The BBC car show has lost some of its ultra-macho feel since Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond bowed out, and last night's instalment included a moving segment about motoring memories.
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Current presenting line-up Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris all tried out getting behind the wheel of cars their fathers used to drive, while reminiscing on their childhoods.
The cars included a 1980 BMW 323i for Harris, a Ford Cortina for Flintoff and a Ford Fiesta for McGuinness.
Cricketer Flintoff talked about how his father had slept in the car while ferrying him around the country to cricket matches because the family couldn't afford hotel rooms before he found fame.
Loyal viewers of Top Gear admitted to finding the show surprisingly emotional as they watched the trio driving down memory lane.
That episode of #topgear had me in tears one moment and laughing till it hurt the next! So many dad memories dragged up from 25+ years ago!
Great work @PaddyMcGuinness @harrismonkey @flintoff11 Look forward to the rest of the series! 👍🏻🚗
— Paul Campbell (@Paul_Campbell5) March 14, 2021
Last night's Top Gear really got me. I am in tears. Paddy and Chris talking about missing their Dads. It shows its ok to talk, its OK to be open about your feelings, it's ok to be sad. But its so good to look back on good memories! @PaddyMcGuinness @flintoff11 @TopGear #TopGear
— Robyn (@Robyn1323) March 15, 2021
The emotions stirred up by the programme took many viewers by surprise.
It even prompted some fans to share their own memories of cars their parents used to drive.
#topgear I did not expect to be in tears about dad cars. My dad had an Austin - can still remember the registration number JME 888B. We went everywhere in that car. Happy memories.
— Jacky 3.5%.😷🕷️💙 Please wear a mask/keep your space (@alswifejacky) March 14, 2021
Thank you for last nights utterly brilliant, emotional, fantastic piece on #dadscars , tears of laughter and sadness, miss the old man, he loved his fords, heres my mam with his beloved, brand new mk2 escort back in 1979 #topgear pic.twitter.com/t3Lx96M69b
— richard thomas (@racing_scarlet) March 15, 2021
Since Clarkson and co's departure over his fracas with a producer during filming in 2015, the show has undergone a number of presenting line-up changes.
They were originally replaced by Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc, Eddie Jordan, Chris Harris, Sabine Schmitz, and Rory Reid.
LeBlanc, Harris and Reid then took over as the main team, before making way for the current line-up of Harris, Flintoff and McGuinness.
Clarkson, May and Hammond have since launched driving adventure series The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime.
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