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It looks like Top Gear USA wants to sell you a car

Jeff Glucker June 18, 2012 All Things Hoon 34 Comments

Jalopnik recently ran a post showing a photo of the Top Gear USA crew just south of our Southern California Hooniverse HQ. It seems the trio of Tanner, Adam, and Rutledge were snapped in San Diego hanging out with a Subaru SVX, Cadillac Allanté, and Merkur XR4Ti. Why are the three hosts hanging out with such an odd gathering of autos?

We don’t know for sure, but we may have stumbled on to a great chance to buy a unique machine from one of the hosts. Hop down the rabbit hole with us… it’s not very deep.

Like you, we read a lot of the automotive sites and forums littering the Internet. One of the sites we occasionally peruse is SoCal Subies, which pointed us in the direction of an interesting listing on Craigslist. The car in question is a 1992 Subaru SVX, but that’s not the part that caught our eye (OK, it’s mostly what caught our eye at first). Here is the text of the ad:

1992 Subaru SVX LS-L 141k miles, leather seats, suede interior, power driver’s seat. Suede dash and door panels. Automatic, AWD, good running and driving 3.3L flat 6. Touring package is rare- includes leather wheel, speed sensitive steering. Great overall condition. Just installed 4 new tires, and new radiator.

*The sale of this vehicle will be documented on a popular cable TV automotive show call 323-785-8602 for more information

Per the last line in the ad, the sale of the car will be shot for an automotive TV show… a popular one, even! Which show is based in Southern Californai? Why, Top Gear is! That makes the other listings we came across in the Subie thread even more interesting. There is an ad for a 1993 Cadillac Allanté and a 1986 Merkur XR4Ti, and both have the same line about the sale being documented for TV.

So there you have it, mystery solved. Top Gear wants to sell you a car down in San Diego, but it has to be tomorrow (June 19th, 2012).

Guess who just so happens to be heading in that direction tomorrow for the launch of a few new products from Hyundai… Perhaps I should embezzle borrow some Hoon bucks to find a replacement for the Civic.

[Source: SoCal Subies, Jalopnik, Craigslist | Image: Jalopnik]]

  • VeeArrrSix

    You better bring your bidding hat because you're gonna have to fight me for the Merkur Glucker. I'm a straw man for Hardigree.

    • My bidding hat is the one I got from Lamborghini… and it's my bid, because I checked and it's worth about $60.

  • Devin

    S! V! X! S! V! X!

    The SVX was the first car I ever lusted after. I would have been about seven I guess, but it just looked so sexy to me, a big black coupe with funky windows that Batman might drive. I thought it was the coolest thing the world had ever seen, and wanted one in my life. My parents, on the other hand, were less receptive about a two door Subaru that was somewhat expensive at the time, and continued to drive around in giant Oldsmobiles from the late 70s.

    The fact that my first automotive crush was a Subaru probably explains more than I care to admit.

  • "Make any offer," eh?

    *rummages under sofa cushions*

    $0.23 for that last-year-made Northstar-powered Allante!

    • If I lived near San Diego I would be showing up with a wad of Washingtons and Lincolns. I might could even scrounge up low 3 figures for the Caddy or Merkur.

      All three actually look like decent cars from the listings.

  • JayP2112

    Merkur.- hot damn turbo 2.3!
    I have a Merkur story I can post but I'm into my 4th LoneStar longneck so it''ll have to wait untl I'm at work tomorro.w

  • I can only wear it on dark, rainy days

    • VeeArrrSix

      I have some Puma Ferrari pants. I call them my hot pants.

  • So which of these three catches your blooger's eye?

  • <img src="http://zipmeme.com/uploads/generated/g1325648030609068816.jpg&quot; width="600">

    What if selling the car was part of the challenge?

    • jeepjeff

      It has to be. The name of the game is probably who can sell for most money/most profit. However, that's the obvious choice, so who knows?

  • The Smig

    I didnt know Top Gear USA was a famous show. LOL

  • JeffieWasHere

    Big question is, who belongs to what vehicle? The Caddy almost screams Rut, except nothing else but that works for Adam. So SVX for Rut and Merkur for Tanner?

    • jeepjeff

      The caddy is definitely Adam's. The Merkur has a stick and has a bit of European flair, so that sounds like Tanner, but the Subie is all-wheel-drive and a Subie, which could also be Tanner. Both the Merkur and the SVX are weird and obscure, so they could also work for Rutledge. Actually, (thinking while I write), I bet the stick is the deciding factor, so yeah, I agree with your assessment.

