Ready to see the Top Gear stars are Dre and Nate Nelson.
Ready to see the Top Gear stars are Dre and Nate Nelson. Trevor Veale

Top Gear visit 'absolute fiasco'

Tell us what you thought about the visit

CAR enthusiasts and fans of the hit television show Top Gear Australia claim they have been let down by a promotional visit promising “a $2 million convoy of star cars”.

After a hyped media build-up, a crowd of up to 1000 people turned up at the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour yesterday expecting to see a stunning array of Top Gear vehicles.

A Jaguar XF Sports Saloon was the star attraction of more than 50 local vehicles on show, but a host of “star cars” featured in the Top Gear Live stage shows in Brisbane and Melbourne failed to eventuate.

Prior to the visit publicists issued press releases saying fans could expect “the ultimate indulgence for any car lover”.

Instead antique, vintage and restored vehicles sourced from local car clubs were shown off alongside luxury showroom vehicles from car dealerships and the official Top Gear vehicle.

Car lover Garry Wilson was one local disappointed the Aston Martins, Maseratis, Ferraris and Porsches featured in the live stage shows in Brisbane and Melbourne didn’t make an appearance.

“Fair enough there was a black Jaguar and yes, there were $2 million worth of vehicles in the car park, but that’s taking into account the cars local people drove there to see the star cars,” Mr Wilson said.

“To be honest it was an absolute fiasco, I expected so much more.”

Publicist Martine Cousins from Gold Coast-based company Fluid PR said she was surprised to hear some Coffs Coast locals had been left disappointed by the convoy’s visit.

“There was $2 million worth of vehicles on display, led by the matte black Jaguar and yes, some vehicles were sourced locally,” Ms Cousins said.

“Rare and collectors’ vehicles sourced from the local area complemented the travelling Top Gear convoy.”

The vehicles on show in Coffs Harbour included a replica E Type Jaguar, a triumph TR-7 V8, a 1984 VK Commodore, a 1989 Subaru Liberty, a 1929 Chevrolet Tourer, a 1932 Ford coupe, a Mini Cooper, a Morris Minor, a 1947 Ford coupe, a 1928 model Ford sedan, a 1923 Ford T Bucket and a 1964 Holden.

A Top Gear crew member, explained that safety concerns and possibly the wet weather may have interrupted the convoy.

The Big Banana general Drew Grove and his staff were left to field unnecessary and undue criticisms from the car- loving public due to factors outside their control.

The blame for the mishap rested squarely on their shoulders on the day. 

Mr Groves said he fielded a call from the PR team at 9.30am saying 23 Top Gear Live vehicles were headed to Coffs Harbour.

“The Coffs Coast public certainly lived up to its end of the bargain by turning out in such large numbers, but Top Gear didn’t as far as what was promised,” Mr Grove said.

“Without the contingency plan of the Big Banana in organising the local car clubs to show off their vehicles and Bellbowrie to display their vehicles we would have had an even worse let down.

“At least there were cars on display, but there’s no going past what happened to the Top Gear star cars.

"I still don’t have an explanation.

“We were told to expect a $2 million convoy featuring vehicles from the Top Gear live stage shows in Brisbane.

"They were meant to be travelling down the coast to the Melbourne shows.

“It was a major disappointment and Coffs Harbour and the Big Banana is owed an explanation,” he said.

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