For those of you who don't know who Richard Hammond is and just wanted to look at this article because of the pretty cars, let me educate you slightly. There are really only two things that the majority of people know Hammond from. Either as a co-host on the hit BBC series Top Gear or as co-host on the hit Amazon series Grand Tour.
You'll likely know his co-host, Jeremy Clarkson a bit better due to him being the reason that they are no longer on Top Gear (because he punched out a producer...more than once). Either way though, Hammond is always known as "the little guy" of the host trio completed by the age-old wisdom of James May.
These petrol-heads have been dishing out to the public about what cars are hot and what cars are not for decades now. They put cars to the test and really push their limits. And then they go out of their way to build their own collection of cars. Richard Hammond has some very surprising cars in his collection that I really never expected to see. Sure, I expected to see several Porsches (and indeed there are), but...well just check out the list and you'll see.
15 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 RS PDK
So, just so everyone knows, though it shouldn't be any shock to anyone who knows Richard Hammond at all, he's got a big love for Porsche. Specifically, the Porsche 911 and its many variations.
And here we are with the Porsche 911 GT3 RS PDK. This doesn't seem to be Hammond's favourite Porsche by any stretch of the imagination though. He was quoted saying of the car that it is “still expensive, but not so bad by Porsche standards”. And given that the price was really the only thing he seemed to be thinking about, it also turns out that he was looking to put it out on the market not so long ago.
The going price? About 230,000 pounds! That's about $400,000-ish for a Porsche. No thank you! It is no wonder why people go out of their way to get the Boxster...the poor man's Porsche.
14 2009 Morgan Aeromax
"After months of waiting and a few sleepless nights, I picked up my Morgan Aeromax from the factory, drove it home and nearly fainted with the thrill of it." That's what Hammond had to say of his gorgeous Morgan Aeromax.
It is such a sleek car, based on luxury cars of the 30's and half the price of the Porsche 911 GT3. I have to say that just by looking at it you can already tell it is the better car. Unfortunately for Hammond, not even a full year after getting this car, he was involved in a tiny pileup after someone a few cars ahead of him broke a little too hard. Some rear-ending ensued.
Hammond was at the back of the line so only his front end was at all damaged, but it was damaged enough to need some serious repair. I could not imagine the broken heart that ensued when he saw his damaged car.
13 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP460-4Spyder
This is definitely a hot Lambo. It is not the Huracan or the Sesto Elemento, but it's still a Lambo. Now, the specific Lambo above is not Hammond's. Hammond's Lamborghini Gallardo is actually black. He bought a black one specifically so that it would match his helicopter...because yes, he has his own helicopter.
Now, how much do you think this car cost Hammond? Well, the Spyder is about $260,000! He has a collection of cars, this is not even the most expensive of all his cars, and yet he still has enough money to keep collecting, insuring and fueling his cars. It actually boggles my mind how someone can spend money like that, and Hammond isn't even all that lavish with his cars (as you will discover).
12 2009 Aston Martin DB5 Volante
"All of us owe the Aston Martin DB5 a debt of thanks: it is the car that invented the very concept of Bond cars as we know them now. It was the Aston that showed us how the car itself could be another character in the story, could bring its own tricks and its own glamour to the big screen. It is an indescribably beautiful thing, yes, but it was so much more than a pretty face."
This is Richard Hammond on the original '64 Aston Martin DB5. It was the big-deal Bond car that launched a constant stream of remakes leading up to the gorgeous DB5 Volante. This is a car that you're just not going to find anywhere for under $100,000. That's for sure. Or at least not unless you manage to score a really wicked deal.
11 2008 Dodge Charger SRT-8
The Dukes of Hazard and the villain in Bullit have great examples of the older 1968 version of this beautiful muscle car. It definitely is a boss car. Hammond explained, on an episode of Top Gear, that the handling of the '68 Charger SRT8 was actually just awful. But I guess he didn't mind so much the handling of the 2008 Charger SRT8. And I guess that would make a lot of sense.
After all, now there is power steering and I bet that makes a lot of difference between the 2008 and the 1968. It is amazing how much things have changed under the hoods of cars that actually still look very similar to this day. It is also amazing to see just how popular they have been all along. It allows Dodge to still sell their Durango and still make money.
10 1987 Landrover Defender 110
"Land Rover is actually the perfect project car. It has plenty of little faults to address when going about the business of trying to improve on the standard car. And that’s good. You don’t see many customized Rolls-Royce Phantoms. That’s because they are perfect to start with, there’s nothing to improve. Boring. But with a Land Rover, well the world is your oyster; you can pick from a whole smorgasbord of little things to improve upon."
Hammond's favourite Landrover is the '87 Defender 110. And his reason for liking it is that it is so awful that he can spend a lot of his time and money making it better. I'm sorry, but I have to say that I would definitely prefer to have the Rolls-Royce Phantom. I don't know many people who would say no to one of those beasts.
9 1985 Landrover Range Rover Classic
This car actually makes me laugh. When I first saw that this was one of the cars in Richard Hammond's collection, I actually laughed out loud. I mean, it is nothing amazing to behold, that's for sure. Apparently, soccer players from England really like these Range Rovers (well maybe not this specific one) and I have to say that I can't really understand why they or Hammond would particularly want a car like this.
