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Top Gear Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood from November 15, 2010 about the show Top Gear.

Question:
The Camaro being reintroduced into the American muscle car market again. I wanted to know your take on it and if it's a good thing or bad thing in your opinion?

Adam Ferrara:
Any time you can get a muscle car back it's a good thing. It's a nice - it's a great car. Backing up is a little bit of a problem because it's tough to see out of it, the visibility. It's a little chopped for me. But other than that anytime I can get my hands on the muscle car I will.

Tanner Foust:
That would definitely be Adam's take on it. I love the fact that we get these, you know, retro rods kind of back on the market. They're very cool. You can't really level out of the technology that's in them though. It's hard to get excited about, you know, some of the electronics and some of the, you know, the go fast bits on them. But any time you get something as American as a rumbling V8 and throw it out on the road so with the warrantee it can't be a bad thing. That's the charm of the muscle car. You know, they have there's no bells and whistles - big engine, light car, go fast, straight line.

Rutledge Wood:
You know, it's cool that they tried to go back to sort of the roots in some of their hay day when they were a lot stronger as a company. So it's neat to see the Camaro on the road kind of reborn and to revisit those times. And it is a fun car to drive for sure. <

Question:
Of all the exotic cars that you've been presented with, what are some of your favorites and what would you recommend to someone if they were going to buy a really high end performance car?

Adam Ferrara:
I would recommend to someone that has the money to experience the experience of giving to another and purchasing me a Veyron. A Bugatti Veyron. That will really make you want to give to your fellow man.

Rutledge Wood:
Good ploy.

Tanner Foust:
Wow. It's a different thing for different people right? I've always been a fan of Porsches to be honest with you, and there something about them. I grew up when my dad had an old one in the garage. And there's something about them that's kind of multitalented. It's one of those cars that you can drive on a daily basis but it's also, you know, wickedly fast. It's like multi talented. And it's kind of good in any environment. And that's always been the car - I've never been a fan of, you know, people having garage queen exotics that didn't get driven. And while Ferraris are great and Lamborghinis are awesome and amazing there also, you know, they can get old to drive on a daily basis. So I think, you know, there something about a Porsche that lets you kind of live in it.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes, they call that homelessness. If you're living in a Porsche you don't have a house.

Rutledge Wood:
My favorite kind of exotic that I got to spend a little time in was a Murcielago Super Veloche Lamborghini. And I think the reason I loved it so much, as a product of the 80s I grew up with this poster of the old Lamborghini Countach on my wall. It was like ‘85.

Tanner Foust:
I had that one. he white one?

Rutledge Wood:
Yes Tanner had same yes the white one.

Tanner Foust:
The white one exactly sitting on the grass, yes I had the same one.

Rutledge Wood:
Yes it just was this gorgeous car and it just reason up represented this impossible dream. And the fact that Lamborghini let me ride around in one of those for four days with these knuckleheads as it rode through the desert. It was the most fun I've probably ever had in the car.

Question:
So Italians make very sexy cars in your opinion?

Rutledge Wood:
The seat wasn't sexy. I'm 6'3” and it was painful. I don't even know if Tanner's short self, would be comfortable in there - no offense Tanner.

Tanner Foust:
Hardly any taken.

Adam Ferrara:
You guys are so polite when we have company. No offense Tanner no taken. Who are you fooling?

Question:
Are you going to get Dennis Leary in a car Adam or are you going to get him in something exotic?

Adam Ferrara:
I'd kind of like to get him and a truck. If I can get him in a truck of his - if he's - he's probably up at the farm in Canada. I don't know if he'll come all the way out to - he probably will if we get picked up. He's crazy enough to do stuff like that.

Question:
Did you guys watch the other versions of the show?

Adam Ferrara:
Well I was a fan of the show and I saw a bunch of the episodes before because I was just - I was a fan before any of this even came up so I was really familiar with the show and the guys. And it came to me from History channel. I had done another show called United States of Cars which was a pilot that didn't get picked up. And they said, you know, were doing Top Gear and would you like to meet the guys? And I - it was the most - it was the wild most wild audition I ever had because I never went to a studio or a producers office.

