Exclusive: We Talk Top Gear With Adam Ferrara
For most of us gearheads, we grew up hypnotized by a TV screen projecting to the likeness of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and the Richard Hammond directly into our frontal lobe. The famed BBC installment Top Gear has become a world-renowned success since its introduction, and continues still. But as of late, us Americans have been aching for something more muscular and less obnoxiously British. So back in 2010, some American producers got together with the good blokes over at BBC and decided upon a stateside installment of the popular series; with Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood and of course, Adam Ferrara at the helm. Tanner, the professional rallycross driver, and Rutledge, the big-headed, bearded fellow (SPEED correspondent, all-around gearhead), were chosen to host the new series, but it wasn't until comedian, actor and lover of all things classic Adam Ferrara stepped on, did the final piece of the puzzle come together. Luckily enough, we sat down with Adam to talk about all things automotive, including the upcoming new season of Top Gear USA. First and foremost, what type of car do you prefer? Classic, muscle, Asian, any specific brand,etc? Adam Ferrara: I'm partial to muscle cars and classics. Some of my favorite muscle cars are the '68 Mustang GT390 fastback, '67 GTO and '68 Dodge Charger. Technically not a muscle car but I'll throw in a '63 Stingray, split window coupe. As far as classics, I'm partial to Cadillacs. The '59's are iconic, although I like the proportions on the '60 better. A real cool moment is when I got to drive Richard Donner's '57 El Dorado Baritz. The controls for the side view mirror were bigger than the side view mirror. What's the most memorable car you've ever owned? I go the sentimental route every time, so I'd have to say it's a '98 Deville. Not one of my favorites but it was the last car my father owned and his stuff's still in the glove box.
On to Top Gear- How have you and the guys been able to separate yourselves from BBC Top Gear and how will you continue to create your own identity for the American audience? We have distinguished ourselves and created our own identity by being who we are. None of us wanted to ever imitate or play the parts of Clarkson, Hammond and May because how could we? America has its own unique and diversified car culture and we are having a great time exploring that. That being said -as we've heard this plenty of times- are there any talks of a BBC Top Gear and American Top Gear collaboration episode anywhere in the future? Been a lot of talk but nothing has happened yet. I hope it does happen because I'm real fans of those guys. I'd like to re-enact the American revolution. Put them in red cars and have them drive in a straight line. What has been your favorite Top Gear challenge so far/favorite car to drive? For my favorite challenge, I'd have to go back to season 1– the Moonshine episode where I jumped the '76 Coupe de Ville. That was the dumbest, most exciting and coolest thing I've ever done. One of my favorite cars to drive was the the Lamborghini Balboni, which I got to take home from a shoot. I got to let her out through the desert and then carved through a canyon road back to my house. As you know it's a 550-horsepower, rear wheel drive Lambo, but I did not slide her around...as far as you know. Going into season four, what can the viewers expect to see more of? Any big surprises to look forward to? We are expanding. In upcoming episodes we travel to Mexico and Iceland. Also, keep your eyes out for my own episode where I teach the fellas how to play football in cars. Boy was that a chore and a half. Thanks to Adam and all of his staff for taking the time to talk with us; with that said, we're definitely looking forward to a new season of Top Gear USA with new episodes airing January 29th at 9PM (EST) on the History Channel.