Richard Hammond apologises to Chris Stark over joke he made
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Richard Hammond, 50, is seen in footage avoiding saying the words Top Gear, as he refers to the BBC programme as “Top something or other”, after leaving the show back in 2016. The motoring expert stepped down with co-star James May, and the pair went on to develop The Grand Tour with Amazon alongside Jeremy Clarkson.
Threatened to kill lesser cars bought by lesser presenters
However, it appears as though Richard has not forgotten his time on Top Gear, as he still holds on to a keepsake from the BBC show.
Appearing on camera for YouTube channel DriveTribe beside a vintage car, Richard said: “You might know him, he’s a 1963 Opal Kadett, which I bought in Botswana for a challenge in a TV show I used to do… Top something or another,” he mumbled off.
Continuing with his train of thought, he added: “Anyway I like to think he became the star of that show, because of the brave way he tackled terrain that threatened to kill lesser cars bought by lesser presenters.”
The 1963 Opel Kadett was the car that Richard drove in the Top Gear Botswana Special.
He began to feel so attached to the little car that he named him Oliver.
It was later seen in the Top Gear awards, winning the best noise of the year, and then in the Lorry’s Challenge, where it was revealed that Richard had given it a personalised nameplate, “OL1V3R”.
It was borrowed by his colleagues Jeremy and James as Richard’s most treasured item in the Lorry Challenge hill start, but he chose to forfeit the task as he didn’t want to damage Oliver again.
However unfortunately Oliver was damaged by one of Richard’s friends after they borrowed it for a wedding.
Glancing over the vintage car, the motoring expert shared: “Under the shine, it is not actually in the best shape.
“I did restore it a few years ago, I got over-excited and rushed it.
“Then I lent it to a friend for a wedding and there was an incident,” he added.
“I shan’t go into details but suffice to say that on the big day, he decided to reverse Oliver with the door open.
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“The lawful impediment to that was a tree, so under the surface, there was much damage to be repaired.”
Now Richard faces a “big dilemma” over whether to restore the car to its original glory or create a “custom cruiser” to enjoy.
With a net worth of around £15 million, Richard owns a number of pricey vehicles.
His collection is reported by DriveTrive as having more than 10 vehicles, including vintage motors.
One particularly unusual vehicle he owns is an 1842 Jeep off-roader, which he refers to as Willy.
The wartime army Jeep is made up of metal rods, a seat and an engine.
The off-roader has an unassuming design but revolutionised civilian SUVS in warfare.
The car is worth little less than £20,000 today but still has a place dear in Richard’s heart.
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