The call came in and we met in a parking lot. It was like a hostage drop, like a ransom drop. We had to meet behind the mall in a parking lot. And these two guys were in and Evo. And we just jumped in the Evo and just started tearing around doing donuts in the Evo. And Tanner was spinning us around and they had cameras set up. And we we're just having a good time with this car. And we found this couch in I think we tried to put Rutledge in the couch and see how close we could come with the car. And that's what everyone said cut, okay fine, thank you. So that's how I came to it.

Tanner Foust:
Yes of course I was a big fan of the British show and also Fifth Gear. I enjoyed those. And growing up actually like elementary school years I lived in Scotland. And so I really kind of enjoyed the British sense of humor. I grew up on shows like Blackadder and the Young Ones. And the - so any chance I could get I would track down watching Top Gear.

And then when I met the BBC world wide folks when they were coming together with the NBC show and got involved with that and shot the pilot and, you know, went through a whole casting process with that and, you know, did the same with the History show and was lucky enough to get, you know, involved in both and have some killer times. It's - and so I come kind of been from the driving standpoint as a racer and in some cases as a stunt coordinator, in some cases a safety guide making sure that Adam has buckled his seatbelt up completely before jumping has Cadillac. So a couple, you know, a couple different hats there. But, you know, that's - it's an amazing franchise to be involved in that's for sure.

Rutledge Wood:
I've been watching the show for years and I actually remember hearing about that they had made a pilot for NBC and I knew Tanner was part of that. And, you know, obviously hope for something like that one day. And one day I got a call because I spent all my weekends on the road with NASCAR. And this person that was helping out said hey we want to know if you'd be interested in talking with producers for the show. It's called Top Gear. Have you ever heard of it? And I was of course like yes, I'd say that's the premier car show in the world. She said well the - they're working with the History channel and BBC Worldwide production is going to produce it. You know if you want to - would you like to maybe go talk to someone about it?

And so the whole time I just kept thinking like this is going to be so cool to tell my friends that I got to go to the audition and stuff when I'm home watching the show. And then somehow I got picked to be on there. Then just like Adam said we were in a parking lot essentially with the Mitsubishi Evo and went and had a lot of fun and it just kind of all came together from there. And we spent probably I guess a solid six months altogether I mean we wouldn't go more than a few days without seeing each other. So we definitely - we had a lot of fun and it's been a great time so far.

Question:
Do you have a favorite chllenge that you've done?

Rutledge Wood:
It's tough to pick a favorite. The road trips were obviously that you'll see in the show what was so much fun for us because, you know, the whole premise of this show is to just whatever you're in tell us what you really think. Be honest, don't hold back. And so whether it was when we took a trip to Alaska to test America's toughest truck or when we went to Michigan, we went to Detroit, to find a car that we thought GM should bring back, that was probably my favorite thing we did, the favorite trip we took. It just was so much fun and nonstop. But I'll be honest, the piece I was most jealous that I didn't get to be a part of was when Tanner got to test out the new Ford Raptor.

Tanner Foust:
That was epic. But on this Raptor thing, we went out just east of Phoenix. The Raptor - well Ford came out with this version of the F150 truck which is like the best selling machine in the world. And they - it's wider and it's got suspension travel and it's basically like an off road truck you can buy for 50 grand and drive on the road. And we went to see how good it was and ended up racing it in the desert against a skydiver. So the skydiver went five miles up. I want five miles out and we raced to appoint and just beat the tar out of this truck.

And there something - I don't know if you could market it is like a - as therapy, like medicinally, you know, helpful in some sort of way. But there's something about just beating the snot out of somebody else's truck that you walk away like, calm with the world like Gandhi. You know, you're just - you're on a level playing field after that. And so that was - that kind of stuff for me is, you know, that's that is definitely therapy for me. So that was a great trip.

Adam Ferrara:
One of the things I liked is one of the challenges is when we found out Rutledge has no peripheral vision. When Rut took his glasses off and said I have no peripheral vision Tanner I just looked at each other and go oh we're going to have a lot of fun for the next eight episodes. And we began exploiting that for our own amusement.

Tanner Foust:
Yes you can literally be standing next to him and talking like making faces at him and he can't see a thing.

