Former Top Gear star Richard Hammond admitted he had a penchant for leather bracelets, but also admits to something much more controversial.
The car journalist made a series of confessions when he was filmed driving around the Gloucestershire / Herefordshire border with his recently restored vintage Jaguar XK150 to test it out.
During the ride, the Grand Tour presenter told fans that he did not return the engine to its exact original state, as he wanted to add some of his own touches, such as removing the bumpers for make it more sporty.
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Speaking from his home at Bollitree Castle near Weston-under-Penyard, he explained that the car had just been restored for his new reality show Richard Hammond’s Workshop.
And while he restored the expensive engine to the original Dove Gray, he made a few visual and mechanical changes that might upset some purists.
“The plan for this car was not to turn her into the trailer queen,” he said.
“I wanted a car that I could ride in and use and that’s what we created.”
After driving around, he parks at Bollitree Castle and explains to fans about the changes he’s made.
Pointing to a leather belt holding the hood down, he said that was not an original feature but explained, “I’m an asshole for a bonnet strap because it finishes things off, like a belt on a pair. jeans. “
In the back, he explained how he removed the heavy bumpers and added more seat belts to keep the trunk closed.
“These straps are not needed, like the hood strap, but what can I say. I like the leather straps,” he added.
But as the 51-year-old father-of-two took a drive with what appeared to be the Malvern Hills in the background, he made a controversial confession.
After talking about his decision to modernize the engine and saying that he is now driving like a dream, he said: “Beyond that there is only one significant change and it is a controversial change. .
“I threw in the Moss gearbox and put on a modern gearbox and the jury was out.
“The shift mechanism is clunky and I miss the quick and devious shifting of a well-tuned Moss gearbox.
“As long as you can handle the double clutch going down second to first, that’s the way to go, I think. So that could be a comeback.”
But most of the hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts who watched the video on DriveTribe seemed to agree that it had done a good job of bringing the classic car back to life, one of less than 10,000 made between 1957 and 1961.
One of them commented on the Drive Tribe video. “I really hope the ‘jags’ like this car. What Hamster did is nothing short of art.”
Some commented on how it looked and sounded beautiful and others said it was great to see his love for cars without playing what one person described as a “jester” on TV.
Another added: “I love that he didn’t completely restore it to its original condition and add his own touch to it. It’s gorgeous and full of character.”