I guess it is cool that Hammond had leather interior and walnut inlays as well, but I don't really see this vehicle as any sort of luxury car. It also doesn't look like it would handle a whole lot of off-roading either. I can't really imagine taking this car out into the great outdoors and not getting stuck or breaking down.
8 1982 Porsche 911 SC
Now, this is a car that you could probably get your hands on relatively easily. I mean, it is not dirt cheap but the average price for this car nowadays is just over $40,000. And I personally think it looks better than the other 911 on the list. It seems that Hammond has really had a love affair for the Porsche 911 even since the 80's. He's had three other Porsches in his collection of cars (two of which are 911 cars).
It is definitely the car he's collected the most out of any other. It is also a car that Jeremy Clarkson and James May used to always make fun of him for when they were still the hosts of the show Top Gear. And now into the second season, I'm sure that there are some digs already on Grand Tour. I don't see why they'd stop.
7 1976 Toyota Corolla Liftback
This is something that I've never understood about all three former hosts of Top Gear. They all seem to have this strange infatuation with "hot hatchbacks". I will never really understand their thinking on that. Anyway, the Liftback was actually Hammond's very first car (at least the very first one that wasn't stolen).
You might notice that the front end is loosely based on the '65 Mustang...which is kind of awesome, but also sad for a Toyota to do. Allegedly, Hammond once fit 14 people into this car, now that's amazing. I can't even comprehend how that possible. Anyway, the car didn't last all that long. He might have loved the car but he ended up using it less and less.
6 1969 Jaguar E-Type
Now, this is a gorgeous car. I mean, Jag really used to know what they were doing. But I don't know if it is as beautiful as Hammond makes it out to be. “Its siren call has lured me out into the rain to paddle across the yard and peer at it through a crack in the garage doors.”
I would make sure there was no crack in the garage doors if I had a car like this, that's for sure. But aside from that, I just have to say that there are other cars that Hammond has that are more beautiful than this, and he's never compared them to Sirens before. I guess he's got a specific hankering for the Jag. Personally, I think the Morgan Aeromax is way more gorgeous and more likely to call to me in that Siren-like way that the Jag calls to Hammond.
5 1968 Ford Mustang GT390
Here it is. This is the car that Steve McQueen drove in the classic film Bullit. Well, ok it's not the exact car, but it's the same make and model anyway. Well, it's the same gear under the hood at least, but the styling is specifically referred to as the Hot Wheels styling.
The colour itself is referred to as Steve-McQueen-Bullit-Green. That's how popular both this car and its colour really is. And Hammond loves his American muscle cars so it makes complete sense that he would go out of his way to find himself one of these classic machines. Or at least a model of the machine that really makes him feel like he's a part of the classic film. If nothing else, he's part of a huge fan base who share in the love of this one particular muscle cars.
4 1963 Opel Kadett
This is a car that was used in an episode of Top Gear where Hammond was rolling through Botswana in Africa. I guess he fell in love with the car. I'm pretty sure this car was also used in a cab episode where cab cars from all over the world were used in a race to see which country had the best cabbie. And it was definitely used as an obstacle in a truck episode of Top Gear.
Either way, when finishing the episode in Botswana, Hammond decided he was going to ship the Kadett home to England so that he could spend some time restoring it. And that's exactly what he did. I'm not sure how much money he put into it, but I'm fairly sure he needed a decent amount of work, though not as much work as one of the cars in Hammond's garage.
3 1950 Bentley S1
This is a sexy and classic car. It looks a little like a Rolls-Royce but has the unique luxury of Bentley, and it is beautiful! This is one of the cars that Hammond had restored with a wonderful shine and back in good working order. But not everyone loved what he did with the car. He was called a “vulgar little brummie tw*t” for nothing more than putting white-walls on the car.
For those of you who are reading a car article and don't know what white-walls are (you have some learning to do), they are tires that have feature a slick, white circle. I think they make many cars look extra luxurious and I think this is exactly what happens when he puts them on the Bentley. I think it looks great. But when he posted photos of it for the first time, he apparently got a ton of abuse for it.
2 1942 Ford GPW
The Ford GPW is the official name of this jeep-styled vehicle, but it is often referred to as "Willy's Jeep" or the "Army Jeep". I think you can clearly see why it is referred to as the army jeep. Mainly because it is the very model that became the American staple in terms of field vehicles. It is a surprisingly amazing off-road vehicle that could still out-perform many vehicles today. And I mean many vehicles meant to be used as off-road vehicles.
That's pretty impressive considering that there really isn't much to this car and considering the fact that it was built in the early 1940's. The excitement that Hammond must have when he's driving this vehicle has got to be hilarious to look at. I have to say, I would love to take this for a ride some day.
1 1931 Lagonda
This very old-school car only has a 2-litre engine. Which I want to laugh at but, just look at how beautiful this car is! I'm so jealous of Richard Hammond that I actually just can't laugh.
What is funny though about this car is that apparently the brake and gas pedals are actually set the wrong way around. Now, that is laughable. It makes me feel better about not having one. I can't imagine getting used to that. I can definitely imagine driving this thing though. Hammond bought it from a guy who had it for 34 years and would take his family on trips in it. It really is amazing to think that this Lagonda was made only 30 years after the very first automobile debuted. The fact that it is still driving about 90 years later is just...awesome.