Adam Ferrara:
Oh the possibilities are really endless.

Tanner Foust:
Yes, yes. I don't know how they give you a driver's license.

Rutledge Wood:
I'm glad we're doing this. This is really fun.

Question:
In the promos I noticed you guys were all pretty excited about the Lamborghini. What else was the highlight for you?

Tanner Foust:
I'm kind of into the exotic cars. And so Lamborghini was kind of up my alley. But I took a trip to England and I drove a norm Morgan. And I mean I'm - it was simply unbelievable trip out there going through the English countryside and driving this car that, you know, side exhaust pipes in a land where a 1.3 L engine is kind of the performance package.

And then you get into a 4.8 L V-8 out there. And that was really kind of an amazing car. It looks like a 1930s mix between like Dick Tracy and Margaret Thatcher kind of pulling together this really bizarre thing that I didn't expect to like but came away having, you know, one of the greatest trips ever.

Adam Ferrara:
And you know when he came back he made us call him Dick Thatcher. For me it was the - it was actually getting air and that ‘76 Coupe Deville. We did a moonshine run and we had to test the endurance of these cars and they - I picked the ‘76 Caddy because listen to me, what else would I be driving? So we did the - it was basically like an offload off-road motorcycle course. And my - my head I knew this thing weighed 5800 pounds and I didn't - if I stopped I wasn't going to start again. So I didn't want to get it stuck so I just kept it moving.

And I went up this incline so I just dropped it in low and I stepped on it just to keep the momentum going. And there's all kinds of violence and crashing because everything what's been smashing around. And then all of a sudden it got real quiet for a long time. And then it wasn't quiet anymore when I landed. And that was just - that feeling was great. It was like exciting and terrifying.

And then I got all - It was all excited and terrifying and then got all I was all excited when I got out of the car. And then I saw Tanner's face and I was scared because all the blood was out of his face. And when Tanner Foust, the gold medal winning rally driver and stunt guy looks at you and goes dude, are you okay.

Tanner Foust:
I mean that really was bad.

Adam Ferrara:
I was kind of scared.

Tanner Foust:
That was shocking. You bent the car. It was a huge, huge dare.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes it was fun too. And there's no - there was no safety belt in it. It was in 1976 seat belt. And the shoulder belt doesn't work. So Tanner pulls it tight, pulls the seat up so I'm locked in there, takes the belt, puts it under the head rest, pushes the head rest down, smacks me on the helmet goes you'll be fine.

Rutledge Wood:
My favorite was, you know what, it's a little bit hard to choose. I do want to say for the record that if you're not excited driving a Lamborghini in which we certainly were, you should definitely not be part of Top Gear because those cars were just everything that is wonderful about the impracticality of cars in one expensive package. They were just insane.

But I think for me one of the craziest moments was we did a race from Miami to Key West to see what was faster, whether it would be faster to take a car, a boat, or plane. And I got put in this John Z speed boat that had 1400 hp. And I did 100 miles an hour on the water.

And 100 miles an hour on - in a boat on the water is the kind of fast that it learned. I said hey, do you guys have a life jacket for me? They said yes except you won't need it. And I said well what do you mean we're not going to wreck? And they said no, no. If we wreck we're all going to die. So for me that was as a guy with two kids and a number nervous mom, that was probably the most frightened I was on the show. And these two know I am not a strong swimmer so I think the producers think it's really funny to mess with each of us in those different ways. So it was a lot of fun.

Question:
And how strong was your stomach on that trip?

Rutledge Wood:
Not real strong as you may see on the show.

Tanner Foust:
No.

Adam Ferrara:
That was a highlight. And I think yes finding out that you have a weak stomach was kind of fun too.

Question:
What is your dream car?

Adam Ferrara:
I want a '57 Starfire Olds.

Tanner Foust:
I would take a Zonda. I just love the fact that Pagani is, you know, it's what happens when you're OCD brilliant, wealthy and a fan of cars all mixed together and it's a Zonda I think it's an amazing...

Adam Ferrara:
I like the exhaust on the Zonda always reminded me of the Batmobile, those four little exhausts out the back and that big circle.

Tanner Foust:
Right.

