, since he’s buying a Bee Em, your todger is bigger.

All you have to do is offer a better discount than the BMW dealer in the next town and the sale is yours.

If you’re selling Audis, however, things are never so clear cut. When a customer walks through the door his mind is not made up. You need to reassure him that it’s okay to drive an A4, that his friends won’t laugh or pull his hair at the squash club.

What’s more, he will want a test-drive. And something on that drive, will annoy him. It’ll be different in some small way from the car he normally drives. The clutch will bite at a different point. The indicator stalk will be on the wrong side. He’ll find the radio fiddly. There will be something.

So you’re not only competing for his business with other Audi dealers. You’re competing with the enormous pull of that magnetic north known as the BMW 3-series.

Imagine, then, what it must be like for an Alfa Romeo salesman. He’s sitting there with his dead pot plant in a showroom with the heat turned off to save money, knowing that nobody will walk through the door. Ever.

If he wants to feed his children on anything more nutritious than butt ends and stuff from the waste disposal unit he must go out there into the world and spread the word, knowing full well that nobody will listen.

There’s a given with Alfas: they melt our hearts and our souls, but only the very foolish will actually spend £25,000 on a car that will go wrong every day and suffer from supersonic depreciation. They are like Russian hookers: insanely pretty and willing beyond the ken of man, but you’re going to get a rash.

The new 147 GTA is a case in point. To sell one there’s no point talking about finance deals and equipment levels because if anyone’s being rational about their new car they’re going to buy a Ford Focus RS or, more likely, a VW Golf R32.

If I were charged with the task of selling Alfas I would offer free coffee, free money, a free Cameron Diaz, free anything I could think of to get people into the showroom. Because once they were there, behind the wheel, they’d succumb. Nothing is more certain.

It’s the padded and stitched tan leather, the drilled pedals, the huge, body-hugging seats. When you sit in a Focus RS or a Golf R32 it’s like sitting in a commercial for Lynx aftershave. When you sit in an 147 GTA it’s like sitting in a Venetian’s hand-made suitcase.

Then, when the customer had had five minutes in there, poking at switches and changing gear, I’d pull him out, show him the chromed engine and give him the order form that, if he had even half a heart, he’d sign straight away.

However, I’m not an Alfa salesman, which is why I’m telling you here and now to stay out of the showroom. Do not climb inside one of these cars. Do not look at the engine. Put your hands in the air and stay away from the order form.

The 147 GTA is a mad car. Alfa has taken something that was designed to be a fun little hatchback buzz bomb and hammered a 3.2 litre V6 under the bonnet. Only, unlike Volkswagen and Ford, it hasn’t bothered with four-wheel drive or a clever differential. All the power, all 250bhp of it, is sent directly to the front wheels.

Now managing 250 overenthusiastic and sporty Italian horses is a hard enough job on its own, but when you have to do the steering as well it’s impossible.

So while the bald figures tell you that the GTA can go from 0 to 62mph in 6.3sec, what they don’t tell you is where you end up. Which is back where you started, having spent the time fighting a losing wrestling match with the wheel. I thought the Focus RS torque-steered but this is something else.

Eventually, if you’re lucky, the car can be coaxed to go in roughly your chosen direction of travel, but encounter any bump or dip in the road and, whoa, you’re back on a wild mustang that has inadvertently spilled some wasabi on its testicles.

This is one of those cars that can never be persuaded to settle down. It shouts and waves its arms about and generally behaves like its shirt’s on fire. Even in sixth, on the motorway with Classic FM on the stereo, you’re constantly aware of a finger tapping you on the shoulder urging you to drop it into fourth and live a little.

For 10 minutes it’s a riot but then you start to notice that it doesn’t handle, ride or grip like a Ford or a VW. And over time it would wear you out. I don’t know why but it puts me in mind of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s girlfriend; the one with the red dress and the plunging neckline.

It’s fast, really fast, and £22,500 won’t buy you a better white-knuckle ride. It also makes a tremendous noise. It’s lovely to behold and inside it’s genuinely beautiful. But trust me on this — I’m not a salesman. You don’t want one.
 
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As for the job itself, well, it was hell. We all know that the biggest problem with asking a girl out is that she might say no. We’ve all been there when the prettiest girl at school says she’d rather go to the pictures with a sack of manure. Well, that’s what it’s like being a salesman: you lead a Billy No-mates existence, being rejected eight or 10 times every single day.

I liked that line,
but i was expecting the Indian episode to have something about slums or the other,usually most international media focus on the poor crowded side of Indian cities
 
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Well, there was an innuendo the horrible sanitary conditions in our slums - the Jag fitted with the WC !
 
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Actually i use to praise Jeremy a lot. But after watching Top Gear Series 4 Eposide 1, i felt really angry on Top Gear! They said "Some car company never heard of in INDIA called TATA, But LOL :D after that TATA went on to become owner of JLR. Guyz please read all comments of this video from youtube. Tiff Needell is better In My opinion.
 
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