It’s safe to say the boys at the Grand Tour like to rag on each other. Mock Hammond for being Short, May for being slow and Clarkson for being unintelligent. Though if were being honest this isn’t unique to the boys. In fact any group of friends who have been together for a long time will act the same way. Happens here Shifting Lanes all the time. Anytime we hang out roughly 50% of the time were busting on each other. What differs between us and the Grand Tour Boys is fairly obvious, budget. They can throw money around to punctuate their jokes.
Take James May for instance, I am fairly certain that in another life he was a successful Bond Villain. He is a diabolical genius and his recent plain is nothing short of brilliant, if not completely underhanded. One of the running inside jokes between Hammond and May is May’s attempts to purchase Hammond’s E-Type Jag. It started as May messing with Hammond with deliberately insulting low offers. Just for a good laugh but it kept going. All the while May was trying to beat Hammond into submission. May has even offered fair market value for the car to no avail.
“Trouble is, this has been going on for a long time, and it’s now become a matter of personal honour to succeed in buying Hammond’s E-Type against his will. Even though I don’t really want it. And now I have a new plan.” James May said in a recent article on Drive Tribe.
So what is this new plan? It is a perfect example of the devious mastermind that is James May. The plan is elegant in its simplicity, brilliant in its villainy. It shows a deep knowledge and understanding of his mark. May knows Hammond, knows Hammond’s family, knows exactly how to strike. The plan is simple really, it involves May using on-line banking and a well placed transfer.
“So what I thought I’d do is, without telling him, transfer the value of the E-Type (about £20k) to his account, and in the box where you write the details for the payee’s statement, put ‘Payment in full for E-Type Jag’. Then I’d do nothing for a year.” May described.
At the center of May’s plan is the assumption that Hammond won’t notice the deposit and his wife won’t think anything of another car sold. It just might work, Hammond is something of a classic car addict. So seeing money come and go for another new car would not be surprising to Mrs. Hammond.
Now here is the brilliance of May’s plan, patience. Like he said earlier, he wrote in the details “Payment in full for E-Type Jag.” This is important that after a year May would bring Hammond to small claims court. May would claim he paid for the car, and have a bank statement to back him up. Despite having received payment, Hammond never handed the car over. The Court would then award the Car to May and he would have the car he never really wanted but managed to swindle away from Hammond.