The Grand Tour in California

11 Oct The Grand Tour in California

I went and saw The Grand Tour

When I saw a little ad pop up on my Facebook newsfeed, informing me of an upcoming taping of The Grand Tour in California, I had one mission, and that was to get these tickets. Out of over 1.2 million applicants, I was even lucky enough to get tickets for both days of taping, Saturday and Sunday. I however was not aware of that until I was checking in for the Sunday taping.

When I found out that they had all the action, stunts and driving scenes recorded on the day before, I was a bit sad I have to admit. Nevertheless, the studio taping was a very cool experience as well.

It all started at the parking lot of the Apple Valley High School in the California desert, which thankfully wasn’t very hot on that day. We then proceeded into typical yellow school busses, which brought us deeper into the desert, which is were the Grand Tour tent was set up. The cool thing for me was, that I had been in that area before to film a movie myself, and now The Grand Tour is taping on the very same ground!

There were about 10 supercars parked outside of the tent. Even the Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans car and a blown up trailer. Typical Top Gear or well, Grand Tour style. We didn’t even have time to really take a look at all the cool supercars, and went pretty much straight into the tent, which is their mobile set they take around the world. This enables people from all over the world to get involved and be part of the taping. Now we understand why it’s called The Grand Tour.


Unfortunately, me and my buddy weren’t able to get the best spot in the studio itself, even though they promised us that “There are no bad spots. You will be able to see great from anywhere”. Unfortunately that wasn’t true. The tent however has one of the nicest interiors I have ever seen. It looks very cool and has an extremely powerful air-conditioning, which definitely helps when it gets hot.

Even our spots weren’t the best, we got to see Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May at a 3 feet distance. That alone was a life changing experience (haha). It was interesting to see how tall Clarkson was, and how tall Hammond actually is. He is not as small as most people think, but next to Clarkson and May, he just seems like a midget.

Before the taping started, the trio introduced themselves, told us that this was the very first studio taping and that they are very thankful for all of the fans sticking to them. Clarkson then went on to say one more thing – “A big fuck you to that other car show”, which was followed by a huge applause of course. They then went of stage, and came back in for the actual taping.


The show itself however, didn’t change as much as I hoped for. It is still the same concept as Top Gear was. And since the new Top Gear also didn’t change their concept, there will be two almost identical car shows from now on, which is a pity.

In the first episode of The Grand Tour, they introduction their new test track and new test driver (previously The Stig). The test track is still located in the UK and seems a lot more challenging than the old Top Gear track. They also claimed it to be more dangerous than the Nordschleife. They also raced the holy trinity head to head for their first episode, which is indeed a very cool story, but a story that has already been done by Salomondrin with Banging Gears.

Nevertheless, I am excited for the new show and can’t wait to see the big audience reaction to this new show with an old winning team. The Grand Tour will premier on November 18th, 2016 on Amazon Video. Be sure to check it out!

Article by Kai Groschupf