Rutledge Wood:
In all I'll say this, I'm from the South so I don't want to get shot for my answer because it's an old set of BBS wheels I can put a wire lip on possibly yes, let's make fun of me for that you jerks. Let's see I would say I'm about to obtain somehow one of my dream cars because I'm trading my friend Kyle Petty the car that his dad gave me for his ‘69 charger. Has a 383 in a four speed. So I never thought I could get that and he said he'd trade for it.

But I think the Ferrari Enzo would be on that list for me. It's so over the top and such a piece of art when it's parked that moving is just - it's a magical thing.

Question:
What type of pressure do you guys feel from being host of the American version of one of the most beloved shows on television?

Adam Ferrara:
There's a lot of pressure only because we're also fans of the show and we know its history. And anytime you're just going to put the words Top Gear and you're going to try and do a show under that flag naturally you're going to be nervous. But I mean I don't want to speak for the other guys but I know that we all had this idea like we cannot try and be Clarkson and Hammond and May. None of us wanted to even attempt that because it's not going to work. We just wanted to be ourselves in the Top Gear form. So we just wanted to do justice to the Top Gear name just try to do what we do in that context.

Rutledge Wood:
You know what I think you'd be silly to say that you didn't feel the pressure because, you know, as you know it's just this incredible show. But what I think we all were hoping for and working so hard is what you just said is that you watched those three. And if you've seen the other shows you know it's a great show. We're not implying that there's anything wrong with Top Gear UK.

But we all know that it was long overdue that this country had its own Top Gear with cars that are available here, on roads that are available here, trips that are here, things that are important to us. And that's not to demean them at all. But the whole process has been really like dating their sister you know. It's this very intimate thing we want them - we wanted their approval, you know, we want them to like it we never want to bring their sister back home late with leaves in her hair.

So there's this myriad of things that we've had on our minds the whole time. But just like Adam said we knew that if we showed up and were ourselves and had a good time that we would make a great show and something we would be proud of. And I think the three of us could definitely say we did that.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes.

Tanner Foust:
Yes and that's the trick is - and this is Tanner. There is, you know, that show you really know the characters involved. And because we're all fans of the show we kind of know to expect from Hammond, you know, or from Clarkson in a particular situation. And what those characters developed that's what we don't necessarily have is we haven't really got our characters out there. And that so that's the question is the chemistry between the three of us. And obviously we don't get along at all. So that's been really hard.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes we're a little civil on this phone call.

Tanner Foust:
Yes. No. You know, once we started hanging out and, you know, the three of us really have a great time together then it really didn't matter that, you know, we were making a TV show. It was like the pressure kind of lifted a little bit. And then - and you just sort of have some fun with it.

And then you see how well the production, how - the production quality. I mean it really looks amazing. And then you get the real feeling like wow this - we really did make something, you know, that looks a lot like Top Gear. And so then you can be proud of it. And I'm glad you've seen some of the films and it's and that you're happy with them. I'm - whenever I watch them I'm really amazed at the production quality. And so hopefully the rest of the country will think that too.

Rutledge Wood:
I just want to add something to that. And what - one of the things that we didn't - we weren't totally sure about is that we didn't know how - knowing what we knew about the show and we knew obviously BBC Worldwide and History were coming together to make it, we didn't know entirely what that meant.

But the fact that we had those same great BBC producers and the staff at History has been so good at making us feel at home and a part of it. And you know what, it's a perfect place for that show because not only from - you get to learn so many different things about what we're doing in the cars and history.

But also, you know, the whole time it is - it's history in motion. We were doing things that people hadn't done here before whether it made sense or not. And that's what was so cool for us as to find out that like this is a perfect place for the show. And I think a lot of people are going to find it in the same way that you did, you know.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes we did like American - like we did a moonshine run which was the beginnings of NASCAR, I mean, and how American can you get then NASCAR and moonshine?

Question:
When did you feel that you guys worked well together?

Adam Ferrara:
I think it's - this is Adam. It's an evolving process. I mean we - when I first met those guys I mean I don't know if you guys heard the - when we had told them about the edition. But it was the audition process was the first time I met these guys. And it was like guys hanging out in a parking lot with an Evo, you know, except one of the guys is Tanner Foust. I'm going to spin you around.

