The East Coast Road Trip (AKA "USA Super Car Road Trip" or the "3rd USA Road Trip") was the name of the first of two standalone specials which aired prior to Series 16 in early 2011, airing on the 21st of December, 2010, the other special being the Middle East Special which aired five days later on Boxing Day. It was presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, with The Stig not appearing due to the ongoing lawsuit between the BBC and Ben Collins, the driver who portrayed the tame racing driver's second incarnation. Danny Boyle was the guest star.

In this episode, the trio were tasked with traveling from North Carolina to New York in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a Ferrari 458 Italia and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Trip Overview

The journey started on the Blue Ridge Parkway which the presenters were told was the best road in the world. However, because of the speed limits they decided to abandon the road and decided to race on an old NASCAR track, North Wilkesboro Speedway, instead. Whilst racing Jeremy burned out his Mercedes tyres and because the SLS doesn't have a spare the mayor had to help him find new tyres. Richard and James decided to leave Jeremy behind and went to the hotel in Virginia. After failing to find any tyres that would fit the SLS Jeremy drove the rest of the way on his ruined set.

Top gear under BROOKLYN

Top Gear under the Manhattan Bridge

The next day the presenters discovered they had been staying at a hotel right next to the Virginia International Raceway. They decided to have a go on the track and Jeremy discovered his Mercedes was 'tail happy' and had to change his tyres again. Richard and James got into a race and James won when Richard's 911 spun out on a corner. After their go on the track James and Jeremy bet £5 that their super car would be faster than each other's.


The presenters lining up for the race

The presenters were then given a challenge. They had to complete a handgun drive by shooting of the Stig from their super cars. James went first, followed by Richard. Jeremy however, cheated on his turn by using a semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle and subsequently won the challenge.

They continued driving through Virginia and even took a detour to Washington DC. Later, Jeremy found a drag race strip and declared that James and him should settle their bet. However, neither could race because the surface was too wet and slippery. James eventually made it to the end of the drag run but Jeremy continued to spin out of control. The race was called off.

The next day the presenters continued driving to New York. They stopped at a Amish town called "Intercourse" in Pennsylvania and made humourous jokes about its name, Richard suggested that they "should have popped into a hamlet called Foreplay beforehand". They later arrived in New York City and were given their final challenge. The presenters were told to race to a TV studio, where the first one there would appear on American Television. James and Jeremy had GPS and quickly took the lead. Richard however (whose Porche did not have satellite navigation), got lost and ended up on Broadway. James eventually won the race; however, it turned out to be a community TV studio (Manhattan Neighbourhood Network) so he ended up going on Later, Jeremy and James finally settled their bet on the Top Gear test track; the race ended in a draw as both cars seemed to cross the finish line at exactly the same time.

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