James May looks at every form of cars for the masses, their origins and their effect on history.
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Cast

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...  Himself - Presenter 6 episodes, 2014-2016
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Storyline

James May takes a look at the 'peoples car'. Covering every form of cars for the masses, from the Beetle to the Kei Car, May looks at the many forms of people's car, their origins and their effect on history. Each episode covers a particular theme; these being cars from dictatorships, micro-cars and the dream cars we aspire to. Throughout each episode, May drives a variety of cars, often giving them a mini road test while also talking about the car itself. As well as this, May also travels around the world to the country of origin of the various cars he drives, where he also performs some challenges and tests on the car. The entire show has a slight element of Top Gear about it, but it's very much a documentary as well. Written by RagingR2

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10 August 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

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

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Trivia

May describes the Bond Bug as having the engine in the rear. As it is merely a re-bodied Reliant Robin, the engine is in the front. This is a mistake that Mike Brewer made on Wheeler Dealers before being corrected by Edd China. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cars for the masses
13 December 2014 | by 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. It is 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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