The Grand Tour

Richard Hammond’s Top Gear Project Receives Final Test From Grand Tour’s Abbie Eaton

The MGB GT that Richard Hammond drove on the final episode of Top Gear has finally gone under the knife and is now being used as a fully-fledged race car by the presenter’s business, The Smallest Cog. If you’ve been keeping up with his Discovery+ show, Richard Hammond’s Workshop, you’ll see that The Grand Tour test driver Abbie Eaton has returned to fettle the car for race duty, and now on the DriveTribe YouTube channel, Mike Fernie has taken it for a spin.

He was given a number of things to check by Hammond, including the suspension setup, the temperature gauge, and the pedal setup for heel and toeing.

“Abbie Eaton and Anthony Greenhouse drove this car yesterday and it was bunny hoping through the corners, especially under power, it was all over the place like this,” Mike told the camera while jumping up and down in the driver’s seat.

“It was almost as if the car didn’t have suspension, and it turned out hat was pretty much the case. A couple of mounting brackets in the suspension were mounted back to front, which meant the car had no suspension travel, which is why it was hopping all around the place.

“So much so that it actually spat Anthony off the track…

“Just once, nothing too major.”

This issue had been fixed before the shoot, so Fernie could report back positively on the suspension front: “Richard you’ve got a proper little handling race car!”

It wasn’t all good news for the temp gauge however. “This one’s a little British,” he joked to the camera. The DriveTribe presenter also confirmed Abbie Eaton’s thoughts on the pedal box. It’s next to impossible to heel and toe due to how close the accelerator sits to the chassis, but one commenter had a brilliant idea:

MGB owner here: you can easily set up an MGB to heel-and-toe brake, but you just need a pedal extension. They’re dirt cheap, and it’s the same one for a Mini. Moss sell an aluminium ‘Paddy Hopkirk’ branded one for peanuts. I’ve been running one for years on the road and track, and they work great. Also, the peddles run on bronze bushes which tend to wear, so fitting new ones and the extension will work wonders for you.”

The final mission for Fernie was to be able to exit the car within 5 seconds. Not quite as easy as it sounds with Fernie hitting his ankle on the door bars.

But while the car needs a few improvements, I can’t wait to see it on the track at something like the Goodwood Revival.

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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