And we just - for me it was I met the guys and then I - there was enough there to let me know that I wanted to meet him again and hang out with them again. So it's been an evolving process. So and to answer your question it's pretty much like we - we're still getting to know each other but we're having a good time on the ride. So there was no moment where like yes, we have chemistry, you know, for me anyway.

Rutledge Wood:
One thing that isn't mentioned a lot is that the process to find the three of us was probably eight months long. So each of us had talked to different people around the whole thing and BBC and History really wanted to make sure that they found the right people and the right mix. And I think that's one thing that really helped with it. But when the first time we started shooting we had already spent a lot of time together to make sure of all those things.

So obviously anybody can watch the show and tell the more stuff we did the more we knew about each other, the newer ways to make fun of each other because we are in fact all friends and that's what friends do. But, you know, I think that natural progression, we didn't force it and I think that was something they really wanted to make sure by taking their time, making sure we've done a lot of stuff. And I think - yesterday I saw Tanner and we both got excited. I hugged him. I'm a little bit of a hugger so that may be a trick.

But it's, you know, I work with lots of people and do TV with them every weekend that I barely shake hands with. This whole Top Gear thing that the three of us have is really something special. As per Adam when we just had our second daughter tried to send the picture of my wife and the baby was right there kind of laying on her chest and he wanted to Photoshop in a picture of himself with a note that said she looks just like me. And Adam's wife would not allow him to do it. I thought it was hilarious.

Tanner Foust:
A baby Adam, awesome that's it. It feels like it's kind of - I don't know. It's really amazing because how successful the British show is you'd think there's this crazy formula. But in reality it's just three guys hanging out having a good time and somebody, you know, with a budget.

Adam Ferrara:
If you had two of your friends and a bunch of super cars and a camera it's going to be pretty much the same kind of spirit that we're doing.

Question:
Has there been any talks about a crossover episode with the British version?

Adam Ferrara:
I don't know. I think if there is going to be a British-American meeting I think they hang a lantern in the North Church. I think that's how they'll signal us. You know we'll know they're here.

Tanner Foust:
I say we meet them at the Alamo. We just go old school with it.

Adam Ferrara:
Old school, right.

Question:
What was your highlight?

Tanner Foust:
I grew up a skier, always loved skiing, always loved cars. And in this series I finally got to drive a car down a ski mountain. And I took a Mitsubishi Evo 10 down Mammoth Mountain here in Colorado on a beautiful power day. It was a nice day for skiing and everything and just carved it up with this car. And it was pretty much the coming together of so many of my worlds. That was a dream come true. That has to be the highlight for me.

No it's actually we're going to be together in New York. We actually enjoyed -- this is Adam. We actually had a good time hanging out with other and we had a - we - everything was fun. I mean one of the highlights for me was finding out that Rutledge has limited peripheral vision and a weak stomach so those were two things we could exploit. And then the other highlight would be when Rutledge threw up like seven times in this - in ten episodes. That's some great record broken.

Adam Ferrara:
We only show two though. But the other five were just fantastic. And the other highlight for me was when Rut put a fog machine in Tanner's trailer.

Tanner Foust:
Which I still own by the way and I have a remote control helicopter in front of me now that I'm about to drive through the fog. It makes cool like vertices, you know, when it goes through there. I don't know if that's a little too geeky but it's pretty awesome.

Rutledge Wood:
For me I think there's so many good moments that we had together and so much fun. But I think the most epic trip we took was to Alaska when we decided to test America's toughest truck in the toughest state. And I've never been to a place like that before where just everywhere you look it's more and more beautiful.

And we got to go on all these crazy trails with these three trucks that we had to buy up there online. And it just was - the sun was up for like 18 hours a day, 19 hours a day. And so we'd just shoot the whole time and Tanner was telling me last night when he was doing voiceovers yesterday he said you start - I started laughing looking at us sitting by this fire because we've been shooting for like 20 hours or something ridiculous because, you know, we shoot way more than we need and then we cut it down. But no one's going to know. Like we look like where half drunk but we are just damn tired but it was just an amazing trip.

