Top Gear Wrecks Lamborghini Diablo During Filming

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Television’s Top Gear recently resumed filming on the upcoming season (series 29, if you acknowledge the authority of the Queen), and news of a crash has your author feeling excited about the program for the first time in a while. It also provided an opportunity to actually learn the names of the presenters who aren’t Chris Harris, who was not at the helm of the vintage Lamborghini Diablo that unexpectedly went off-road.

Comedian Paddy McGuinness hopped on social media to let fans know he was safe on Tuesday, following numerous reports that he had suffered an off while the boys were filming it running around in North Yorkshire alongside a Ferrari F40 and Jaguar XJ220. Neither McGuinness nor the other two vehicles/hosts are said to have sustained damage, though the Lambo took a beating, potentially providing us with some top-flight entertainment later this year.

I’ll be honest. Top Gear swiftly fell off the radar for yours truly after Clarkson, Hammond and May left the program in 2016 to be clever elsewhere. Adding Matt LeBlanc temporarily catered to my American pride and ended up being a fun addition. It wasn’t enough to hold my interest, however, as the show seemed to have lost most of its magic and all of its bite.

Watching Harris blast around a track in the latest performance monster or a funny clip of LeBlanc intentionally playing the fool was possible, but I’d never go so far as to watch an entire episode. Sitting through The Grand Tour on Amazon was easier, disgustingly comforting, and still held enough of that special something to keep me coming back.

However, if they’re going to sling six-figure automobiles into pastures, I may be forced to warm up my VPN and set my phony IP address in order to illegally watch the BBC.

This isn’t the first time in recent memory Top Gear has suffered a high-profile incident. After years of waiting to see what Richard Hammond would plow into next (bless his little heart for constantly putting himself at risk), modern host Freddy Flintoff suffered a high-speed off that the media said was reminiscent of the Vampire dragster indecent that temporarily put Mr. Hammond in a coma in 2006.

In actuality, the 2019 trike wreck wasn’t anywhere near as grim — especially since Flintoff’s accident seems as though it could have been avoided, happened at less than half the speed of Hammond’s, and didn’t end with an emergency helicopter ride to the hospital. But it was still incredibly dangerous, revealing that both hosts and producers are willing to take things past the point of sanity.

Exhibit B: Flintoff also flipped a modified Jaguar XJ and driving veteran Harris narrowly escaped an Alpine A110 that caught fire. Good or bad, this is how you make compelling automotive programming.

McGuinness’s recent accident in the Lamborghini seems to have been the result of a particularly rainy day, however. Wide tires have a tendency to hydroplane when confronted with a lot of rain, and stock Diablo hoops measure a massive 13 inches at the rear. Precipitation encouraged the car make an abrupt detour through a fence at speeds below the legal limits, according to a spokesperson from the show.

“I finally got to drive one of my fantasy childhood cars, the Lamborghini Diablo. But it turns out 30-year-old supercars don’t like torrential rain. Who’d have thought?” Paddy jested over Instagram. “If you’ve ever owned a Diablo or you’ve driven one, you’ll know just as well as me — oh my God, she can be a cruel mistress, she can be a cruel mistress, that one. That V12 lures you in and suddenly — RARR — it bites you. I’m totally fine. Fingers crossed we get the car running again because it is an absolute beauty.”

The Lamborghini was covered in a tarp of shame before being moved to a safe location. Based on how it looks post-accident, it’ll probably be a while before it’s once again deemed roadworthy. Luckily, the brunt of the damage appears cosmetic. I’m just glad the ultra-rare XJ220 went unscathed and nobody reported any human injuries.

Odds are good we’ll be able to see the accident in high-definition when Top Gear returns to the air. Photos clearly show the main camera crew in attendance, idling by the side of the road after the crash. We’ll just have to hope they got a good angle and the banter approaches the high standard set by their forebears. At least the current hosts have shown a willingness to risk their own lives while displaying an aptitude for narrowly escaping harm. That’s warrants some praise in itself, and will undoubtedly draw in some new (or perhaps old) viewers.

[Image: Lancashire Road Police]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jun 18, 2020

    It hurts my head to say it but American Top Gear hosts were funnier than the current current Top Gear crew.And don't tell me it's because i'm not British, my British friend agrees with me. It's entertaining to see how boring Clarkson was made to be in his early years. Youtube some really old episodes and he seems to be sleep walking through his segments.

  • Imagefont Imagefont on Jun 18, 2020

    I saw one of these at a Discount Tire store of all places near my house. It was brown. I couldn’t get over the color. Who paints a Lamborghini, or any car for that matter, brown? With this car they took the Countach and ruined it completely. Didn’t Crysler own Lamborghini at this time? Figures. Trying to cash in on an updated version of the Countach. Just horrible, it was such a let down. Imagine owning the ugliest Lamborghini of all time, sitting in Discount Tires waiting area waiting for flat repair, and your over priced slowly deteriorating ugly ass car is brown.

  • ToolGuy I would answer, but the question might change again, and then where would we be? Also, bran... wheat bran? Bran Castle? The coliva served at Bran Castle is made with wheat, I checked. (Some places use rice, because collectivism does not work.)
  • ToolGuy Learn to drive, people.
  • Corey Lewis I saw a TVR Griffith 500 (mfd 1990-2002) back in June 2014 at the Ault Park Concours, in a side parking lot. It had plates on it, but was MUCH too new to be in the US, especially so as the 500 was a later model 1993+. Luckily I took pics as proof!
  • Bd2 This is when BMW started to go downhill design-wise...
  • Jalop1991 "...their resale value to be in par with a 80's GM diesel wearing a Yugo badge." Those words, sir, paint a picture.
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