Top Gear's James May presents this 3 part series which takes a look at the 'peoples car'. Covering every form of cars for the masses - from the Beetle to the Kei Car... See full synopsis »

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 Himself - Presenter (6 episodes, 2014-2016)
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Top Gear's James May presents this 3 part series which takes a look at the 'peoples car'. Covering every form of cars for the masses - from the Beetle to the Kei Car... See full synopsis »

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10 August 2014 (UK)  »

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James May's Cars of the People: A Top Gear Special  »

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Cars for the masses
13 December 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This series is in effect a spin off from Top Gear where James May looks at the concept of the 'peoples car' that is cars that the were made for the masses and popularised motoring.

In the first series May travels the world from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, USA and the UK. The first episode looks at how dictatorships used policy to get motoring to the masses with Hitler's influence with the Beetle, the East Germans and the Trabant and Russia with the Fiat based Lada car.

The second episode focused on the micro car concept something that was popular in Britain for a brief period in the late 1950s and early 1960s but very popular in Japan.

The third episode looked into prestige cars, company cars and the concept that car badges could be used to display social status. Although I am not sure a Rolls Royce can really be classed as a 'People's Car.'

Each episode usually contains several of the trademarked Top Gear style daft challenges such as micro cars racing to deliver noodles to a Honda executive, two sales reps racing popular company cars while shaving and using a trouser press. Its fun but does not add much to the programme and frankly looked like padding.

James May who avoids the prattishness and faux controversy of Clarkson does come across as knowledgeable, amiable and enthusiastic in what was an enjoyable documentary series.


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