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James May Answers Questions


James May just did an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session over at Reddit, where he was promoting his new show, “James May: The Reassembler,” over at BBC FOUR. This is a show where he reassembles things like a lawn mower, an old telephone, and an electric guitar. There were a lot of weird and obscure questions, such is the nature of Reddit AMAs, but there were some interesting ones that give a peek into May’s automotive life that we don’t know. We have cherry picked the ones (There was a ton!) that we think old Top Gear lovers would find interesting:

Q: What’re you most looking forward to in the future of automobiles?

James May: A chauffeur.

Q: What would you recommend to buy as a first car?

JM: I think the Ferrari 488 GTB is rather excellent

Q: Are you having more freedom to do stuff at the new show than at top gear?

JM: We were always pretty free to do what we liked, to be honest.

Q: Did you ever get to properly work a Dacia Sandero, and if so, what was your final opinion of it? It seems like a perfectly reasonable vehicle.

JM: It’s a lot better than you’d think, and I like an underdog.

Q: What is your relationship with Clarkson and the Hamster like outside of the show?

JM: Don’t know. Never met them.

Q: Hello! I remember that you, just like me, were quite skeptical about electric cars a few years ago because of the poor battery technology. You believed more in hydrogen power or some sort of range extender. Now though, with the success of Tesla and all their advancements, have you changed your opinion on how “the car of the future” will/should be powered?

JM: I still like the hydrogen idea, but I can see that it’s problematic. I have an electric car, a BMW i3. I think electric motors are great for cars, but electricity remains a bit elusive.

Q: How tired of being asked about Jeremy Clarkson are you? Are Dacias really your favourite cars?

JM: Very, possibly.

Q: How happy are you that the phrase “Oh, cock” has entered the lexicon?

JM: I think it’s the only thing, if any, that will be remembered about me. I should have thought of something better.

Q: Are we allowed to ask when your new show with the other 2 fellas is coming out?

JM: The Autumn, or fall if you’re in the US. That’s as specific as I can be.

Q: What is your favourite thing to explain/delve into that the other two find boring?

JM: Relativity. They just don’t get it.

Q: If you had to bottle Jeremy Clarkson’s smell, how would you describe it?

JM: Disgusting.

Q: James! Were you ever the stig, actually?

JM: Some say I was.

Q: If you had to spend the rest of your life living with Clarkson or Hammond, which one would it be and why?

JM: Hammond. He takes up less space, so the house would seem bigger.

Q: Hi James, I’m a big fan of your ‘Cars of the People’ series. What is your personal favourite people’s car?

JM: Almost certainly the Austin Allegro Vanden Plas.

Q: Hi James, big fan. I can say with confidence that Top Gear is what got me interested in cars and how they work. My question is, what is your vision of the automotive industry in 10, maybe 20 years? What areas will find innovation and what areas will stagnate? Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA.

JM: Everyone who has ever tried to answer this one has got it wrong. But, long-term, I think cars will become a hobby, and we’ll find some other way of getting around.

Q: For you personally: LaFerrari, P1 or 918?

JM: LaFerrari.

Q: When or why did you say “oh cock” for the first time?

JM: It was in Monaco, when I realised I’d lost the race against the Aston.

Q: Do you have a favorite outtake from Top Gear?

JM: It was all out-takes, as far as I can remember.

Q: Hello Mr May, Anyone who watches top gear knows that you are a history nerd as well as a car nerd so “what is your favorite story in the history of the automotive industry and why? PS Huge fan of top gear and I can’t wait to watch the new Amazon show or the Reassembler!

JM: I still think the Beetle is the best story in the history of the car. Absolutely amazing. You couldn’t make it up.

Q: James, I am a big fan. I love your segments on TG and all of your other projects espescially “Cars of the People.” My question is this: Do you get lost on purpose for the show? Or do you genuinely think your sense of direction is good? Even though you are frequently proven otherwise by the results.

JM: Only boring people know where they’re going.

Q: Would you rather fight 100 duck sized Jeremy Clarkson’s or 1 horse sized Richard Hammond?

JM: The Clarksons.

Q: driving on the left-side of the road or the right-side, which is better? Better say left.

JM: Left, obviously, otherwise you’d hit a car coming the other way. Duh.

Q: Hi James, long time fan. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Two questions: 1. One car and one bike for the rest of your life, money no object, what would they be? 2. Can Marmite be used as a substitute to Bovril? P.S. The colour combo on the 458 Speciale is superb.

JM: 1) Dacia Sandero and Honda C200 2) No. P.S. Thanks

Q: What is the first vehicle you ever owned?

JM: 1978 Vauxhall Cavalier 1.6 L in yellow, with a kicked-in rear door. Loved it.

Q: What cars do you currently own? And How big of a bell-end is Clarkson?

JM: Porsche 911 C2S BMW i3 Fezza 458 Speciale Massive

Q: Honestly, what about cars would gets on your nerves?

JM: They don’t have bins in them. I don’t know why. I think Volvo have done one.

There were a lot more strange questions over at Reddit, head on over there to see more…

About Hansen

The engineer amongst the crew, Hansen once built a mini baja car with his bare hands. Hansen had the opportunity to join Honda’s R&D team in Ohio but chose the life of the east coast and the defense industry instead. A die hard auto enthusiast he religiously follows the auto industry and loves long walks in the auto shows.

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