We can’t say that we were looking forward to the premiere episode of The Car Show, simply because we didn’t feel that Adam Carolla was going to be all that funny. If he was, then The History Channel would have considered keeping him as part of the Top Gear USA trio . Turns out, we were absolutely wrong.
Adam Carolla may be a jumbling, mumbling mess at times, but his delivery actually makes him a bit funnier. It helps that he was teamed up with Dan Neil (automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal), John Salley (4-time NBA Champion and actor), and Matt Farah (SmokingTire.com), who seemed to deliver more chemistry in the first episode of The Car Show than Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara, and Ruttledge Wood had in their entire first season. Don’t get us wrong, we actually like Top Gear USA, but we may like The Car Show even better so far.
Hit the jump for details on the first episode of The Car Show.
If you weren’t able to catch the first episode of The Car Show, just imagine an automotive version of ESPN or The Best Damn Sports Show, and you have a mental image of what to expect. The Speed Channel went all out and, of course, so did the sponsors with wood-grained everything, wheels propped up in the back, and big screen televisions. But enough about the look, let’s move on to the segments.
Zero to 60
The very first segment was called Zero to 60 and was almost exactly like ESPN’s PTI. The hosts were given 60 seconds to discuss something from a list of topics and the segment continued until all topics were touched upon. The list included a little of everything, from the production of the Porsche 918 Spyder to why we still buy Toyota Camrys and the eventual discontinued use of the chemical, Formaldehyde, from the vehicle production process (Apparently, it’s a carcinogen).
gallery: Porsche 918 Spyder Concept
Behind the Wheel
The next segment covered actual driving with the Quad as they found out what it was like to participate in the 24Hrs of Lemons in Reno, Nevada. This is an endurance race where the vehicles participating can only be worth up to $500 and it pays to cheat. The cars were ugly as sin and had more miles than we would ever like to have on any of our personal vehicles. The Quad’s ride ended up being a 1994 Nissan 300ZX with over 200,000 miles on it. The car was able to make it for a little while, but caught on fire at Hour 14. What do you do with an old, dead Nissan 300ZX? You shoot paintball guns at it and blow it up. Nice!
gallery: Nissan 300zx
Car Review: Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Matt Farah takes his turn at the wheel with a Porsche GT3 RS at the Mojave Mile, an airstrip that is transformed into a one-mile drag strip once a year. Farah climbed into the $135,500 Porsche with full intent to take it near its 192 mph top speed limit: 175mph. To fuel his fire, Farah decided to race against a Piper Cherokee, a single-engine, all-metal aircraft. The Porsche smoked the plane, but Farah was only able to get it up to 166.2mph.
gallery: Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Car Review: Rolls Royce Ghost
Dan Neil also took his turn behind the wheel of a vehicle, but did so with a much classier Sunday driver: the Rolls Royce Ghost . This review focused much more on the luxury aspect of the vehicle than the speed aspect found in the previous Porsche review. The upscale discussion of the car’s features was given a white trash intermission with Adam Carolla’s banter. It was classy, but still kind of funny.
The discussion was then taken to the set where the four hosts openly discussed the rationale behind the "glorified BMW." The discussion wasn’t forced, but seemed to be a real discussion of their opinions.
gallery: Rolls Royce Ghost
The Car Show Game Show
The shortest segment of the show was the Game Show, which allowed two of the show’s guests to battle it out Jeopardy style with Dan Neil. The automotive questions were varied, Neil couldn’t have possibly care less if he won (but in a funny way), and the winner got a trophy that was taller than he was (sad). All in all, a good way to waste five minutes of the show and teach its viewers a little something.
Interview: Jimmie Johnson
In this segment, no one drives a car, but they do get to interview five time NASCAR champion, Jimmie Johnson, who immediately calls Carolla out on how he could be hosting a car show. To prove he is worthy, Carolla has Johnson quiz him, and actually gets the question correct. We’re glad Johnson cleared that up because we were wondering ourselves.
The interview went very much like you would see in a talk show, with questions and answers discussed in a relaxed conversational matter.
One for the Road
The last segment was called One for the Road and literally offered up a topic for the viewers to chew on. The first One for the Road topic was meter maids. Yes, meter maids. Apparently, this was the light-hearted way the Quad chose to end their premiere episode. We stand them, we hate them, but no one loves them.
Wrapping it up
All in all, we really like the premiere episode of The Car Show. They mixed up the segments with topics covering speed, luxury, competition, and just plain fun. If Top Gear USA stands a chance at surviving, they need to take a quick page out of The Car Show’s book. Sad, but true.
In the words of Adam Carolla, "Drive safely and Mahalo."