The Grand Tour: Series 1, Episode 6 – Happy Finnish Christmas

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  • The Grand Tour tent is in Kakslauttanen, Finland, deep within the Arctic Circle.
  • Richard and Jeremy compare the Ford Mustang V8 and the Ford Focus RS.
  • James May recounts the bitter 1960s battle for endurance racing supremacy between Ferrari and Ford.
  • The boys run through some ideal Christmas gifts for car fans.

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Episode Guide

The tent is at the forests of Saariselkä. At the Port of London, Hammond welcomes the new right-hand-drive Ford Mustang GT and gives it a tour of London and Stonehenge before Clarkson arrives and proceeds to argue that Mustang has no place in Britain and that the Ford Focus RS is a better option. This escalates to a chase between both cars up to Cheddar Gorge. The Mustang beats the Focus in a drag race, but is slower around the Eboladrome.

In “Conversation Street”, Clarkson and May debate over which confectionery creates more mess in a car – a Flake or a Double Decker. A drunk Kimi Räikkönen arrives outside the tent for “Celebrity Brain Crash”, but collapses from drinking too much vodka and is left to die in the arctic temperatures.

To fill in the time, the presenters introduce their “Santaland Grotto”, where they talk about their Christmas gift ideas, mostly consisting of everyday items emblazoned with car-manufacturer logos. May introduces Bob Geldof via tablet on a Double telerobot.

Finally, May talks about the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, which gave birth to the Ford GT40 and the Ferrari P3.

Eboladrome Lap Times

Ford Focus RS
1:28.4

Ford Mustang V8
1:29.6

Trivia

0:00:22 – The cars in the titles this week are a Fisker Karma, a mk1 Porsche Boxster and a SAAB 900 Convertible. All were made down the road by the Valmet car factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland.

0:01:21 – Several 1970s cinema curtains were destroyed to make the presenters studio jackets this week.

0:06:46 – The Ford Mustand 5.0 V8 GT has a 5-litre V8 engine making 416 horsepower. It can go from 0-62 in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph.

0:07:39 – As James May would probably tell you, the massive clock on parliament pointed out by Richard in the Ford Mustang test isn’t actually called Big Bem. That’s the name of the bell inside. But everyone in Britain calls the whole thing Big Ben. Except James. Probably.

0:08:01 – The large monument Richard is unable to name in the Mustang test is Nelsons Column, built to commemorate British Navy big-wig and wide hat enthusiast Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson who saw off a French invasion at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, unfortunately getting killed to death in the process.

0:09:55 – the hillside drawing of a quite excited man is actually called the Cerne Abbas Giant and its very old so you can’t giggle at it because it’s historic.

0:10:43 – The Ford Focus RS has a 2.3-litre, four cylinder, turbocharged engine making 345 horsepower. It can go from 0-62 in 4.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 165mph.

0:16:52 – The song Jeremy is singing in Conversation Street is a jingle from the Flake adverts in the 1970s and 80s. They featured attractive women in soft focus and not, strangely, a silly old man in a medium-sized tent.

0:20:20 – The British Institute of Car Chases is a private test facility and not public roads. Just in case you were wondering.

0:24:21 – Jeremy is right. Cheddar cheese comes from the village of Cheddar, Somerset, also home to this gorge.

0:25:10 – The pop-out plastic door protector strips that so impress Jeremy on the Focus RS are actually an optional extra. They cost £85.

0:25:58 – Line lock is very popular with American drag racing enthusiasts but quite a novelty in the UK. Its also unusual for a car to be fitted with it from the factory. Usually you have to put it on later.

0:28:37 – As tyre destruction enthusiasts will know, its quite unusual to be able to drift a four wheel drive car the way Jeremy does with the Focus RS.

0:29:58 – The American. Racer, raconteur, syrup enthusiast.

0:34:17 – Until two days before the Grant Tour arrived, there was no snow in this backdrop, rather spoiling the point of going to Lapland for Christmas. Then the weather changed. Phew.

0:34:49 – The Grand Tour tent doesn’t normally have windows at the back. They were specially installed to take advantage of the snowscape outside and make the grotto seem extra festive.

0:39:52 – Unfortunately, Grand Tour condoms will not be available to buy. Disagreement about sizing.

0:40:37 – Casualty – a British word for the emergency room. Or A&E. Basically, the bit of the hospital full of people going, Arrrgh, my knee.

0:44:54 – You might recognise Jeremy and Richards weird Christmas conversation. It was inspired by the lyrics to Bob Geldof’s Band Aid charity hit single, Do They Know Its Christmas?

0:47:03 – Enzo Ferrari always wrote in purple ink. Its said this was in memory of his father who used the purple-tinged aniline copying pencil.

0:48:05 – As well as being the home of Ford’s Le Mans ambitions, Slough later became the setting for the original UK version of the TV show The Office.

0:49:14 – The original Ford GT prototype was scrapped, but the design drawings were kept on file. This enabled construction of the perfect replica that James is driving here.

0:54:23 – Ferrari ultranerds will note that this car is whats known as the P3/4 rather than a pure P3. There are no P3s left in the world because during its working life each one was taken back to the workshop, given a modified engine, tail section and name, and turned into the evolved car you see here.

0:55:50 – John Surtees, 1964 Formula 1 world champion and winner of the Grand Prix motorcycle championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960, making him the only person ever to win the world championship for both bikes and cars.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (22 votes cast)
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Lol, the xmas present section was funny. When May said he had one with his personal catchphrase I thought it was going to be ‘Oh Cock’ regardless of the BBC xD

  2. I get the feeling they are tempting the BBC a little to go after them. Probably they figure it is inevitable that the BBC will make some claim against them so they might as well push the limits a little as anything the BBC does not claim about is basically unprotected.

    This episode was again one of the better ones. Loved the sombreros for connection street (again, a little reference to their escapades on TG). Also, the reference to being respectful around the cenotaph (take that TG!). Once again, ‘The American’ is a complete disappointment – it is not funny, or interesting. It would be funnier if they just muted him as he drove one week, then masked him the next week… then perhaps we just end up with a faceless racing driver who says nothing (take that TG!).

    Great bit with the cheese…

  3. Episode 6 is genuinely awesome.

    Christmas gift ideas was hilarious. Great to have it back from TG. Also May’s Ford GT 50th anniversary at Le Mans was just fantastic.

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