The first episode of James May's Cars of the People aired on the 10th of August, 2014. It was presented by James May, as the first of six Top Gear spinoffs, and was the 170th episode of the show as a whole, as the program is considered as a series of specials, as was marketed outside the UK, as well as the home video release.
"This is the story of how motoring came to the masses; how dictatorships and democracies alike pursued the dream of cars for all, of red herrings, seen here in green, and automotive cul-de-sacs, of shattered dreams and the fall of the mighty. This is how we fell in love with our wheels."
We are told by James that in the early days of motoring, cars were strictly for the rich. As he says this, an 1899 Wolseley Voiturette drives past. However, he continues, the "shuffling masses" had seen the cars, and they saw that they were good, as the Voiturette is followed by an Austin A35.
After a brief introduction, presented once more by May, explaining how the series would work, he announces that the theme of the show's inaugural episode would be centred around "totalitarian transport" - cars introduced through dictatorships such as the Volkswagen Beetle and the Lada Riva.