Tanner Foust:
We had a psychotic episode around day two. That's when the squirrel got out. No there was a - it was a - it's one of those things, I mean when you watch a UK version and you see them going these crazy trips across Africa and this and that and you're always kind of questioning in your mind kind of like watching survivor man where you're thinking okay there's the Ritz-Carlton right out of the camera view for sure that he's saying and, you know, as he's eating these ants and stuff. And it's - there's - it's such reality-based. I mean we're out in Alaska literally sleeping in the back these trucks.

Question:
Did anything go majorly wrong during filming?

Tanner Foust:
I think that's usually considered. Because if something goes wrong that's usually what's good.

Rutledge Wood:
Yes that's when we hear oh we're printing that. My favorite thing that went wrong and no one got hurt but we were doing one challenge and we had to park a car up on a hill. And I had gone and Adam had gone and it was Tanner's turn. Adam's car was parked right behind mine. And Tanner couldn't get his car to stick on the hill with the parking brake so he decided to kind of do a little Top Gear bail out and shot out the window. And he didn't lock the steering wheel or point at any direction. The car just kind of went on its own. Apparently the car hated Adam because it went and made this crazy S coming down the hill and then tried to kill Adam's car. And that's probably my favorite moment that we had in the show because Adam then pissed about it tried to grab a bowling ball and smash the window and the car hated him so much he couldn't even do it.

Adam Ferrara:
Well it was a great car. It bounced off the deck.

Tanner Foust:
Yes I mean, yes. And like then I still am now surprised that you didn't realize it. It's a dent-free car. It's a Fiero. It's made out of plastic. You can't dent it. It's just strange.

Question:
When you are reviewing your car how honest are you allowed to be?

Adam Ferrara:
They haven't told us to hold back anything. So whatever - if we're supposed to not say something we don't know about it. They said to be completely honest, just watch your language.

Tanner Foust:
Which Adam has a problem with frankly.

Adam Ferrara:
Well look some stuff is shit all right? Sometimes shit is the right word.

Tanner Foust:
You guys - I mean you guys have over in the UK that we don't have is that your profanity is so eloquent and it goes under the radar whereas here we just have, you know, six or seven real solid once. And you can only say the F word so many times before it just doesn't have any meaning. So, you know, that's the one thing that we have is we just have clever ways to say...

Adam Ferrara:
But it even sounds good. To our ears it sounds good. When James May pulled up to review a car and the Pagani and the Zonda pulled up and he just went oh cock. That's great to an American.

Tanner Foust:
If we can't appreciate wiener, it just doesn't have the same flair.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes. Wanker, it doesn't have the same thing.

Question:
Because Top Gear UK is always making fun of US cars are you guys going to make fun of UK cars?

Tanner Foust:
Some of us did. I drove the Morgan and I didn't want to make fun of it. I didn't go out there with that intention but I thought that it was inevitable. But I ended up really liking it. And so it was a little bit of a surprise and I think it was because I drove it in England. If I would've driven the car in the States it would've been a mess. It would look - it would have been like a - it would have looked like a cartoon car driving down the road. But over there it was absolutely King of the Hill, you know?

Rutledge Wood:
I don't think we have any sort of underlying theme of our dislike towards the Brits or anyone else. We are a loving, kind people. But I've may have gone over the line slightly in proclaiming that all Brits were liars. The speedometer grossly overstates a number and makes people think the car might accomplish such a thing. And I basically inferred that all British people were liars because the car was a liar.

Tanner Foust:
Yes exactly. And I don't think, you know, there's some good stereotypes that we could make back but were big people. We can handle it.

Question:
Top Gear UK is a big kind of a non-motoring fan base. How do you guys appeal to an audience outside of a sort of gearheads?

Adam Ferrara:
Well I hope they can see the fun we're having. One of the things I love about the UK show is those guys are having fun, you know? It's that part of thing - you know, it's just the enjoyment of those guys being together. And the cars that they're driving just makes the show for me. So I'm hoping that that excitement and the genuine fun we're having transfers to the audience here. And I know a lot of people who watch the UK show aren't really gearheads. They just like the show and like the guys.

Question:
How would you sum up the first series?

