Grand Tour presenter and more recently car restoration shop owner Richard Hammond has once again appeared on the DriveTribe YouTube channel, this time showing us the cars he still has left in his collection. As we saw in Season 1 of the show following his new business – Richard Hammond’s Workshop – the presenter had to sell a number of his beloved cars to fund the project.
While this was reported to be the majority of his collection, no one, apart from Hammond himself and his family and friends, knew what he had left. Now we have a very good idea as he takes us for a tour around his barn that stores his collection.
Inside the barn sit a number of self-contained capsules to keep each of his cars at the right humidity and temperature and to minimise the likelihood of rusting. But it’s interesting to see the number of bikes he still retains.
The first to be shot by the camera is a Suzuki GSX-R 1100. He obviously loves this bike, calling it “the pinnacle of the capacity race,” adding that ” that, despite its bulk and girth is a sports bike.”
“I’ve got it because I love it. It’s awful, but I love it.”
Continuing down the line of machines he comes to his 1968 390 GT. Originally painted green just like Steve McQueen’s Bullitt Mustang in the film. This car ‘s been owned by Hammond for an estimated 15 years, and it looks like he’s not getting rid of it anytime soon. “It’s part of my life, part of the furniture of my life.”
“Needs a bit of a bath but I adore it. There’s something about a Mustang. Something about the scale of it, the look of it, the feel of it.
And the fact that, that,” he says pointing at the Mustang. “I was asked about it today actually, somebody was… ‘oh that’s gorgeous’, what is it like to drive?’
“Expecting the answer to be a bit like when you look at a Lamborghini Countach and yeah, it’s just the most amazing looking thing, but I’d rather drive this barn than that Lambo.
“That,” he says once more pointing at the muscle car, “actually works, it’s nimble, light, limited slip diff, it’s a really fab little car to operate.”
Continuing once more down the line of his cars he gives attention to his 1959 Jaguar XK150. This gorgeous little car was restored on Hammond’s show. “The heart of it, that engine, that straight-6 XK engine, was, still is, and always shall be a masterpiece. One of the most expressive glorious sounding, wonderful, fizzy, dynamic, exciting little engines… even beautiful to look at.
“I adore that.”
The next bubble is empty, with it previously housing is 1969 Porsche 911T. This was sold, along with his Lotus Esprit 350 Sport and his Bentley to fund painting equipment for his workshop.
There’s another Jaguar and a Mini that he’s storing for a friend, but more interestingly there’s a Land Rover Series 1 from the early days of Top Gear that he purchased and dissembled with the aim to restore it. This never happened so it sits in pieces in the corner of the barn. And sat next to it, there’s a rusty Peugeot pickup which he “has plans for”. He won’t give us any more than that.
He still owns the 1972 Buick Riviera from The Grand Tour’s Scotland special, Lochdown. “I kept it, I want to do stuff with that, I might put that to you as an option at some point in the future.”
The last car he shows us is has the most interesting future out of the bunch. It’s an MGB GT, and the presenter reveals that this is a car he will be taking racing under the team ‘Smallest Cog’. This car is actually the last car he drove on Top Gear. “I thought it was the most spectacular little car.”
So watch this space as Hammond pushes his way into the racing industry. “I have a plan for it. It’s quite a bit plan.
“I want to take the Smallest Cog to a new level, my workshop. I need to put it in front of people who have interest in classic cars, passionate owners.
“And people who need work done on their cars, and are more passionate bunch of owners with more interesting cars I don’t know than people who race classic cars.
“So I’m going to take that racing,” he says pointing at the MG, “as team Smallest Cog and we are going to race alongside people with other classic cars.
“And they are going to learn to know us, and when we watch them smear their car down the wall and into the tyres we’ll be racing alongsidfe them, I will give them a business card and hopefully they’ll give us the car to straighten out.
“And then once we’ve straightened it, they’ll bend it again, then we’ll straighten it again. that’s my genius plan.”
This plan, alongside other goings on at the workshop, will be covered in Richard Hammond’s Workshop on Discovery+.