In a recent video for DriveTribe, Richard Hammond takes to his local country roads in a famous star of his original Top Gear. His Opel Kadett, lovingly named Oliver, became incredibly popular when it was saved from ruin during the Top Gear Botswana Special episode. And while Jeremy Clarkson and James May took great pleasure in teasing him about his relationship with the car, he still has it and adores it just as much today as he did back then.
During the video, in which he talks about Oliver and the potential modifications he’s considering for the car, he also tells us that he’s sold a number of his other cars to “prop up” his car restoration business, The Smallest Cog. This includes his Tesla Model X, which he greatly enjoyed.
“I sold my Tesla Model X recently to prop up the restoration business.
“And I regretted it in some ways because I love the car and it was doing my bit, and for daily work I was not using up precious fuel that I’d rather use in my Mustang.”
He continues to talk about precious little Oliver, who he names a “green option” thanks to its dainty little 800cc engine that barely produces 40 horsepower, the fact it’s so old – almost 60 years – and takes very little work to maintain.
“This is actually a green car. Incredibly green.
‘Oliver, you’re the future, mate,” he says looking at the classic steering wheel.
Oliver’s restoration was rushed when it first entered the UK, and after a hint of damage after someone reversed the car into a tree damaging the door, it’s safe to say it needs a bit of a look at. Fortunately, Richard owns a car restoration company, and he has revealed in this video that he wants to restore the car himself, starting with a paint job identical to that which he bought the car with.
We’re incredibly excited to see what happens with Oliver and will be following their journey into 2022.