Tanner Foust:
Well I hope we get to do it again because I really had a good time. I really had a good time just sleeping on the ground in Alaska with these idiots and riding around in $1 million worth of Lamborghinis and interviewing the stars. I enjoyed all of that and I really hope that that transfers to the audience and we get to do it again.

Rutledge Wood:
They put together a really fun show about three guys in cars and it's going to be right at home on the History channel. And, you know, I always said that the level of success would be if we could take people who maybe weren't into cars, didn't really care about it whatever, and help them have fun and watch what cars represent to other people it would be a success. So I hope that's what we can do.

Tanner Foust:
Now this - and this is Tanner. And I had the pleasure of sitting down with Andy Willman, you know, one of the creators of the UK show. And like he said, the show is just really a glimpse into the male mind. And there's - and so it really is just a couple guys just having a good time, you know? We're just enjoying ourselves. And there will take some time to get the characters and to - you know, with the UK show I know it took a few years before people understood exactly, you know, the different characters involved. And so hopefully we have - we get to do this again and kind of keep the ball rolling because I think it only gets better.

Question:
Is there like a huge difference between driving something like 173 miles an hour and 175?

Adam Ferrara:
It depends on how much room you have to stop.

Tanner Foust:
It - I mean I think it takes a long time to get up to that speed in most cars, you know? And to hold your foot for an extra what is probably ten seconds to get from 173 to 175 it'll feel like a big difference even though, you know, physically it really hasn't.

Question:
What does it feel like to go that fast?

Rutledge Wood:
It's frightening. There's now - like there's a certain air of calmness that hits I would say around like 130 or 140 because you really have to lock in, you're really paying attention. But when you climb above, you know, 170 or even 180 it - time has a strange thing. Like I think that it slows down while it's completely sped up too. I mean it's a little bit surreal. But also the whole time in your mind you're thinking if I do anything wrong right now this is going to be really, really bad.

So I learned that lesson the hard way because Tanner didn't want to mark a cone once when we were trying to see how fast we could go in a Lamborghini. And he said oh we're on this runway. When you see the number two that means there's 2000 feet left. You need to let off the gas and starts slowing down and then break a little harder as you get further along. And as I was going I realized that not only did I not see the number two, I hadn't seen any numbers or any indicators of what - where I was on the runway.

Adam Ferrara:
Because your eyes were closed.

Rutledge Wood:
But they weren't closed. I was just - I was going really, really fast. When I saw a camera van that had a bunch of our camera guys hanging out of it on the side of the runway I passed it and it was about the size of a golf ball at 176, 175 I realized I should stop now. So we - you know, we learned a lot about each other about that I need a breaking cone if we're going to do something where we might launch off into the desert or into rough stuff. But it's really - it is crazy to go that fast.

Adam Ferrara:
When you get to like 150 or so the car starts floating. And that's when - for me that's when you really - you've just got to like that's - when you and the car become one because any move any one of you makes will kill you.

Rutledge Wood:
You know, it's all about the car at those speeds. It's all about - the driver basically just has to not mess it all up for the car.

Adam Ferrara:
You're just kind of holding on at that point.

Rutledge Wood:
Yes. These cars know where you live.

Question:
Do you guys have a favorite like guest star who's come and done the big star in a small car?

Rutledge Wood:
You know I'll say this. We had some great ones. And honestly they were all Super fun people. I loved every minute of it. Bret Michaels is like one of the kindest people you'll ever meet just super nice. I think for me to get to meet Tim Allen and get to talk to him was so just monumental. Because in the hierarchy of car guys he is so high up there for a man that has - I mean he's had more shoes - I mean he's had more cars than people have shoes in a lifetime, you know, just he changes them. He'll get something ridiculous and then like no I - that was cool. I want to get something else now and was just such a kind guy. I knew Adam knew him from doing comedy for years but, you know, they were some really great, great people.

Adam Ferrara:
Michelle Rodriguez was really fun. She's a - she's from Jersey so that was fun. She was a lot of fun. Everyone really was excited to be there. Buzz Aldrin was excited. Bret Michaels as you said brought pictures from all the cars he had. Ty Burrell was a really - was really fun. And everyone was generally excited to go around the track and to be part of it with us.

