Jeremy Clarkson America quotes

Clarkson on: America

A collection of Jeremy's Yankee rants

DON’T PICK on the little guy, they say, which could explain why Jeremy Clarkson frequently likes to poke fun at that global powerhouse America and its inhabitants. Below is a collection of his funniest remarks on the nation, taken from both his opinion pieces in The Sunday Times News Review and his car reviews for Driving.

Most of the comments are acerbic but Clarkson will often poke fun before revealing that he rather likes the country and many of its cars, so if you’re reading this across the pond: do take it all with a pinch of salt, y’all.



“Do you believe that America’s involvement in Iraq was righteous and justified? Do you have an attack dog? Do you believe everyone has a right to own as many automatic weapons as they damn well please and that Obama Barrack is basically a communist? Yes? So, of course, you drive a Chevrolet Corvette.”

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible review July 27, 2014


“The Americans have [the word] ‘awesome’, which is used to describe the Holy Grail, the Grand Canyon, the moon landings, a cup of coffee from Starbucks, a new pair of socks and everything in-between. It signifies that they are an upbeat people who are extremely pleased with pretty much everything.”

You reckon you can talk like us, Hank? Well isn’t that just awesome October 12, 2014


“Americans may have adopted all of the creature comforts that science has sent their way, but at their core they yearn to be out on the prairie, living rough and eating whatever they can shoot. Remember Petrocelli? The man was a skilled attorney but when there was no case to solve, he was to be found out in the sticks building his own house. Then there was Bobby Ewing. He worked in the oil business, drove a Mercedes SL and had a plastic wife. But at weekends he wore a tartan shirt and spent his time repairing fences. Americans love repairing fences.”

Range Rover LWB 5.0 V8 supercharged review January 5, 2014


“There are so many pick-up trucks sold in America that you begin to wonder if the sheer weight of the damn things, all in one place, in one corner of the globe, could start to affect the planet’s orbit.”

Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 review November 30, 2014


“In Soviet Russia you were allowed to do everything but vote. Whereas in America 20 years ago you could vote. But do nothing else. And it’s still bad today. In summer my daughter was carted off by the police for smoking near a fruit machine while under the age of 21.”

Yes, siree — count me in for genocide and conservatory-building November 25, 2012


“If for some reason you had to up sticks and get out of Britain, where in the world would you live? . . . New York? Yup, it’s very exciting but I bet you’d quickly become fed up with being shot.”

No, it’s me, Ermintrude — you’re just not my idea of a significant udder October 19, 2014


“[In Europe] we have Lotus, Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin. And [in America] they have the Ford F-150 Lightning pick-up truck: 0-60mph in a millionth of a second. Enough space in the back for a dead bear. And on a challenging road about as much fun as a wasabi enema.”

Ford Mustang review September 25, 2005


“On a recent trip to America I maintained my 100% record of never having driven though Nevada without being stopped by the police. Six trips. Six heartfelt roadside apologies to a selection of burly-looking men in beige trousers.”

Lexus LFA review September 9, 2012


“If you want a serious car, buy one from the continent that gave the world Shakespeare, Monet and Emerson Lake & Palmer. Europe does serious well. It does substance. It does brilliant. America does Disney. And what we have with the Z06 is Disney trying to do a hard-hitting documentary about Africa’s civil wars. Naturally, it hasn’t really worked.”

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 review May 10, 2015


“In America … there’s no such thing as a Countryside Alliance because there’s no class-based struggle between a bitter-with-jealousy metropolitan elite and a few crusty old lords who have 120,000-acre grouse moors in Scotland. In America everyone wants to be a part of the great outdoors. They like the idea of cutting down trees and shooting critters in the spine.”

VW Transporter T30 TDI 174 Sportline review June 4, 2006


“Maybe we come across as a bit arrogant. According to Rowland White’s amazing new book Phoenix Squadron, when the first four Brits were sent to the new Top Gun academy in California, they didn’t much care for the ‘Maverick’ and ‘Iceman’ style of call sign adopted by their American counterparts. But their hosts insisted, so they came up with ‘Cholmondley’, ‘Dogbreath’, ‘Alien’ and ‘Spastic’.”

