As we followed the weekly Australian series of Top Gear earlier this year, it became apparent (through the comments left by readers) that the seemingly purposeless abuse of some test vehicles was not considered a joke. It started in episode one with Charlie launching a Toyota RAV4 V6 over a sand dune, stoving in the cars front bumper, and continued from there throughout the first series.
Well readers, you are not alone it seems. News out today reveals that some suppliers of the vehicles that were featured by Top Gear Australia are just as unhappy with the show's antics and the damage bills they produce.
Reports suggest that there are luxury cars that have been so badly stone chipped that complete resprays have been required, while other makes bemoan damage bills incurred due to the ?silly stunts? undertaken by the Top Gear crew. In total, it is believed the repair bills are close to $200,000.
"We have no appetite for automotive Jackass," the spokesman for one of the damaged brands said.
The most notable (and expensive) repair bill was for a Lamborghini that was ?allegedly? damaged during filming to the tune of $25,000, while the Holden Astras, used to play lawn bowls required $30,000 worth of corrective surgery.
"All we will say is that it turned out to be a very expensive test drive," said Holden spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale of the Astra bowls stunt.
One manufacturer went so far as to suggest that the organisers of Top Gear Australia will ?encounter a lot of shut doors? when filming begins for series two.
The Top Gear entertainment franchise revolves around the abuse of some test vehicles, to an extent. It would be fair to suggest that Clarkson has it down to an art form. He may break them mechanically, but he rarely bends them unnecessarily.
Has the Australian series taken vehicle abuse beyond the level required to entertain viewers? Did the marketing benefit derived from a product featuring on Top Gear Australia, outweigh the resulting repair bill?
We'll have to wait until season two to determine which doors have been shut.