      And the caddy is definitely Adam's.

  • mnm4ever

    Didnt they already do this the first season? Where Tanner sold that crappy Porsche? I gave up on this show a long time ago…

    • This maybe FWD vs RWD vs AWD.

  • I like Top Gear US.
    I want to see the show succeed, and I have nothing bad to say about the program.

    I find it funny that everyone just rips on it. Yes, parts of the first season were iffy, but ANY show needs to find its voice, and the three now seem to be friends, which showed in the second season.

    I wish them nothing but the best of luck… unless they decide to add a fourth, and I get the job.

    • name_too_long

      Exactly; go back and watch the first season of current style British Top Gear. It was cringe-worthy.

    • OA5599

      Definitely buy one of the cars, then. If it is some sort of car-selling challenge, the buyer very well might end up with screen time and possibly earn a talent fee. Plus, it will give you a chance to demonstrate interaction with the other guys.

    • Nail. Head. Hit.

      The first season started off really bad, and it didn't help that they were just copying stunts and challenges that TG:UK already did. By the end, though, there was a glimmer.

      The second season was much much much better. The US trio seems to be finding their own chemistry. They aren't trying to copy the UK version as much, and it's really starting to work.

      I say, if you hated the first season, then you need to give it another shot.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Overall, very questionable choices. The Merkur was the shizzle. But they only lasted about twenty five miles before something loud and pricey snapped. The SVX was supercool. But an automat? After two weeks all you'll be able to think of, is that it's not an NSX. That sort of leaves the Allante as stylin' and likely to be able to keep moving under its own power for a while.

    • ALL the SVXs were automatics, just one of the many causes of their downfall.

  • OA5599

    Googling the phone number indicates a future episode might feature a James Bond 1973 Hornet X.


    I watched most of the first season…just horrible. However, I'm not watching any more until I start hearing positive stuff about it. Sorry, time is short and I can't invest any more until it turns out something good.

    • start with the last episode of Season 1 (Alaska/Best Truck). The show is fantastically good and I like it better than TGUK. The US hosts try harder to entertain, whereas the UK hosts know they have it down to a science and are now just coasting through each episode.

    • jeepjeff

      In other words, you didn't read any of the other comments in this thread (or any of the other TGUS threads on Hooniverse and elsewhere).

  • NoKetchup

    Saw a fat woman sporting a mullet driving around over the weekend with the top down in her Allanté. Her license plate was EXTRAFUN

    and has forever tainted my impression of that car.

  • njhoon

    I'd take the XR4ti. I have always liked them and the more I have learned about them the more I wish I got one. The SVX is a close second, always liked them and I know they are safe due to being a passenger one one pinwheeled down a guard rail at 75 mph coming to a rest across 3 lanes of traffic…on fire. Everyone walked away with only soreness.

  • facelvega

    I'd take the Allante, the pininfarina styling is too good to pass up. The Northstar is a liability, but the previous engine was too slow to really make the car appealing. In either case I'd consider dropping in a corvette engine and transmission. I think the Allante market is only going to appreciate, I'm betting ten grand for a clean example within five years.

    The SVX is also appealing, but isn't liable to appreciate in value anytime soon. Great car, but the transmission will be dead soon and there are probably plenty of trim parts ready to expire. The engine might also need swapping. Just too expensive to keep one running. Love the faux-suede dashboard, though.

    The Merkur is probably more sensible than the others, but also less exciting. A Ford Sierra is a solidly goodish car, and with the turbo these are about as fast as the SVX if not the Allante, but I'd still have to put it in third place simply because of the oddity of the others.

    • jeepjeff

      Putting a Corvette drive train in an Allante is going require some major surgery, since the car is FWD.

      • facelvega

        I said Corvette engine just for the GM connection, but you make a good point, probably not the best choice. Is there a manual that will go with a supercharged 3800?

        On the other hand, fixing the inevitable head gasket failure in a Northstar will run $3500-$4000, which gets you pretty far down engine swap road. My mechanic, one of the best in Brooklyn, says he'll junk his own mint ETC when the head gasket goes because he'd rather buy something else than fix that beast of an engine. This seems pretty damning from a guy who specializes in stuff that shadetree mechanics like me can't do for themselves.