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Richard Hammond Turns 52: Here Are His Greatest Ever Moments On Top Gear & The Grand Tour

December 19th marks Mr. Richard Hammond‘s 52nd birthday! To mark the occasion, we realized that we have done a number of pieces on Richard’s worst crashes/moments, but we have never taken a look at his best moments throughout Top Gear and The Grand Tour. So let’s do that right now!

Richard Hammond Starts His Own Restoration Business

As we know from Richard Hammond’s collection of classic Jaguars, his Opel Kadett, affectionately named Oliver, and motorbikes, The Grand Tour presenter loves a classic vehicle with some mileage. So to celebrate his love for these classic cars, he’s unveiling his latest business venture at the London Classic Car Show.

In a bid to support the skilled workers who are able to bring these loved cars back to life, he started his own restoration company called The Smallest Cog.

“It’s in my bones,” he told the LCCS. “My grandfather was a coachbuilder; he worked at Mulliners in Birmingham and thereafter at Jensen in West Bromwich. I’ve always wanted to prove to him that there’s more to me than driving around the world, talking about other people’s supercars, crashing them and then pretending to weld them up in a desert.

“It’s also about a passion of mine to preserve crafts – my grandfather could work with wood, metal and just about anything. I wanted to do something real in the car industry rather than just being a commentator on the outside of it. This business is the perfect opportunity for me to do that.”

The business will be called The Smallest Cog, emphasising the level of detail it will be working at. It isn’t, as I expected, a joke about Hammond’s height…

“Jeremy [Clarkson]  and James [May] might suggest otherwise, but it’s to highlight the fact that our attention to detail will be right down to the smallest cog… and the smallest cog is often the most significant whether it’s in a gearbox, engine or differential,” he explained.

I Am Now Structurally Integral To the Roof!

Ah, the convertible people carrier, one of the most classic segments that the boys have ever done. We won’t go through and revisit the entire segment, but one of the funniest moments came about when the boys were testing the top speed of Renault and the roof collapsed on Richard, who was forced to hold it up.

“I am now part of it; I am structurally integral to the roof!” he exclaimed as the car slowly disintegrate around him.

I Shall Call It Oliver!

Out of all the cars that were featured on Top Gear, was there ever one that audiences remembered as fondly as Oliver? Maybe the indestructible Toyota Hilux, but I would say the award for the most beloved car has to go to Oliver. We all felt Richard’s pain when Oliver died.

Hammond Is Hypnotized

Hypnosis: you either believe it or you don’t. For those who do believe in the power of hypnosis, the segment where Richard was hypnotized by Paul McKenna was pure comedy gold. Not only did Richard completely forget how to operate every part of a car, but he believed that a toy Porsche 911 was his real one. It was hilarious.

And yes it’s a very bad quality video but we can’t find anything else!

Richard Turns Into An American

This is a very recent one, and technically it was only a promo, but it has the distinct honor of being the culmination of nearly decades worth of jokes about Richard being a closet American. Jeremy and James ended up in ridiculous get-ups; Richard had no change whatsoever.

Richard Flirts With Death On a Dam

Yes, I’m 100% certain every safety box was checked off prior to the filming of this stunt, but regardless, it looked scary as hell. As someone who is afraid of heights, I cannot imagine staying as calm as Richard did during the winching. He looked scared towards the end, but I would have been full on screaming and panicking.

Richard Hammond Is The Best Father

There are many, many bad fathers out there. But Richard Hammond acts as a great role model for both other fathers of the world and for his own children. This is just one example of why that is.

In 2007, after a 12 hour trip and getting back to England at 3am, Hammond made the decision to leave his stranded car and run home to make his daughter’s fourth birthday. His Porsche 911 Carrera became caught in traffic caused by flooding, so Hammond donned his running gear and legged the remaining 2 hours worth of road.

“There was no way I was going to miss it – I’m away from home enough as it is.

“Luckily I had my running gear and a waterproof jacket with me in the car, so I decided to run the rest of the way. It was pitch black but I just put my iPod on and went.”

He got home in time and freshened up for his daughter’s big day:

“I had a hot shower and a bacon buttie and not long after that Willow got up and we had a lovely time for her birthday.”

What are your favorite Richard Hammond moments? Burning his balls in Madagascar? Being the best father ever? Let us know in the comments.

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