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20 years of Clarkson: What cars does Clarkson actually drive?

Clarkson's personal garage, since 1993


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THEY say that if you want to know what cars a motoring writer really rates, you should look at what they have in their garage. So here’s what Clarkson has been driving for pleasure during his time at The Sunday Times.

He paid full price for most — only a few were on long-term loan from manufacturers in the early years.

 


Read CLARKSON REVIEWS or search NEW or USED cars for sale on driving.co.uk


 

1993 Ford Escort Cosworth

“Late at night, when all I wanted to do was to get home, it would be sitting there, angry and spoiling for a fight”

 

1994 Jaguar XJ6

“If you want a relaxing and stylish ride, nothing even gets close to the Jaguar”

 

1995 Jaguar XJR 4.0

“The nightmare on Elm Strasse, the supercharged fist in an iron glove”


1995: After working on a freelance basis for two years, Clarkson starts his weekly column


 

1996 Ferrari 355

“At full chat, a 355 sounds like God shouting. In terms of grip, handling and poise, the 355 was Torvill and Dean”

 

1998 Jaguar XJR V8

“It comes with enough torque to stop a pacemaker at 500 paces. You can expect it to reach 60mph before you’ve set off”

 

1999 Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon

“It’s built to arm-wrestle the Outback. Why is it the most unreliable piece of junk I’ve had the misfortune to own?”


1999: Clarkson leaves the old version of Top Gear. He begins a second column in the News Review section


 

2001 Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon (again)

“The Land Cruiser blitzes every other car in its class. It was able to swallow me, my wife, her embryo, two kids, the dog and a seesaw”

 

2001 Ford Focus

“What we’ve got is one of those 11-year-old wonder kids that have just graduated from Cambridge with a degree in quantum physics”

 

2002 Mercedes SL 55 AMG

“With nearly 500bhp on tap you only need think about putting your foot down and you’ll end up in a magistrates’ court”


2002: The new-look Top Gear is launched, with Clarkson back at the helm


 

 

2003 Volvo XC90

“As a means of carrying people and stuff at the same time, the Volvo has no equal. The packaging is a work of genius”

 

2005 Ford GT

“It is fine. It is perfect. It knows it’s a great, great car that was ruined by a useless ape who fitted a crummy aftermarket alarm system”

 

2005 Mercedes SLK 55 AMG

“I had to haggle the price up. Being a motoring journalist means being offered big discounts. But being a motoring journalist means I can’t accept”

 

2005 Volvo XC90 (again)

“The first car to have been designed by someone who had children, not an engineer who’d read about them in a book”

 

2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

“I took the Gallardo backstage at a recent Who gig and it looked right, sitting there among the rock stars and the roadies”

 

2007 Mercedes 600 Grosser

“The Grosser is fitted with so many ornaments it could almost be twinned with Elton John’s head”

 

2008 (Another) Volvo XC90

“It’s a dreadful car to drive, really, but it’s so clever and so well thought out we’re about to buy a third”

 

2008 Mercedes CLK Black Series

“It is not a joke. Like everything to come out of the Fatherland since it was formed in 1871, it is utterly and deadly serious”

 

2009 Range Rover

“This is the automotive equivalent of France, the Sony Bravia, The Sunday Times and Mick Jagger. It is the answer”

 


BACK TO 20 YEARS OF CLARKSON HOMEPAGE