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Where Did The Grand Tour’s Name Come From? Would You Believe An Episode Of Top Gear?

You read that correctly and no, once again, we’re not joking.

So by now, unless you’ve been living out your days underneath a large slab of earth, you know that the old Top Gear boys have named their new Amazon show, The Grand Tour. We still like Shifting Lanes better, but it’s not a bad name considering the make up of the show is quite literately them touring around in a grand state of being. Name arguments aside, they never really told us where the name came from. Now we have have the answer.

There are COUNTLESS episodes of Top gear. Well not countless, but there is a tremendous amount of footage to pour over and one keen observer may have struck gold. According to a post on Jalopnik, a reader caught the boys talking about touring through Romania. Check out the clip below.

The fact that it’s in the unseen footage section makes this that much more of an amazing find.

But as I outlined yesterday, the title likely has many meanings—the most specific being a literal grand tour taken by aristocratic Europeans a couple centuries ago. This was brought up by reader BelegUS in the comments on the original announcement post.

Additionally, the new Amazon show will be traveling with 11 stops on what Richard Hammond also directly referred to as a grand tour.

The comments on my post yesterday said I was wrong, and stupid, because the new show title was only about the class of car, the Grand Tourer. Well you all were wrong. Mostly.

Sent to me by my seemingly-lone supporter Manuel T. was a clip from the first episode of Series 14 of old Top Gear featuring a conversation between the hosting trio about the same exact European “grand tour” I explained yesterday.

I believe the direct quote is:

“Do you remember when Georgians and Victorians went on grand tours of Northern Italy? Did they go on sports horses or long-loping horses?”

Damn, that feels good. Thanks, Manuel.

So there you go. Now we have our answer. It’s not just about the car, but about the grand tours of olden times. Some may hate the name, but taken in that context, that’s pretty damn meaningful.

(Source: Jalopnik and YouTube)

About Gregson

Gregson's love affair with cars began at a young age thanks to his father who introduced him to racing. He's been a fan ever since he saw his first race live at Watkins Glen at the age of 5. He loves GT3, F1, Rally, Touring, and Le Mans styles of racing. Intermediate knowledge of internal combustion engines. Any reading done for pleasure is devoted to automotive journalism. Gregson owns a WRX and can 4-wheel drift directly into your hedges, no sweat. He currently is a Senior Copywriter for McCann Torre Lazur specializing in pharmaceutical advertising. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kate and their dog Savannah.

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