Question:
Do you get in a say on who comes in to do the segment?

Adam Ferrara:
No.

Rutledge Wood:
Well I wanted to get the entire cast of Glee but Tanner shot that down.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes, I wanted Oprah and Gayle.

Rutledge Wood:
Oprah and Gayle would still be amazing Adam.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes.

Rutledge Wood:
I'm behind you on that. Tanner just doesn't like Glee I think.

Adam Ferrara:
Yes.

Rutledge Wood:
Tanner what's the big deal? They sing, they dance, what's not to love?

Rutledge Wood:
You know what's weird is that maybe Tanner like secretly is thinking well I don't believe them because they're all 30. And that's a fair argument.

Tanner Foust:
You guys got me now?

Adam Ferrara:
Oh hey you back?

Rutledge Wood:
He's back.

Tanner Foust:
Hey. Oh sorry I muted. Yes the singing and dancing while driving would be pretty impressive actually.

Rutledge Wood:
Tanner's a closet In Sync fan. He was really heartbroken when they quit making albums. So I think they'd get back together for Tanner.

Tanner Foust:
I'm hoping so. I, you know, the - one of the guests - it was really cool to see - well Buzz Aldrin was cool because I kind of grew up, you know, wanting to be a little bit of an astronaut.

Adam Ferrara:
Maybe a little bit of an astronaut. I don't want to lose - lead the...

Tanner Foust:
Well, you know, it was in the airplanes and stuff. But Tony Hawk, you know, when he came out there and, you know, I met him doing the celebrity race, the celebrity race in Long Beach this year. And it was just cool. He was just a - kind of the coolest cat. And he got out there and he went pretty quick didn't he?

Adam Ferrara:
Yes Rut you interviewed him..

Rutledge Wood:
Yes.What was cool is to see those guys, you know, guys and gals genuinely like they wanted to win. They all came out there to try to get the fastest time. That was really impressive.

Question:
What's going to make this show better than some rednecks in a car?

Rutledge Wood:
I think the three of us will greatly attest to it and something that hopefully will people will see is that what makes the show different is that it's about cars that we have here and roads that we have here. But bigger than that it's - we knew we couldn't try to fill those roles and be those people. So we didn't attempt that because you just not - you'd fail at that. We all have a different love of cars and came from different sides of it. But we all attacked the show the same way anybody would. It's this childhood dream realized that the fact that they let us go do things that don't make any sense was amazing.

Adam Ferrara:
If you're with your friends and you were unattended with three supercars and a camera that's pretty much what would happen.

Rutledge Wood:
The format is great. I mean that's the coolest thing about the show is it's proven format of just three guys having fun. And whether you're just talking cars in the studio, you know, and really you can't wait to get back out on the track or whether you're testing a car or whether you're having an adventure across the wilderness, you know it's that format of doing those different things works around the world. And this is just such a great opportunity to connect that with what is a great American car culture that's unique, you know, compared to everything else in the world. And so it's a - you know, it's a real honor to be involved in this show and have it alongside the other Top Gear shows. It's not about being necessarily better than one or the other. Just, you know, having something for the American car culture.

Question:
When you got your first car, what kind of car did you own?

Rutledge Wood:
I always like to tell this because I think it shows clear roots we have. Tanner's first car was the 1983 Honda Civic Wagon which he rolled, he rolled seven or eight times. But he - don't worry, he's totally fine. He was 9 years old. Adam's first car was a - Adam was part of the dead relative inheritance program that he likes to call it which means, you know, hey, sorry about grandpa. Here's a car. So he got the - he got a 1981 Dodge Aries K which of the sucky cars that the three of us had really I think takes the cake. But it had red velour interior.

Question:
Are you guys going to be doing interview sessions as well or just going to be straight up driving and whatever?

Adam Ferrara:
Well no. We have a big star in a small car which is our interview. Our celebrities go around the track and they come down and sit and they talk to us. So it's the same format as the UK version.

Tanner Foust:
We've got a SX4 as our car. And it's the same test track that the stig uses to make laps on. So it's a lot of fun. It's a technical track for sure.

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