The Grand Tour: Series 1, Episode 5 – Morroccan Roll

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  • The Grand Tour studio arrives in Rotterdam.
  • Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May introduce a lightweight sport car test featuring the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, the Mazda MX5 and the Zenos E10 in the stunning landscapes of Morocco.
  • Also in this show, Hammond and May play a traditional board game using cars
  • Dutch band Golden Earring are the guest stars.

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Episode Guide

The tent is at the Port of Rotterdam. To settle an argument over the best sports car, the presenters go to Marrakech, Morocco to compare the Mazda MX-5, the Zenos E10S and the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.

During the road trip Clarkson suddenly pulls over due to a leg cramp while driving the 4C. Later, he challenges Hammond and May to weigh their cars to prove that the 4C is lighter, using an improvised scale and animal carcasses as counterweight. The scale breaks just as Hammond is about to remove the MX-5 from it, and the crew are ordered to leave the premises due to their use of animal carcasses.

Clarkson and the film crew leave Hammond and May to focus on the 4C. The presenters stop at Atlas Corporation Studios in Ouarzazate to perform timed laps with their cars. Hammond wins, despite crashing into an Egyptian statue prop.

Also in the episode, Hammond and May play an explosive game of Battleships using old cars as the “ships” and several G-Wizes as “missiles”.

Dutch band Golden Earring perform live outside the tent, but are electrocuted on stage. To fill in the time, Clarkson uses a V-8 engine to inflate a blow-up doll.

Trivia

0:01:41 – The Dutch really are the tallest nation on earth. A study published in the journal eLife found that the average Dutch man is a strapping 6 feet tall. The smallest men in the world are found in East Timor, which is why this country is not known for its basketball team.

0:02:45 – The speed camera was invented by Dutch racing driver Maurice Gatsonides. He once said, ‘Even I can’t escape my own invention because I love speeding’. Doh.

0:04:10 – The retro-looking ‘Marrakech’ title at the start of the lightweight sports cars test is a homage to the titles used in old movies filmed in glamorous overseas locations.

0:04:37 – The Mazda MX5 has a 1.5-litre, four cylinder engine making 129 horsepower. It can cover 0-62 in 8.3 seconds and has a top speed of 127mph.

0:05:29 – Lotus boss Colin Chapman signed a deal with John Z. DeLorean to develop the infamous DeLorean DMC-12 sportscar. It all became a bit complicated, DeLorean got caught in an FBI drugs sting, and some of the project budget went ‘missing’.

0:05:33 – The Zenos E10 S has a 2-litre, four cylinder turbocharged engine which produces 250 horsepower. It can go from 0-62 in 4 seconds and has a top speed of 145mph. It weighs 725 kilos.

0:09:34 – The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has a 1.7-litre, four cylinder turbocharged engine which makes 234 horsepower. It can go from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 160mph. It weighs 1128 kilos.

0:10:38 – Some of the Alfa 4C’s interior fittings are taken from other cars. Other, cheaper cars. Such as the Fiat Punto hatchback.

0:15:45 – The Zenos E10 S has a power-to-weight ratio of 345 horsepower-per-tonne. The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has a power-to-weight ratio of 207 horsepower-per-tonne. Jeremy might have forgotten to look this up before the drag race.

0:16:16 – The Alfa 4C was designed in Milan, but it’s actually made in the Maserati factory in Modena. Because they know more about building exotic things.

0:16:50 – It is unclear if Jeremy’s lightweight sports car jacket was bought for a bet. But if it was, he definitely won.

0:18:30 – Jeremy’s scepticism about Dutch-made cars is well founded. Cars made in Holland include the Volvo 340, The Daf Daffodil and the Mitsubishi Carisma.

0:24:21 – The massive former Cold War airfield is RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk, England.

0:26:06 – Hammond’s car board game cannon is normally used to make cars to improbably massive jumps in movies.

0:28:20 – Thick – A quaint British word meaning daft, stupid, a bit like Richard Hammond.

0:33:19 – Horatio Hammond is a reference to Horatio Nelson, famed British naval commander who led his forces to victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, thereby preventing the French from invading England. He died in the process, and was honoured with a massive monument in London’s Trafalgar Square. The founder of the Pagani supercar company is also called Horatio, but this wasn’t a reference to him.

0:37:33 – Golden Earring’s Radar Love was first released in 1973. It reached number 7 in the UK charts, number 13 in the US charts, and was number 1 in Holland for 13 weeks. Or was that years?

0:39:33 – The night before the studio recording, Jeremy proudly showed off his ‘motoring accessory’ purchases in a busy Rotterdam hotel bar.

0:40:11 – When Jeremy says ‘Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side’ he’s making a reference to the chorus of the UK number 1 hit, Pass The Dutchie by Musical Youth. The Grand Tour – bringing you bang-up-to-date cultural references since 2016.

0:40:30 – The V8 lady inflater engine is from a Ford.

0:41:29 – Richard’s HOV lane inflatable passenger came in a box marked ‘Fatty Patty’

0:43:13 – Jeremy Clarkson owns some donkeys. The one in the lightweight cars film isn’t one of his.

0:43:41 – Richard Hammond lives in the countryside so he knows about manoeuvring animals.

0:44:37 – James May lives in London and does not have livestock. Although he does have a cat.

0:47:27 – Muppet – British word for a stupid or foolish person. Also, a type of puppet. But that’s not relevant in this case.

0:51:04 – During the filming of the sports car item, some British paparazzi turned up and tried to spy on the plucky hosts going about their business. Unfortunately for these photographers, they got stopped by the police, had to admit they didn’t have permits to work in Morocco and were marched back to the airport. Ooops.

0:51:48 – The setting for the race in the sports cars film is Atlas Studios, near Ouarzazate, Morocco.

0:53:15 – ‘The Dick From Del Monte’ is a reference to ‘The Man From Del Monte’, a tinned produce ad campaign shown in Britain in the 1980s. The titular character in the ads went around tasting and approving fruit while wearing a pale linen suit. Which, if you think about it, was an impractical choice of clothing.

0:57:05 – James estimates this to be the third most dusty he’s ever been.

0:58:50 – ‘Sir Jon Blashford-Hammond’ is a reference to famed British explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell (who James seems to have accidentally knighted).

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Rating: 8.8/10 (16 votes cast)
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Well, call me impressed. I really thought this one was the best of the series so far. The long car film had the best chemistry of the bunch, it really felt more like their old selves. Plus, the cars (especially the Alfa) really were stars in themselves and brought a lot to make it a ‘car’ film.

    When Richard started introducing the battleships game, I was having flashbacks to TG seasons 2,3’ish when they would go to the ‘crucial’ of motorsport to see if nuns could drive monster trucks or some other ridiculous display of motoring. These bits were perhaps not the ‘best’ but they were always a little silly fun and I quite enjoyed the film.

    The studio bits were as good as they have been. No ‘The American’ (thankfully) and we were teased a little with the celebrity bit which gave it just enough interest for me not to walk away and get a wobbly pop while I watched.

    I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks as the films seem to be getting bigger and better!

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