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Remembering Top Gear’s Mexico Catastrophe For Cinco De Mayo

Happy Cinco De Mayo everybody! We here at Grand Tour Nation thought that a befitting way to celebrate the Mexican holiday, would be to revisit some of the Mexican-themed highlights from the boy’s past.

Of course, they are notoriously rocky moments to revisit, but nevermind that. Just grab yourself a margarita or Corona, sit back, and enjoy.

Richard Roasts Mexico

Way back in 2011, when James was still rocking floral-printed shirts on the set of Top Gear, a news bit about the new Mastretta MXT sports car, started one of the shows largest controversies to date. After digging into the car’s design and potential lackluster quality, Hammond went on to say, “a Mexican car’s just going to be a lazy, feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.”

The choice words caught the attention of the Mexican government, with the ambassador even lodging an official complaint to the BBC.

The presenters of the programme resorted to outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable insults to stir bigoted feelings against the Mexican people, their culture as well as their official representative in the United Kingdom… These offensive, xenophobic and humiliating remarks serve only to reinforce negative stereotypes and perpetuate prejudice against Mexico and its people.

The incident seemed to blow over, after an official apology was made to the ambassador, and the head of Mastretta claiming to not find offense. In fact, he said that the incident only heightened interest in the MXT.

The Race To The Border

Several years later, we find our trio in the Southwestern United States, racing a set of sports cars to the Mexican border from Los Angeles. With Jeremy driving a Lexus LFA, James an Aston Martin Vanquish, and Richard a Dodge Viper, they set out to see who would be victorious. The loser’s punishment? Going into Mexico, where the entire population hates them from their past comments…and reviewing the Mastretta MXT.

During the race, the relationship between the hosts and Mexico is discussed, with Clarkson telling of a nice dinner he had with the ambassador. Supposedly, they had made nice since the comments were made, but it was unlikely the public knew or cared.

The Review

In a fitting twist of fate, Mr. Hammond lost the race. Meaning that the man who made the worst of the comments all those years earlier, now had to reap what he had sow.

A couple episodes after their race, Hammond took to the streets of Mexico in the Mastretta MXT. At first, driving thru a not so nice neighborhood, he wears a Clarkson mask, to avoid the resentment. Eventually, he takes it off and takes the MXT for a fun cruise through the Mexican countryside.

In the end, Hammond spoke well of the MXT, even saying that it “shows real promise.”

The proverbial hatchet was buried, the tequila was opened, and now we can get on with our holiday! Muy bien!

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