I’m starting divorce proceedings in this special relationship March 15, 2009


“Today the average [American] petrol pump attendant is capable, just, of turning on a pump when you prepay. But if you pay for two pumps to be turned on to fill two cars, you can, if you stare carefully, see wisps of smoke coming from her fat, useless, war-losing, acne-scarred, gormless turnip face.”

The united states of total paranoia July 2, 2006


“You know the Stig? The all-white racing driver we use on Top Gear. Well, we were filming him walking through the Mojave desert when, lo and behold, a lorryful of soldiers rocked up and arrested him. He was unusual. He wasn’t fat. He must therefore be a Muslim.”

Arrested just for looking weird July 9, 2006


“It’s still plastic. It’s still made in Kentucky. It still has the big V8. And — stop laughing at the back — it still comes with exactly the same sort of suspension that you get on a Silvercross pram. Yup. It has leaf springs, which means it still rides like it’s running on wooden tyres. It’s a car so pumped up on steroids, it would be unable to take a drugs test without falling off its motorcycle. It’s a car with arms like Schwarzenegger but a penis like a shrivelled-up little acorn.”

Chevrolet Corvette C6 review August 29, 2004



“There are many people called ‘preppers’ who really do believe that the end is nigh and that they should prepare by buying some gas masks and soup now, along with a few automatic weapons. And maybe the odd pump-action 12-bore shotgun. And a few pistols … Obviously, over here, on the civilised side of the pond, we do not fancy the idea of ‘prepping’ for post-apocalyptic survival because if it comes to a choice between tenting and being dead, most of us would tick the box marked ‘Kill me’.”

Guns down, survivalists — it’s the cheesemakers who’ll inherit the earth December 28, 2014


“It’s based on a normal American 4×4 called the GMC Tahoe, which is very probably the worst off-road car in the whole of human history. It’s too ugly, too big, too thirsty, too slow, not well enough equipped and hopeless when it’s presented with snow, mud, gravel, soil, grass, stone, drizzle or even a light breeze. It doesn’t work on the road either and when I took one into the desert I ended up coming home on a camel – that’s true, that is.”

Hummer H2 review January 12, 2003


“Many people imagine when they rent a convertible in America that they’ll be thumping down Highway 1 under a blazing sky in a throbbing Corvette or an evocative Mustang. Yum, yum, they think. Freedom. Sunshine. A V8 bassline. Engineer boots, leather jackets and tight blue jeans. The American dream. Sadly, however, most tourists end up with a Chrysler Sebring convertible, which is almost certainly the worst car in the entire world.”

Chrysler Sebring Cabriolet 2.7 V6 review October 5, 2008


“Any nation that can’t make a cup of coffee and is utterly confused by the recipe for ‘a pot of tea’ is going to struggle pretty badly when it comes to something as complex as making a car. ”

VW Polo 1.8 GTI review November 19, 2006


“In the past 200 years Australia has only invented the rotary washing line, and America’s sole contribution to global betterment is condensed milk. The notion of these two great nations coming together to make a car doesn’t fill anyone from the world’s fountain of ingenuity with much hope.”

Vauxhall Monaro VXR review July 10, 2005


“Motorists in the States are happy to drive round with a sub-machinegun in the glove box and eat nothing but lard but they will not wear seatbelts. Maybe it’s because they consider it an abuse of civil liberties, maybe it’s because they’re too fat and lazy.”

Honda Civic review February 29, 2004


“It is a 15½ft, seven-seat people carrier of monumental awfulness. We will start with the seats. Yes, there are seven, but there is no one alive today that could fit in any of the five in the back. It’s also thirsty and unrefined and sounds like a wounded whale. Handling? Terrible. The ride? Terrible. Seat comfort? Terrible. It was plainly styled by a man who gets excited at the thought of house bricks, and finished off on the inside with a range of plastics that feel like Cellophane.”

Chevrolet Orlando 1.8 LTZ review January 1, 2012


“The worst example of getting it wrong, however, comes from Americans who, having lived in Britain for a while, think they can start talking English. Every time Christian Slater calls me ‘mate’ I’m filled with a sudden desire to shave his face off with a cheese knife. Americans cannot say ‘mate’ any more than Germans can say ‘squirrel’.”

It’s English as a foreign language December 17, 2006