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James May’s First Appearance On Top Gear Shows He Has Never Changed

We’ve all come to know and love Top Gear’s, now The Grand Tour’s, slowest presenter. From his strange taste in sweaters to his sensible driving style, James May rounds out the trio. James’ appreciation for cars like the Fiat Panda or Dacia Sandero keeps us grounded in an automotive reality. Although James catches a lot of flak for his car preferences today, this is nothing new and had been going on since day one. Looking back to his first appearance on the revived Top Gear series in 2002, you’ll realize how little Captain Slow has changed.

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James May Can Appreciate The Simple Things

After spending over a decade with his fellow presenters, James has stayed true to himself. During his first film in the new series, James reviews his second-hand Bentley T2. James’ Bentley may cost the same as a new Ford Family sedan and while it’s a much more interesting car in almost every way, it’s not all good news. He quickly found out just how expensive and frustrating it is to own a classic British Luxury car. The Bentley T2 is the car that ruined James May’s life and made his first Top Gear film very memorable. A car like a Bentley seems like it suits James. However, behind the luxury and weird switch placement is a world of extra expenses.

Even with the patience and care of someone like James May the T2 is very expensive to run. It may be more interesting than a family sedan but it’s not worth it. Jeremy is quick to point out what a fool James is for buying it which feels like a conversation they could feature today on a Grand Tour episode. Their dynamic was there since the beginning. Even today when James discusses his 458, Jeremy still attacks it with the same sentiment as Jame’s old T2. A lot has changed since 2002 but James May still drives slowly and falls in love with the strangest cars. He may have more gray hair but he’s still the same man renting a garage seven miles away to store a used Bentley money pit.

Written by Chris Okula - Contributor

Chris was raised on Top Gear, automotive magazines, and the idea that the Corvette was the greatest car ever built. Today he spends his time creating automotive content and saving up for his next car.

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