As blasphemous as it may sound for someone employed by Boss Hunting, I never really watched Top Gear back in the day. It wasn’t until recently I began working my way through vintage episodes featuring the OG trio. Which is why I’m late to the party on being emotionally sideswiped by Jeremy Clarkson explaining his connection to the Porsche 928 in a touching story about his dad.
The moment was surprisingly sincere for a show where middle-aged goofballs played “car darts” by launching vehicles into a quarry and drove around the BBC office in a comically small set of wheels; and surprisingly sincere for a sarcastic bastard like old Clarkson. It was also a lightbulb moment vis-a-vis why Jeremy Clarkson always made a point to pick the Porsche 928 for challenges.
“I know Hammond and May think my 928 Porsche is a bit dull, but for one very good reason, it isn’t dull to me,” Jeremy Clarkson revealed during Top Gear season 22’s ‘Patagonia Special.’
“See back in 1994, I was living in London and I got a call one evening from my mum to say that my dad was desperately ill in a hospital in Sheffield, and I needed to get there as quickly as possible.”
“And I’d just taken the chicken out of the oven and I thought, ‘Well I’ll take that for my mum because she won’t have eaten.’ I ran outside and I had a 928 on test that week.”
“When I arrived in Sheffield, the chicken was still warm and my dad was still alive. In fact, he died half an hour later. And the truth is, if I hadn’t been driving a car which could sit quite happily at 170 miles an hour, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to say goodbye to my dad.”
“So as far as I’m concerned, the 928 is alright.
Tears. Instant tears.
If all this hits a little too close to home — fear not. Elsewhere, Jeremy Clarkson has vaguely alluded to the same sentiment behind his Porsche 928 dad story, but in a far more hilarious fashion so you can sweep those feelings under a rug:
“If you have a powerful engine, you can get home at night more quickly, which means you spend more time with your children, which means they’re less likely to grow up… as glue sniffers.”
How could anyone possibly hate this bloke?